Amateur Hour is over! It is time to get Serious about Social Media

 For those who read my blogs you know that I feel very strongly that those organizations that are in the marketing and communications business and have not developed a social media and digital engagement strategy will be “left out in the cold”

A recent article in the Globe and mail suggests that it is time to adapt to social media – or face the consequences.

These days, having a social media presence – and knowing how to properly use it is becoming an important part of marketing and communications in both the private and public sector.

Yet many organizations have no idea where to begin and what steps they should take to get the most out of social media. Some organizations continue to doubt the need for engaging with their audience/client online and put up barriers to developing a strong social media presence.

But social networking is here to stay, and in the future it will play an increasingly important role to those who are in the marketing and communications field. Many public sector and non-profit organizations have not reaped the benefits of social media and change their corporate culture enough to accommodate this shift.

One of the most important elements of success in the area also sounds like the simplest: Create a social media strategy that spells out your organizations goals and how to achieve them.

One of the big challenges organizations are facing is what part of the organization should be responsible for social media and digital engagement, Marketing or Communications. My response is it depends on the organizations structure. Obviously I would prefer it to be in the marketing department but whatever your organization decides, make sure that someone is in charge and coordinating all of the social media and digital engagement activities.

Organizations that are effective in the use social media effectively have decided who is responsible for the social media plan, and the governance model used to oversee it. But even the best-laid plans will result in failure if there’s no willingness to be innovative, (especially in government), and allow staff to embrace creativity in the world of social media.

Organizations are always looking for quick fixes but with social media “It’s not something you can just flip a switch on,” says Jason Falls, CEO of Social Media Explorer, a platform that focuses on information and educational products related to social media and digital marketing. “It takes time to cultivate those relationships.” Source

So get with the program, the new era of social media is having a major impact on what and how organizations communicate with key audiences — both external and internal. The world of one-way communication, of one source to many readers, viewers or listeners — is rapidly changing into a multi-facetted communications universe, where mass customization and increased relevancy are made possible.

To take advantage of the opportunities and deal with the challenges presented by this new universe, public sector and non-profit organizations need to employ a strategic approach to enhancing and opening up communication channels with target audiences through the use of contextually relevant social media tools and applications.

The Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM) have specifically tailored social media and digital marketing training for government and non-profit sectors . To check out our workshops and training go to our web site. Also you should subscribe Mike Kujawski’s blog /

About jimmintz

Managing Partner, CEPSM Jim Mintz is a veteran marketing professional with many years of experience as a practioner and academic. He is presently Managing Partner at CEPSM and Program Director of the “Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing” at Sprott School ... Specialty Areas: Social Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, Public Sector and Non Profit Marketing
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