The new rules of community outreach – Introduction

loudspeakerWhether you a start-up, large corporation, or government, you cannot afford to ignore the benefits and risks of real-time social media. Social media can be used to generate new ideas, engage citizens, improve branding, and reduce business risk.

Several business leaders are learning the importance of social media the hard way. Recently there was a rumor that Starbucks will not send coffee to soldiers in Iraq because they do no support the war. The news spread like wild far with chain emails urging people to boycott Starbucks. The news was obviously not true and it took Starbucks time to be aware of these and inform the public about the truth.

And then there have been products like Three wolf moon t-shirt that enjoyed unexpected sales on Amazon because of one single funny comment from a user that had not even bought the t-shirt. The humor spread and the t-shirt ended up as the #1 sellers in Amazon’s apparel line selling 100 t-shirts in an hour, according to abc news.

Despite the hype social media is not well understood. CHICAGO MENTORS recommends the following simple approach for social media.

STEP 1: ANALYSIS
Understand what is Social Media and how it can have a positive and negative impact on you. This steps answers the questions “Do I need social media?” and “What do I need social media for?”. Call Chicago Mentors to schedule a discussion to answer these questions.

STEP 2: PLAN
Once you have determined that your organization needs social media the next step is to develop a social media strategy. This includes business case, budget, resources, roles, plan of action, rules, best practices, and internal standards. Chicago Mentors provides a fast turnaround time by leveraging a blue print social media strategy.

STEP 3: IMPLEMENT
Soon enough its time to implement your plan and enjoy the results. Start small and experiment with various things. Stay flexible with changes as your organization becomes familiar with social media and as technology evolves.

We appreciate your comments and questions on this post.

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