Most organizations or schools feel that jumping on the social media bandwagon is something that they should do because it is becoming the norm for others. If you think that Twitter is just about tweeting, you are missing a huge cultural shift that is happening.
Too many people use Twitter as a “one-way” communication. They simply use it to deliver messages with no engagement at all. This might work if you are a huge celebrity, otherwise you are spending time doing something that is really going to do nothing but take up your time. If you are just sending information out, with no interaction, you are becoming the new “spam”.
Communication is key with organizations, but the huge cultural shift is that people do not want to just hear, they also want to be heard. You might have a lot of followers on your account, but that does not mean people are engaged in what you are doing.
For example, @AirCanada used to be a horrible Twitter account. It was used to share deals and tell about how awesome they were. If anything, their presence and lack of true communication did more harm than good. People wonder why would organization be in a space that is about back-and-forth communication, but only talk, and not listen? Now, the account is doing an amazing job to connect with customers when they have concerns or problems. I would never use email with Air Canada as I know their Twitter account is much more effective and faster. They have to be, because the whole world can see their reaction (or lack thereof).
What is also important is heart. Creating an emotional connection through a social media account is an art form and the Edmonton Humane Society does this beautifully. It is not that hard to make people feel something when you are sharing puppies, but not everyone understands how to do it. They share amazing stuff on their Facebook page, and often connect with people sharing it. They have taken an organization and made it “human”.
To sum it up, if you want people to not just “follow” your school or business, you can’t just share. You need to listen and engage, while also connecting and tapping into the humanness of people.
It is not just about “tweeting”. There is a major shift that has happened in our world because of these different ways we can communicate. Are you really paying attention?
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