Social media needs no introduction. At this point we know the basics, but this ever-changing, lightning-pace field is no one-trick pony. My advice: take the “guru,” “maiden,” and “specialist” tips into consideration, but find what works for your brand. There are endless tips and tricks out there, but the foundation of solid social media management boils down to effective communication and organization.
I remember interviewing for this position one year ago, and while I had no idea what to expect, I was confident in my social networking skills. I described myself as a “connector, networker and engager,” alert and deliberate in linking those with questions, those with answers, and those with shared interests.
These are just a few of USGBC Studio’s general tips for making your social media platforms active spaces of brand-building conversation.
Some days, this job requires me to do a lot more listening than talking. I’m often asking myself the question, “What is trending?” We like to function on a 60%:40% Rule: roughly 60% of our content is strategically planned and often created by our marketing team; then, we leave 40% open so that we can incorporate LEED into part of a larger, timely, more relevant conversation. These topics may be related to a story on environmental activism; a major legislative announcement, or even a press release/media announcement by a partner organization. Planned content includes campaigns, blogs and pre-conceived goals/initiatives.
Any international expert will tell you that technology—and now social media—have expanded globalism in ways we never imagined. It’s important to think about content creation and promotion on a global scale. This includes something as simple as language transcriptions and cultural sensitivities, to time zone considerations when posting. As the LEED market continues to grow worldwide, it is important for me to tune in to how green building is being discussed and what people are saying about it—the praise and the criticism.
Be a connector (2D &3D).
Whether I’m grabbing my morning coffee from the kitchen or live-tweeting a major event, I’m always trying to engage with my peers. Sometimes that may be my coworkers or colleagues, chapter members and volunteers, even untapped audiences who know nothing about LEED or the industrial sustainability movement. Social media has a ripple effect, depending upon who is amplifying your message.
For example, let’s say there is a LEED certification ceremony tomorrow afternoon in the Atlanta region. I want to be sure I’m tweeting at and tagging all those who would be interested in covering or being part of that particular event. Ideally, I don’t even have to do major research prior to learning this information—I know exactly which reporters, local organizations, and legislative representatives are active on social media and guaranteed to spread that announcement further.
Perhaps our COO, Mahesh Ramanujam, travels to India for the launch of a particular green energy initiative. I know well before he even boards the plane:
- Which Twitter handles I want to Direct Message, encouraging attendance.
- Any handles of keynote speakers, or leaders, in so that I can tweet at them during the launch (in the hopes of a retweet)!
- Whom I may want to congratulate or acknowledge for their efforts in hosting us (this includes hotels and conference spaces—especially if they are LEED-certified)!
It’s about being aware of the connections that should be made, and setting up a strategy to make those relationships happen. Sometimes this happens quite randomly, in passing. Other times, it requires a lot more creativity (and charm).
I am the voice of my organization on social media: that’s huge! Of course I maintain the utmost professionalism, but I don’t pretend to be a robot, and it’s not in my best interest to act like one. I give my organization a personality and a voice that has to connect audiences across industries, nations and political affiliations. There are many ways I try to engage with individuals on light-hearted matters still relevant to our mission. I can do this through creative language; sometimes I make LEED puns (never gets old); sometimes I draw on pop culture references; regardless, there is definitely a little bit of me in every post! Just the right amount of wit doesn’t hurt, either.
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