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  1. 1. It’s Not Just a Fad: How to Harness the Power of Social Media Omaha, NE April 27, 2015
  2. 2. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | i Authors Adriana M. Hemzacek, HDR | Chicago Public Involvement Manager Adriana Hemzacek is a Public Involvement Manager for the Public Involvement & Communications Business Class. Located out of the Chicago office, she has ten years of transportation engineering consulting experience. She has a civil engineering background which provides her the technical understanding of transportation planning, although her passion lies in the outreach and communications arena. She is currently serving as the International Association of Public Participation Social Media Manager, promoting the organization's missions, values, membership, training opportunities, and annual conference. Theresa McClure, HDR | Omaha Public Involvement Manager Theresa McClure is a Public Involvement Manager and Section Manager for the Public Involvement & Communications Business Class. Located out of the Omaha office, she leads the public involvement section while overseeing the development and implementation of outreach and participation programs. Theresa has been an integral part in the growth and development of the Public Involvement & Communications group at HDR. She leads the visionary development of communication plans, specializing in authentic strategies that engage a community from a grassroots and grass-tops approach. Melissa Rider, HDR | Omaha Senior Public Involvement Coordinator Melissa Rider is a Senior Public Involvement Coordinator for the Public Involvement & Communications Business Class. Within her five-year tenure with HDR, she has grown to be one of the social media gurus for the company. Melissa has managed dozens of social media sites, including content development, monitoring and reporting. On a daily basis, she is responsible for developing and implementing outreach materials, planning and organizing public meetings, and coordinating numerous high-level projects.
  3. 3. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media ii | April 27, 2015 Abstract It’s Not Just a Fad: How to Harness the Power of Social Media We preach it, but what do we mean by it? You can create a Facebook or Twitter presence, but are you really visible? Do your stakeholders and public eyes really see you? This workshop will teach the basics of social media 101 as well as how to be an influencer, how to be visible and stay visible, how to post without actually manually posting, how to engage and keep followers interested, and how to gain traction with your project and in the project’s industry. The workshop will conclude by showcasing Public Involvement & Communications’ Business Class Best Practices for developing a social media strategy.
  4. 4. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 1 Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................................... 2 I. Introduction.......................................................................................................................................... 2 II. Objectives............................................................................................................................................ 2 III. Why Social Media................................................................................................................................ 2 There Is an Audience ................................................................................................................ 3 Understand The Audience’s Agenda ........................................................................................ 3 It Is About Perception................................................................................................................ 3 It Is About Relationships............................................................................................................ 4 IV. Social Media 101................................................................................................................................. 4 Facebook............................................................................................................................................. 4 What is Facebook?.................................................................................................................... 4 Facebook Advertising................................................................................................................ 5 Twitter.................................................................................................................................................. 5 What is Twitter?......................................................................................................................... 5 What is a Hashtag?................................................................................................................... 6 Twitter Advertising..................................................................................................................... 6 Instagram ............................................................................................................................................ 6 What is Instagram? ................................................................................................................... 6 YouTube.............................................................................................................................................. 7 What is YouTube?..................................................................................................................... 7 V. Why Strategize .................................................................................................................................... 7 The Biggest Advocates Have the Fewest Followers................................................................. 7 Written Content Trumps Visuals ............................................................................................... 8 Remember Response Time ...................................................................................................... 9 Late Night is the Best Time for Retweets.................................................................................. 9 Fridays are Facebook’s Best Day for Engagement .................................................................. 9 Photos Drive Engagement on Facebook Pages ..................................................................... 10 Aim for 28, 118, or 385 Interactions per Post.......................................................................... 10 VI. Steps to a Social Media Presence .................................................................................................... 11 Step 1 | ASK - Social Media Determination ...................................................................................... 11 Step 2 | DEVELOP - Social Media Strategy ..................................................................................... 11 Step 3 | SET UP - Social Media Setup.............................................................................................. 11 Step 4 | DRIVE - Social Media Content ............................................................................................ 13 Step 5 | ENGAGE - Social Media Engagement................................................................................ 13 Step 6 | TRACK - Social Media Performance Tracking .................................................................... 14 Step 7 | MANAGE - Archiving Activities............................................................................................ 14 VII. Conclusion............................................................................................................................................ 15
  5. 5. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 2 I. Introduction Until recently, communication with each stakeholder has occurred primarily in traditional fashion— via direct mail, some email, print media, television, radio, press releases, and so on. This communication is primarily one-way. Social media is two-way communication. The rise of social media has opened new opportunities for communication in all walks of stakeholders. Social media can take many different forms, including internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube are all examples of social media platforms. People love social media for a variety of reasons – some make new connections, find new business, reach out to new and old friends/family, others use status updates and photos to seem interesting, while the rest use it to get information or updates on a topic. Social media isn’t a phase anymore. It is time to get involved. With more than 75 percent of businesses utilizing social media1 , people are finally realizing that social media is not just a phase. Social media is a highly valuable resource for reaching out and developing relationships. “If you are not on a social media networking site, you are not on the Internet” - IAB Platform Status Report, 2008 II. Objectives The objective of this Paper is to provide an with insight into social media, learn how social media is taking over, how social media will work for projects, and how to develop a social media strategy and presence. Most importantly, learn how to make it an easy adventure – especially if it is a new road on a new journey. III. Why Social Media Social Media: Ignore it and the community’s biggest stakeholders may ignore the project. Social media has the potential to greatly enhance project communication, especially in regards to information dissemination and two-way communication. The potential opportunities for stakeholders to distribute key messaging, project information, and public events are significant. It provides the opportunity to help build project champions. Leverage the power of social media. It is imperative to reach the audience that on social media, because stakeholders are there. They have a voice. They are watching a project’s every move. They are listening. Make the project look good, make good moves – positive moves – moves that stakeholders will never forget. Here are some statistics that might just blow your mind: 1 Biz City Area, This is What You Need To Know About Social Media, http://bizcityarea.com/?p=1817, December 2014. Did You Know As of January 2014, 74% of online adults use social networking sites, Pew Research Center.
  6. 6. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 3 Table 1. Social Media Blow-Your-Mind Statistics Statistic Source Date 2 Billion Active Social Media Accounts Social Media Today 2015 757,000,000 Average Number of Daily Users Digital Marketing Ramblings 2015 74% of Adults Online Are Using Social Media Pew Research Center 2014 26% of the World’s Population is Active in Social Media We are Social 2014 55-64 Fastest Growing Age Range Facebook 2014 85% of Tweets Are From a Mobile Device Twitter 2014 100 Million Users Signed Up In the Past 8 Months Quartz, 2014 500 Million Tweets Sent Per Day Internet Live Stats 2013 257 Average Minutes Per Month Spent on Instagram All Things D 2012 There Is an Audience One can wonder - who is a project’s audience on social media? We admit – we don’t always know. Posting to a social network site is like speaking to an audience from behind a curtain. We create a mental model of our imagined audience and then use that model to guide content to the site. The audience remains invisible to the user. While the invitation list is known, the final attendance is not. Feedback such as comments, retweets, favorites, and likes are the only glimpse we get of our audience. That audience varies from day to day: friends and followers may not log in to the site, may not see the content, or may not reply. The question becomes - Who is really listening? We have scarce information about who actually sees content, making the audience seem invisible and difficult to estimate. This is one of the very important reasons to track followers, identify who they are and what their agenda is, understand their posting frequency, notice their engagement activity, and review their follower base. The HDR Public Involvement & Communications Business Class’s social media experts use resources like Twitter analytics, Facebook Insights, and Sendible (management tool) to do just this! Understand The Audience’s Agenda Social media has made communication dynamic and vibrant – yet it has also added new obstacles. Each follower might be a key stakeholder. That key stakeholder might be one of the loudest voices who belongs to a project opposition group. The project opposition groups are now dictating what they want to see in project improvements, government spending, and agency long range planning. If a project is not providing content that opposition groups want to hear, see, and learn, then they will simply take the message another route and talk in a negative manner about the project. The HDR Public Involvement & Communication Business Class’s social media experts’ Best Practice is to be clear and concise – state the facts – and keep stating them. It is never a problem to remind followers the project purpose, need and goals. It Is About Perception Project opposition groups are watching a project’s every move – So why not watch theirs? Walk a mile in an opposition group’s shoes and understand what they like to do and what values are important to them. Listening to what they are saying about a project will help craft the right
  7. 7. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 4 message and avoid social media gossip and the dreaded project derailment. The HDR Public Involvement & Communication Business Class’s social media experts’ Best Practice is to monitor the project opposition groups social media presence as much or even greater than the loudest supportive voice or biggest proponent. Keep those unfortunate enemies close! It Is About Relationships It is important to foster relationships and generate participation with existing and potential followers. Social media is all about active participation; the more people posting discussions on a Facebook Page, following on Twitter, or checking out project photos on Instagram, the better. The HDR Public Involvement & Communication Business Class’s social media experts’ Best Practice is to make sure a project’s social media presence is a connected one, with many relationships prior to distributing content. We do the stakeholder research – we find the key stakeholders on social media – and we connect. IV. Social Media 101 Now that we have talked about why social media is important and necessary, let’s talk about the basics of social networking and some of the major platforms that can enhance a project. Facebook What is Facebook? Facebook is a social networking website that allows for people to connect and share online. As the most popular social site in the world, with 1.3 billion users2 , Facebook provides a platform for creating deep connections and engaging conversations with the public. Originally created by Mark Zuckerberg for Harvard University students, Facebook launched in 2004. By 2006, anyone aged 13 and older could create an account. With 890 million average daily users3 , Facebook is simply too big to ignore. Here are some other reasons why Facebook is vital to any social media strategy:  71% of online adults use Facebook4 .  745 million daily active users log-in to their Facebook page from their mobile device5 .  The fastest growing age range on Facebook is 55-64. This is the same demographic that typically participates in an in-person public meeting6 . 2 Statista, Leading Social Networks Worldwide, http://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social- networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/, March 2015 3 Facebook, Newsroom Stats, http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/. 4 Pew Research Center, Social Networking Fact Sheet, http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social- networking-fact-sheet/. 5 Market Realist, For Facebook, mobile use is an important revenue driver, http://marketrealist.com/2015/02/mobile-devices-important-revenue-driver-facebook/, February 2015. 6 Buffer, buffersocial, 10 Surprising Social Media Statistics That Will Make You Rethink Your Social Media Strategy, https://blog.bufferapp.com/10-surprising-social-media-statistics-that-will-make-you-rethink- your-strategy, July 2013.
  8. 8. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 5  The average time a user spends on Facebook is 20 minutes, so content must be engaging, eye-catching and interesting7 .  Facebook is ramping up their platform as a video sharing tool. 75% more videos are being posted now than in 20138 .  Five new profiles are created every second9 . This means a potential audience is growing exponentially and it is essential to capitalize on it!  53% 5of Facebook users are female and 47% are male10 . Facebook Advertising Social media is changing the way in which we advertise for our projects. Traditionally, we utilize media such as print, radio and TV advertising to gain interest in our projects and attendance at our meetings. Now, with so much of the population networking online, social media advertising has become a key component to any public involvement strategy. Digital advertising is a great way to promote a project and engage with fans on a small budget. On Facebook, projects can create targeted ads for different audiences, create a budget, and analyze results in real-time. Facebook ads can be set up to target people based on their location, age and interests so that a project budget is being spent on those most likely to interact and engage with a project. All Facebook ads have access to real-time analytics to help determine the success of the project-specific digital marketing. Twitter What is Twitter? Now we move on to Twitter (www.twitter.com), a social media platform that burst on the scene in 2006. While on the surface, Twitter seems to pale in comparison to Facebook, with only 288 million active users11 . But Twitter has been on the rise, gaining almost 28% new users from 2013 to 201412 , while Facebook users remained nearly the same during that time period. Why is Twitter so popular? It’s interesting format and real-time information is a draw for many. Twitter is best used for brief, quick chats with followers, as content has a limitation of 140 characters or less. This allows for a first-stage contact between a project and its followers. It can also help to establish project supporters and champions. 7 Zephoria, The Top 20 Valuable Facebook Statistics – Updated February 2015, https://zephoria.com/social-media/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/, February 2015. 8 Tubefilter, Facebook Users Uploaded 75% More Videos Last Year Than In 2013, http://www.tubefilter.com/2015/01/08/facebook-75-percent-more-video-uploads/, January 2015. 9 Zephoria, The Top 20 Valuable Facebook Statistics, https://zephoria.com/social-media/top-15-valuable- facebook-statistics/, February 2015. 10 Zephoria, The Top 20 Valuable Facebook Statistics, https://zephoria.com/social-media/top-15-valuable- facebook-statistics/, February 2015. 11 Twitter, About Twitter, Company, https://about.twitter.com/company. 12 Social Media Examiner, Twitter Experiencing Massive Growth: New Research, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-experiencing-massive-growth-new-research/, February 2015.
  9. 9. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 6 Food for thought - key Twitter statistics:  500 million tweets (posts) are sent per day13 and 80% of tweets are composed by a mobile device14 .  The largest age demographic using Twitter is Millennials. 37% of users are age 18-2915 .  Photos win the most engagement, but tweets with hashtags get more engagement than tweets without hashtags16 . What is a Hashtag? An interesting facet of Twitter is the use of a hashtag. A hashtag is a word or unspaced phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) used to identify messages on a specific topic in social networking. Now used regularly by millions of social media users, hashtags help to discuss specific events, relevant issues and key topics. Hashtags are easily searchable and allow for users to participate in the conversation. While hashtags began on Twitter, they are now used on most social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram. Hashtags enhance content and engage followers to join in the discussion. Twitter Advertising As with Facebook, Twitter offers various options for digital advertising, including setting up campaigns to promote a project website and obtain new followers. Twitter advertising allows for the targeting of ads to specific geographical areas, gender and language, as well as keywords and interests. A project budget can be set based on how much to spend per day or the overall campaign budget, and Twitter Analytics tracks real-time advertising stats. Instagram What is Instagram? Since its debut in 2010, Instagram has rapidly gained popularity in the social media world, particularly among Millennials, aged 18-3417 . As an online mobile photo and video sharing, and photo editing tool, Instagram focuses on the social aspect of sharing interesting and captivating visual content. Uniquely, Instagram is linked to Facebook and Twitter and posts can be shared to other social networking sites with the click of a button. Instagram has become a fun new way to share content without saying a word. 13 Internetlivestats.com, Twitter Usage Statistics, http://www.internetlivestats.com/twitter-statistics/#trend. 14 PhoneArena.com, 80% of Twitter use comes from mobile devices; key metric of Twitter use declines 7% in Q3, http://www.phonearena.com/news/80-of-Twitter-use-comes-from-mobile-devices-key-metric- of-Twitter-use-declines-7-in-Q3_id62213, October 2014. 15 Social Media Examiner, Twitter Experiencing Massive Growth: New Research, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-experiencing-massive-growth-new-research/, February 2015. 16 Social Media Examiner, Twitter Experiencing Massive Growth: New Research, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-experiencing-massive-growth-new-research/, February 2015. 17 Startup88.com, 4 tips for Marketing to Millennials, http://startup88.com/marketingsales/2014/11/26/4- tips-digital-marketing-millennials/12241, November 2014.
  10. 10. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 7  300 million monthly users18 .  30 billion photos have been shared19 .  Instagram is growing: 100 million users have signed up in the past nine months20 .  Followers spend a lot of time on Instagram; the average user spends 21 minutes per day on the site21 . YouTube What is YouTube? Launching in 2005, YouTube quickly became the number one site for people to share, discover, rate and watch unique and original videos. The social networking platform also encourages discussion and engagement, with the intent to spread the word about a project or issue. YouTube offers another opportunity to increase both project exposure and dialogue with interested followers.  More than1 billion users22  300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute23 .  A project needs to be on YouTube: The social media site reaches more adults, aged 18-34, than any single cable TV network24 . V. Why Strategize The Biggest Advocates Have the Fewest Followers When looking at a project’s social media monitoring strategy, note that the project mentions on social will likely not come from social’s biggest players. Very few, in fact, will. Social monitoring website Mention analyzed more than 1 billion social mentions from the past two years, and in their analysis25 they found that 91% of mentions come from people with fewer than 500 followers. 18 Expandedramblings.com, By The Numbers: 120+ Interesting Instagram Statistics, http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/, April 2015. 19 Instagram, Press, https://instagram.com/press/. 20 Slate, No, Instagram Is Not Bigger Than Twitter, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/12/10/instagram_hits_300_million_users_bigger_than_twi tter_not_really.html, December 2014. 21 Business Insider, People Are Now Spending A Mind-Boggling 21 Minutes Per Day On Instagram, http://www.businessinsider.com/people-spend-21-minutes-per-day-on-instagram-2014-10, October 2014. 22 YouTube, Press, https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/ 23 YouTube., Press, https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/ 24 AdWeek, YouTube Reaches More U.S. Adults Than Cable Networks, http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/youtube-statistics-advertisers/130768, June 2013. 25 Mention, The When, Where, Who and How of Communicating Online to Get More Mentions, https://mention.com/uploads/whitepaper.pdf.
  11. 11. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 8 Strategy | Putting this stat another way, fewer than 1 out of every 10 mention will come from a power user. Prioritize these power users. Remember it is important to give a quick and delightful response to those with few followers—the vast majority of those talking about the project. Figure 1. Mentions by Follower Count Written Content Trumps Visuals Social Media Examiner’s annual survey26 found out that in a social world full of visuals, interestingly enough, written content resonates most with a project audience. More than half of survey respondents (58%) claim written content is their most important form of social content. Visual content came in second (19%). Figure 2. Preferred Content Type Strategy | Original written content can be a great opportunity for thought leadership, authority, and project awareness. When creating new content to share, keep in mind the power of storytelling. 26 Social Media Examiner, 7 Social Media Trends for Marketers: New Research, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-trends/, June 2014. 58% 19% 12% 10% 2% Preferred Content Original written content Original visual assets (infographics) Original videos Curation of other people's content Original audio content 91% 9% Mentions by Follower Count <500 Followers Power Users
  12. 12. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 9 Remember Response Time Interested parties expect a lot on Twitter, as recent research by Lithium Technologies confirms27 . The real-time nature of Twitter has led to incredible expectations. According to Lithium, 53% of users who tweet expect a response within the hour. The percentage increases to 72% for those with a complaint. Figure 3. Response Time Strategy | Set the expectation in the beginning. Set it before a project launches on social media. Include mention of response time in the Social Media Strategy. Typically, clients accept anywhere from 4 to 24 hours for response time. At the very least, consider the timeliness of response to Twitter followers: Either grab a monitoring service to manage or get really good at checking the Twitter email alerts. Late Night is the Best Time for Retweets TrackMaven analyzed more than 1.7 million tweets to come up with data behind the best practices for earning a retweet. The best time of day to tweet for a retweet? After-hours, between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. EST28 . Strategy | Based on our experience with projects to date, we know that it depends on the project’s study area and demographic. Start with the basic schedule: morning commute post (7:00 a.m.), lunch post (11:30 a.m.), lunch coma post (2:00 p.m.), evening commute (5:00 p.m.), and the bedtime snacker (8:30 p.m.). After two weeks of content, review the analytics report to find out the best times for engagement. Modify the times based on the project’s audience. Review a second time, and modify, as needed. Fridays are Facebook’s Best Day for Engagement The Social Intelligence Report29 analyzed more than 225 billion Facebook posts from the past two years to come up with some data backed recommendations for Facebook administrators. 27 Buffer, BufferSocial, 10 Surprising and Important Social Media Stats You Need To Know, https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-stats-you-need-to-know, June 2014. 28 TrackMaven, The Retweet Report, http://trackmaven.com/resources/retweet-report/, December 2013. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% Immediately 5-30 mins 30-60 mins 1-2 hours 2-5 hours 5-12 hours 12-24 hours 1 day or longer 14% 19% 20% 12% 4% 4% 12% 14% Response Time Response Time
  13. 13. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 10 Their research on the best day to post pointed to a clear winner: Fridays, which receive more comments, likes, and shares than any other day of the week. Strategy | Be sure that the posting schedule includes a Friday post. Even consider saving the best content for the end of the week. Photos Drive Engagement on Facebook Pages It’s likely that a stat about the power of visual content is not surprising, but how about a stat of this magnitude? According to Social Bakers30 , 87% of a Facebook page’s interactions happen on photo posts. Strategy | The obvious takeaway here is to post more photos—and not just any photos. Choose photos that support the post or tell a story on their own. Certainly, Facebook pages are already embracing photos as posts: 75% of page updates are photos. Aim for 28, 118, or 385 Interactions per Post As Facebook page reach has declined, we are left wondering what constitutes good engagement these days. Earlier this year, Social Bakers31 analyzed more than 40,000 pages to see exactly where the average engagement lies for pages of all sizes. Pages with 1 to 9,999 fans: 28 interactions per post 10,000 to 99,999 fans: 118 interactions per post 100,000 to 499,999 fans: 385 interactions per post Interactions represent the total of comments, shares, and likes. In addition to the benchmark data above, Social Bakers also found that interactions on a particular post are directly correlated to a post’s reach. The more engagement a post gets, the more people will see it. Strategy | Measure the Facebook Page’s success against the benchmarks in Table 2. As time goes on, reach and interactions may continue falling, so these targets could be great to aim form but not the end of the world if missed. Table 2. Average Post Interactions By Page Size Page Size (Number of Page Fans) Average Post Interactions 1-9,999 28 10,000 – 99,999 118 100,000 – 499,999 385 29 Buffer, BufferSocial, 10 Surprising and Important Social Media Stats You Need To Know, https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-stats-you-need-to-know, June 2014. 30 Social Bakers, Photos Are Still King on Facebook, http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/2149-photos-are- still-king-on-facebook, April 2014. 31 Fast Company, 10 Significant Things You Likely Didn’t Know About Social Media But Should, http://www.fastcompany.com/3032553/work-smart/10-significant-things-you-likely-didnt-know-about- social-media-but-should, July 2014.
  14. 14. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 11 VI. Steps to a Social Media Presence Step 1 | ASK - Social Media Determination Take a step back and breathe. Is social media right for the project? This social media hype might sound exciting, but it might not be the right fit. Start here - Determine if social media is right for the project. Step 2 | DEVELOP - Social Media Strategy Clearly, developing a social media strategy is critical. Understanding what the project wishes to accomplish in general — and how social media will further that mission — is the starting point, followed immediately by the development of a comprehensive social media policy. A successful social media strategy should seek to accomplish three primary things: communicate project information, provide a way for the public to share their input, and understand and incorporate, where feasible, feedback from the public. Social media is about connecting with others. Facebook and Twitter are unquestionably the top two social media networks that promote peer-to-peer interaction. Peer-to-peer sharing allows for constant communication, promotion, and engagement of project stakeholders, even when the project team is not present or facilitating dialogue. Considerations Before using social media, determine how content will be created and maintained. Consider questions like the ones below to determine the approach to creating and maintaining content.  Who is the audience? Many agencies have multiple divisions that serve a variety of customers. Does the agency want to focus on a specific segment, or take a broader approach that communicates with diverse stakeholders?  How does the project handle social media functions during off hours? Emergencies and other important social media conversations may occur after business hours, so it is important to work out processes in advance.  How does the project reuse content across channels? Determine whether and how content will need to be tailored for each social media tool. Not all social media platforms are created equal. There may be a need to format content differently to keep it relevant across platforms and meet the various audiences’ expectations. Step 3 | SET UP - Social Media Setup Site setup should depend on whether social media sites are client-managed or HDR-managed. No matter the situation, an experienced social media manager within Public Involvement or trained through Public Involvement should create the site according to project/client branding standards. Social Media Policy A formal policy and procedures document was developed, approved by HDR Corporate, and distributed by George Little, President and CEO of HDR in April 2015. The policy can be found on the HDR Intranet: http://enterprise/sites/policiesprocedures/Documents/Media%20Relations_Social_Media_Policy _and_Procedures.pdf
  15. 15. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 12 A few Must Knows are listed below. Figure 4. Must Know Social Media Look Social media sites should adhere to project and/or client messaging and branding standards. This includes, but is not limited to: project/company logos and graphics, project/company color palette, project/company taglines, etc. Social Media Tone For social media posts and responses, the project team should adhere to the following guidelines for tone and social media interaction:  Transparency: Be up-front and honest, using clear, non-technical language.  Sourcing: If possible, include links or direct followers to primary information sources.  Curiosity: The messaging and efforts used to engage stakeholders via social media should attempt to trigger their curiosity about the plan. Social media platforms should help to incite ‘buzz’ regarding an issue, idea, or event that will drive stakeholders to the social media sites and the project website to view details.  Engagement: Commenters should be encouraged to interact with the project team via social media on a regular basis to learn about upcoming events, public review periods and related news content.  Positivity: Every post should maintain a positive tone toward commenters and stakeholders even in the face of negativity. Every attempt should be made to redirect the negativity to a more positive tone.  Feedback: Messaging used on social media pages should solicit useful and relevant feedback. Commenters that are interested in expressing frustration or criticizing the project or project team should be encouraged to move their comments offline using other identified methods of engagement including private/direct message, phone call, letter, or email. MUST KNOW "DOs" HDR has a corporate social media policy. A personal profile name/handle should not include "HDR". Do feel free to list yourself as an HDR employee on a personal profile Do share the information HDR posts on the corporate sites. MUST KNOW "DON'Ts" Don’t use official corporate company trademarks or reproduce any company material on a personal or project-related site. Don’t create online accounts/profiles for HDR.
  16. 16. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 13  Timeline: Sites should be monitored daily for activity and conversations. For general comments, a one-three hour response time is preferred. In limited circumstances, depending on the nature of the comment, the most appropriate response may be no response. Step 4 | DRIVE - Social Media Content To keep the public and stakeholders interested and informed, creating and publishing engaging content is vital. In addition to project-related content, a consistent variety of supplemental content keeps sites fresh and exciting to followers and helps to establish an online presence. Suggestions for content include:  Content from appropriate or project-related websites, news outlets, and blogs  Relevant posts from stakeholder organizations or advocacy groups  Relevant project tidbits and statistics  Promotion of area events and/or initiatives  Publishing of photos or infographics  Project-related or supplemental videos  Public surveys or polls The project team’s Social Media Manager should be responsible for posting a minimum of two-three posts a week on each social media platform. On a maximum level, our social media experts have seen project’s posting two-three posts a day. More frequent posts should be made as project activity increases (at key project milestones and in advance of events). Then, review the 12-Step Social Media Checklist (see right figure). After reviewing the checklist, post the content! Considerations  How frequently does the audience need to be reached to communicate the project’s message? Consider seasonal activity, program schedules, initiatives, outreach campaigns, legislative calendar, etc.  Is there an “expiration date” for the message? If so, make a plan to remove or replace it. Proactively manage date-sensitive content. Step 5 | ENGAGE - Social Media Engagement Connect with influential groups, opposition groups, relevant agencies and non-governmental organizations. Enter into relevant, online conversations in the community to increase awareness and present the project as active and forward-thinking. Specifically, the project team’s Social Social Media Checklist 1. Is the message educational or entertaining? 2. Is the voice correct? 3. Is it too long? 4. Is the URL correct? 5. Should I target a specific audience with this message? 6. Did I use the right keywords and hashtags to maximize exposure? 7. How many times have I already posted something today? 8. Did I spell check? 9. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this? 10. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out? 11. Did I make the most of visual content—images, video, slides? 12. Did I make the most of my update text—headline formulas, polls, quizzes?
  17. 17. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 14 Media Manager should look for opportunities to connect the project purpose, need, and goals to social media users aligned with influential and opposition groups. Considerations Does the project expect a high level of engagement from its audience? Be prepared with responses and time to participate in the conversation. Step 6 | TRACK - Social Media Performance Tracking Adequately tracking and measuring a project’s social media performance is an important facet of the project’s social media strategy. Tracking performance will allow for adjustments needed to better reach and accommodate project stakeholders.  Indicators and metrics can include:  Reach/Impressions o Reach (Facebook): Number of people who were served any activity from the Page, including posts, posts by other people, page like ads, mentions and check-ins. o Impressions (Twitter): Number of times users saw the tweets.  Page Likes/Followers o Page Likes (Facebook): Number of people who like the page. o Followers (Twitter): Number of people following the feed.  Shares/Retweets/Mentions/Favorites  Comments  Klout Score: Number between 1 & 100 that represents the influence. The more influential, the higher the score. The average Klout Score is 40.  User Demographics: Gender, Age Range, Location Facebook and Twitter offer their own insights/analytics. Various external sites are also available to measure and track social media performance, such as Sendible, Sprout Social and HootSuite. These sites offer engaging with followers, measuring results, and monitoring a project’s reputation across multiple social media channels all at once. Most of the analytics sites require a management monthly fee, so include the costs in the scope and fee development portion of the project. Step 7 | MANAGE - Archiving Activities There are several strategies available once the project reaches the close-out phase. One strategy is archiving and deleting the project social media profiles entirely; this strategy allows for complete shut-down of all user activity but provides no opportunity for reboot and does not secure user name or “handle” for future use. Another strategy includes the transfer of all social media profiles to the client, thus keeping the profile active but no longer retaining ownership or management. Facebook also allows the option of deactivating an account, with the option of reactivating at a later date; at this time, a deactivation option does not exist on Twitter.
  18. 18. It’s Not Just A Fad: How To Harness The Power of Social Media April 27, 2015 | 15 VII. Conclusion The foundation for effective communication in today’s multi-media and social media environment is situating information within the context of people’s lives. We enjoy access to an enormous amount of information, furthering the need to filter, aggregate and make sense of it all. Implementing social media on a project takes advantage of this hyper-connected society and has become a highly successful and widely used tool in a variety of public involvement campaigns. As a complement to traditional outreach social media provides similar and often times better and more cost effective opportunities to engage with the intended audience. However, it is clear that participating in social media means engaging in the conversation, providing rich content that is meaningful to an audience, and measuring and adapting the strategy to get the most return on investment.

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