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Planning a digital engagement strategy

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A series of steps to walk through when planning an engagement strategy which uses social media.

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Planning a digital engagement strategy

  1. 1. Who? • Who are they? What do you know about them? Be as specific as possible • How can you learn more about them? Direct engagement and ambient engagement • What can you learn from them? What sort of relationship would this necessitate? • What do you want them to do after reading/listening/discussing your material? • Who are key stakeholders or gatekeepers? How can you connect with them? 1
  2. 2. How? • What platforms do they use on social media? How do they communicate with them? Are these platforms suitable for connecting in a research capacity? • Avoiding the myths of social media: it isn’t the general public, not everyone sees everything & the simple fact of something being visible doesn’t mean it’s impactful. Consider platform demographics, geographical and occupational factors shaping time of use. • How can ‘online’ connections and ‘offline’ connections supplement each other? Ambient intimacy can play a role here in building connections but specific dynamic likely to be extremely project dependent. 2
  3. 3. Why? • We often overestimate the intrinsic interest of our research: even if it obviously relates to them, it does not necessarily mean they will be interested. • People are busy, social media users are distracted. How will you catch their attention? How will you hold their attention? How will you build a connection? • Can you help them better understand something of concern through the application of expert knowledge? • Can you work with them to collectively solve a shared problem? • Would participating in your project be something that matters to them? • Would participating in your project be useful to them? 3
  4. 4. What? • How much time a week do you have to spend on social media? Solutions e.g. using scheduling software (Buffer, Hoot suite) to cope with time constraints. • What material do you have that can be repurposed as online content? What activities can easily be used to create content? • How much familiarity do you have with social media? How much ability to identify relevant platforms for specific purposes? Watch, learn, explore, experiment • What access do you have to established online platforms that can help you achieve impact? E.g. institutional social media presence, established blogs, online magazines. • How much of an existing digital footprint do you have? How are you seen and who can you reach? Being careful with academic authority. 4
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