Different Type of Organizations, Different Social Media Strategies

Nowadays, social media has become a significant aspect of the success for all organizations, which usually fall into 3 types: business, non-profit and government. As their organizational objectives are different, their social media strategies vary from each other. However, one thing in common is that, the social media objectives need to be aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives.

After aligning the social media objectives with organizational objectives, the development of a social media strategy usually consists of the components indicated in the following graphic: listening to influences, content design, engagement with community and evaluation of approaches. With the graphic, we can have an easy understanding on the substantive differences between the social media strategies used for business, non-profit and government.

Image

Listening to influences:

Businesses have to listen to what the customer say about their products or services in order to make the sales more profitable and satisfying. Non-profit organizations rely a lot on what the donors think about their causes. While government need to pay attention to constituents’ sentiments towards the policies and campaigns.

Content design:

Customers expect to find on a business’ social web the information on products, and ways of solving problems around products. So business should be ready to shoot any problem or inquiry there. For non-profit, social web content is more about how is the cause going on and what impact the cause has made. Government tend to bring up opinions and policies in a more social and personal way on its web presence.

Community engagement:

Social media changed the business approach of one-way influence into two-way conversations. Customers are never so connected with product and service providers like they are now. Non-profit make the operation of a cause more transparent to donors and volunteers via social media. Promoting a cause or appreciating donors are never done so naturally. Government, though utilizing social media with great cautions, is engaging target proponents faster and broader today.

Evaluation:

Is the social media strategy successful or not? When asking such a question, make sure you have your social media objectives in mind. All social media approaches are supposed to accelerate the achievement of social media objectives. For business, it could be avenue, brand awareness or customer satisfaction; for non-profit it means more donations or more support from supporters; for government it could be larger coverage in a constituent community or a win in the election.

As seen from the graphic, different type of organizations have different social media strategies, based on which different social media objectives and approaches are developed, and different type of content is optimized. Various approaches of engagement also lead to different results.

Since existing social media platforms carry multiple features, organizations from 3 sectors may choose the most suitable platforms according to their unique needs and resources. For example, Google plus and Facebook may be useful social webs for organizations with abundant photo, video, article and text. Pinterest is a good choice for those who regard qualified images as their unique content and have more female audience. In one word, through understanding the differences between social media strategies used by different organizations, one can achieve the organizational objectives with the social media efforts.

Sources:

SMD102 Week4 Course Documents – Strategy development process

Social Media Strategy Workbook: The 12-Step Guide to Creating Your Social Media Strategy

Moving from Stakeholder to Weaver: Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits

Social Media Strategy for Government Organizations

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