Social Computing Plan
Social Computing: Component 4: Phase 3
Regardless of what company you are there is always a need for social networking and computing. The need may be an internal or external need and depending on if it is either internal or external; the company will need to formulate a social computing plan to best address the issues for what side of the company is being looked at. It is vital with any plan that a true vision or plan is alive and that there is a plan to reach that (Jim Dougherty. 2012). If there is no vision or plan then a site will be created and more than likely it will sit there dormant and be a waste of someone’s time.
For our Organization A, who is a national nonprofit food bank providing assistance to underprivileged families, there are three main goals that we wish to not only meet, but raise to a level beyond that. These goals are to create a better turn out to the events and therefore assistance provided, gather more partners or donators to help provide more, and to better establish training and connection between the branches. The issue for these goals is not reaching them as they are a greatly needed service; it is establishing a plan to help meet those goals. In order to meet and surpass the goals a plan or course of action must be developed for each of the different goals, it cannot be looked at as one task or venture. Now with that being said it is also important to remember that even those these need to be looked at largely as separate as well as the network being used, the goals can help each other succeed and reach their goal (Radian6. 2010).
The first goal of creating a better turn out is to realize that this type of communication will be an external communication and from that point to establish the network/s that will have the most influence or target market. As with many sites and companies in today’s world the best sites to help achieve this are Facebook and Twitter. Facebook alone had 1.35 million users in September 2014 alone (Facebook Newsroom). This large of an audience will help for the organizations message be sent out easily and be seen by many. Naturally the post itself will have to be tailored to best achieve the goal. This could include posting a calendar of events, pictures, how to instructions or videos, and directions to the events. One potential issue that may be overlooked by many is the number of accounts or profiles that we should have since we are both a national and local organization. To best meet our clients’ needs and prevent people from scrolling and reading through 300 plus potential posts from different agencies; we should have a team member over each region to better assist and provided needed information to the area.
The next goal is to increase the number or partners and donators for our organization and therefore the people in need. This type of communication is an external communication and we can use many of the same sites as we would trying to get more people to attend. The difference is that the content of the posts would need to change or individual messages would need to be sent out to the partners in some cases. On top of using Facebook and Twitter the organization could also use LinkedIn to help find potential partners or people willing to donate or volunteer. The best part about doing this via social networks is that it helps out all parties in the action. We will get additional support, the families will get better or more assistance, and the businesses will be seen as donating and get essentially free advertisement. Many businesses who donate are favored by their locals and will in return gain loyalty. The only issue for this course of action is that it may be difficult to sort out who has or hasn’t been contacted for assistance, but this can easily be avoided by having a team member over the task. This could be same member over the site itself as mentioned above or someone else whose task is only to monitor sent messages.
The last area that we have a goal to reach is our internal messaging and training program. As we are a national organization it can become very difficult to communicate at times efficiently and therefore hard to train our workers. By using internal networking tools such as Outlook with Microsoft Lync a company can not only quickly send a message to their works, but also to all of them at once. The company can use sites like YouTube to provide training videos or how to videos for employees or even volunteers. The organization could even create an internal blog that people can post issues or questions to receive help back from. The main aspect that will help this and the other goals be realized is by having a team established and policy written. This will keep anyone’s toes from being stepped on and allow a chain of command in case there ever is an issue.
While all these goals are separate, it is important to keep in mind that when one succeeds, they will all get closer to reaching their goals. Now that is something that also needs to be discussed and that is how to measure our performance. This task may seem daunting, but is not anything that will consume more than an additional hour of time per location per event. We can easily monitor the performance of the above goals by counting people and supplies. It is already part of our protocol to do inventory counts, so we will know if we are getting more product and therefore more donators or partners. We also have to keep track of the number of people who come in, so we can easily tell if our attendance is going up. On top of both of these simple methods we could also enlist a social media tracker to see how much more activity our posts are drumming up. This can be seen through sites such as Hootsuite, TweetReach, and Icerocket (Pam Dyer. 2013). As you can see we have many goals to obtain and will require good training and monitoring to pull off, but once these goals are achieved our organization will be bigger than ever and have a much greater impact on the communities and making our regions and their occupants’ lives better.
Facebook Newsroom. Company Info. 2014. Retrieved from http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/
Jim Dougherty. A Powerful B2B Social Media Case Study. 2012. Retrieved from http://leaderswest.com/2013/04/01/a-case-study-in-best-in-class-b2b-social-media/
Pam Dyer. 50 Top Tools for Social Media Monitoring, Analytics, and Management. 2013. Retrieved from http://www.pamorama.net/2013/05/12/50-top-tools-for-social-media-monitoring-social-media-analytics-social-media-management-2013/
Radian6. Social Media and the Big Picture. 2010. Retrieved from http://c9649669.r69.cf2.rackcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/CS_AmericanRedCross_Haiti.pdf