Effective Outreach Strategies for your Community
With social media becoming one of the main forms of marketing for many organizations, effective community outreach strategies are incredibly important. A good outreach plan or strategy will be incredibly effective in lead and demand generation and will complement a good content marketing base—all while building engagement with the people around you. They will help you build community, while also helping to create real relationships through community outreach strategies that will help you achieve your goal in a realistic way—no matter what the target is.
As well, they’ll take the great content you’re creating – like high-quality blog posts – and help them find both and voice and the right target audience. In this blog post, we break down four steps to creating basic but effective community outreach strategies for your community:
Create a Team
Depending on the size of your community or organization and its presence on social media platforms, you may need multiple people to have the outreach plan as part of their regular work task list. Select members of your team who have a great awareness of how social media works. However, simply having experience using social media platforms for personal use doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be cut out for the marketing, analytical and other aspects required.
An effectively outreach program will also have a keen sense of experiential community outreach, as community events, courses and workshops are a great way to build your relationship with outside groups and the residents around you. A key part of community outreach will be tying these real world actions to your online efforts, in order to build an effective overall approach. Adjust your organization team's targets, as you move forward, seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Set a Voice
A voice, in this context, refers to the general tone, mood and specific use of branded terms and phrases. This can depend greatly on your target audience and community outreach program demographic, as well as your brand. Some descriptions of a voice can be things like jovial, upbeat, positive, professional or even sarcastic—whatever suits your organization best and people respond to the most. Picking the right one will help carry your message in an effective manner. Still having trouble? Here’s a great guide on how to find your social media marketing voice from Buffer.
Make a List
Once you’ve determined your community outreach team and how they will execute, you have to make a list of influencers, potential partners, and community members to target. This part is incredibly important. Look up people that come to mind; whether they may be a complimentary service/business or the local guru in your industry, add them to the list.
Twitter has a great list feature that many people use but you may want to start a spreadsheet that lists everyone and their respective social media platforms. This will allow you to sort by each platform, in order to see which ones are most popular. It will help guide your attention and focus, as you build relationships with community personalities and potential brand ambassadors. Your organization will see great benefits from this!
Be Timely and Consistent
Effective community outreach strategies will have a mix of both great timing and consistency. Great timing is dependent on a few things. First, you want the content of your community outreach to be timely with current events. Second, any responses should be done fairly quickly, especially if they’re responses to comments about your products and services. Lastly, you need to figure out when the people on your lists are active on social media. To help in getting your team started, here’s a great analysis of the best times to post on social media. You do have to remember though that these guidelines are a general rule of thumb and you’ll want to see what works for your community and organization.
Did you know that social media posts with images have much higher rates of engagement? Check out our past blog post on using photos on social media, to learn more about how to capitalize on the visual side of social media. Want to engage more with your community? Take advantage of Xplor Recreation’s social media integration, with a first-in-class community management platform that integrates seamlessly with your social media platforms, while community members have easy access to sharing your organization’s campaigns on their networks.