Social Media as an On- Ramp to New Possibilities

In the age of mindshare, it becomes important to think through your approach in designing your website differently than perhaps you have done in the past in order to be ‘top of mind’ if you use your website as a brand builder.  Websites can move from static content, to opportunities to create communities and/or a new brand sentiment.  They can become hubs for new ways of interacting with your clients socially.    A few friends of mine, Vanessa DiMauro and Sandy Rowley are working with many clients that are building social media networking strategies and ecosystems into their brands.  They are helping their clients use social business strategies to on-ramp clients into new possibilities.  Take the organization as wego health  as an example, they are doing really exciting work which allows health activists to converse.  Years ago this concept was completely foreign in the Health Care Industry.

 MegaStar Media is a great example, as they use traditional web design conversations through a familiar web re-design process and morph it into a dynamic and professional conversation.   Survival International is using twitter and news feeds as a way for their donors and supporters to follow them on their preferred social channel to learn about where and how their donations are furthering the mission to protect native people’s way of life and their land.    I recall in 1991 when I was working for the State Department in Washington D.C. for the Mission for the Organization of American States, I drafted for the Ambassador talking points regarding the native people in Brazil.  It took me weeks to formulate the paper based on cables, phone calls, multiple trips to the library of congress and state department employee interview notes.     The hours I could have saved had I been able to follow these different NGOs…

Baby steps are the answer!   Whether you have a small business, work in a large business unit, or are a non- profit organization, it just takes courage to move in the direction of new media.  Recently AAPE transformed the way they interact with their members using interactive email.  Sounds old school, well it’s not, it’s actually a very tight knit group of parents that have high trust and use email as a safe haven for connecting, discussing and supporting one another.

Community Steering Committees and Wild Horses

Community Steering Committees, this name sounds too formal sometimes, yet other times it can be a fitting term for a group of wild mustangs, oops, I mean individuals that are committed to a community’s purpose. 

No, in all seriousness, I was walking this morning and thinking about the calm nature, yet focus of these animals grazing on the grasses near the creek in Northern Nevada and it occurred to me they are a great deal similar to the steering committees that are busy across the world focused on their sustenance, their existence and their future.  

Wild Horses akin to Community Core Teams

At one client environment, we have spent a lot of time hand picking individuals based on a perceived level of engagement and/or their being vocal about where they want to see the community evolve, twist and turn.    I’ve been hanging around the water holes long enough to know that these can be a great source of inspiration and heavy lifting for the community during the identification and cultivation stages.  These are often your nay sayers, your champions and if you are lucky, you can even convert a lurker into a participant.  It takes much focus and willpower, but taking the time, whether it’s through the use of social network analysis tools or through conversations, but uncovering invitees to join this as you forge ahead in your community is critical.  Equally important is to be thinking about risk management, succession and new demographics.  Personally, I find the most impressive steering committees are those that have contention and diversity in their makeup.

Good luck in “steering” your committee or NOT!  I would just propose you consider setting up a core team of members that are a critical part of the community ecosystem.