Social Media Management – Build Your Platform

In my role as VP of Communications for the Smoky Mountain HDI chapter, I coordinate a fairly broad range of details.  In order to facilitate order and streamline this management process, I use an online social media management tool called HootSuite.  For most business needs, the free version of HootSuite is sufficient, and this free version is what we use. The paid version of HootSuite allows you to add a larger number of social media streams to that one account, and costs $5.99 per month.  We have the following social media for our chapter:

HS cap

As you can see in the screen capture above, HootSuite gives the ability to create a comprehensive social media platform.  Within this management tool, you can schedule posts, see mentions of your organization, reply to posts and Direct Messages, monitor multiple home feeds, and do all of this within one screen view.  By dedicating time here several hours per month, it can free up your time to address other business issues.  You can log into your account remotely, and you can have multiple people logged in, if you wish.

From my social media management perspective, the scheduling option is the most valuable tool that HootSuite offers.  It is possible to schedule posts for social media years in advance with HootSuite.  While it is doubtful anyone would wish to schedule that far ahead, the option is there.  I find that scheduling six to eight weeks in advance works best for our Smoky Mountain HDI chapter events.  This allows us to promote our quarterly chapter events with sufficient lead time to generate interest, build awareness for our keynote speaker and sponsors, and encourage conversation with colleagues.

Remember, with social media, repetition is your friend!  The more people who reTweet, re-post on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, the wider an audience you will reach.

Establish a hashtag that brands your organization – we use #SmokyMtnHDI in every social media post (space allowing) – this builds history and SEO.  Mention your website often – www.smokymountainhdi.com – embed hyperlinks, videos and photos in your posts, and tag those colleagues who are in those mediums.  Request that your followers share your posts.

Our general rule of thumb for social media post content is roughly 50% Smoky Mountain HDI chapter specific related information, 25% industry specific information, and 25% fun, trivia related information that mentions our East Tennessee demographic, or references fun, HDI/IT topics.  I change this up on a monthly basis to reflect trending topics, seasonal and holiday focus, industry related conferences, seminars, etc.

The point of social media is to build a sense of community.  Our goal on a regional level, in conjunction with HDI – Help Desk International – is to build awareness of Smoky Mountain HDI and encourage membership, event attendance, and networking.

The goal of HDI – Help Desk Institute – is to provide resources, knowledge and community built by peers and industry leaders to help all HDI members grow their careers.  Utilizing the free resources of social media, and social media management tools such as HootSuite, offers a solid platform and comprehensive informational loop on the internet to drive constant focus to our chapter, our website and our mission statement.

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S. Dawn Sievers is the Vice President of Communications for the Smoky Mountain HDI chapter.  Find Dawn’s professional profile on our Board of Directors page, and on her LinkedIn page: www.linkedin.com/in/sdawnsievers/.

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Smoky Mountain HDI Chapter is a group of IT Service and Support Professionals living in the Great Smoky Mountains connecting to share ideas, grow technical skills, boost careers, and create a wide array of technical resources and connections while helping one another succeed.

**Interested in joining Smoky Mountain HDI Chapter, or attending one of our free chapter events?  Visit our website for more details!**

 

 

 

 

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