Wednesday 07 December 2016

Friday Five: Global Community Management

Digital communications are simultaneously growing globally and locally. According to figures from Facebook, 80% of its monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada. Multimarket organizations, like Edelman, are increasingly looking to provide both enterprise-wide and locally-embedded engagement to convey their news, initiatives and perspectives. This growth has led Facebook to test the amalgamation of global and local pages under one brand page. But advancements in social platforms will only take an organization so far. To communicate the inter-connectivity of your matrix, global organizations need to create a framework for true global community management. Here’s what we’ve begun doing for Edelman:

1. Identify.

We scoured social networks to find profiles and channels created under the Edelman brand. We researched who was operating those channels and then reached out to confirm ownership. This outreach served to jump start some channels and led to the shuttering of others. Lastly, we put together a database of all of our profiles and owners.

2.  Add.

We then looked to see if there were digitally-unrepresented sectors in our organization. We reached out to those sectors to see if they wanted to own a social presence, and provided resources and general coaching on how this is done. But we made sure all teams that manage social channels could effectively handle them. A poorly managed channel leaves an entire brand vulnerable.

3. Connect.

The next step was connecting everyone. We did so in three ways. The first was establishing a master email group so we all had one easy way to communicate. Second, we created a closed group on Facebook to share programming ideas, documents, visual assets and pertinent industry news. Third, we established a monthly call to catch up, brainstorm, review successes and set programming.

4. Collaborate.

With multiple profiles around the network functioning at high speed, we encouraged collaboration among teams. We’ve found that some of our most interesting programming comes from uncommon partnerships, either among local offices or different departments within the firm.

5. Empower.

Step back and let each profile grow. A social profile is a living experiment in creativity, expression and engagement. By empowering each channel to have its own personality, it will garner its own audience. Together, the amalgam of all the profiles in a network is an organization’s digital brand.

So now you have a fully functioning global community management framework. What do you do now? Be awesome. Create content that is distributable on multiple channels. Continue to identify, add, connect, collaborate and empower. If your organization is multifaceted, that means it’s changing too. Adapt and adjust your strategy to match your firm’s goals and your audience’s expectations. Global community managers are coaches. So coach, and realize your best efforts will come to fruition with a star performance from an unexpected channel.

Image credit: James Cridland

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