Based on the findings of my research, I can recommend (non-profit) organizations to start with small, simple engagement tools using existing social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.). It is a great way to “test the waters” and to see whether your target group is willing to show small acts of engagement. See the figure in this post for a visualization of what I mean.
If your organization succeeds in this and finds out that these people are willing to engage more, I would recommend to slowly integrate these smaller communities into more larger, focused communities. You could start very simple by using free blog websites, such as Blogger or WordPress. On these blogs you can have more focus. You can even decide to make different blogs for different segments in their target group. For example a group of young people who did voluntary work and want to share their experiences. What about a group of people who want to start a small project to raise money for children in developing countries? The ideal situation would be if you could create a base of brand advocates through these focused communities. Brand advocates can become one of your greatest assets: they will evangelize everything you do and encourage others to support your brand too. Once you have real success in these focused communities, I would highly recommend your organization to build an own community platform, where (important) actual issues come together. As I discussed in earlier posts, there are a lot of benefits from having your own community platform. You could use brand advocates to generate new traffic to this new community. Once executed well – the community can be a vibrant, lively place where your organization and your target group could meet. I would highly recommend organizations to encourage content in any of these communities. It will help them to foster and sustain engagement, because this fulfils an important need of many people.
I created the model below to visualize what I mean.
Model: Start Small Grow Bigger
Curious for more advice? Wait just a little longer..:)
Until next time,