Many people will ask the question, so it is valid to answer it. Do not be afraid of this question however, just realize that this is the way things are moving.
Let’s begin with the research:
One of every six minutes spent online is in Social Media use; that is 10 minutes out of every hour. That translates to an average of 5 hours a month among 18 to 39 year olds. This is often more than the amount of time spent in church each month.
What message is being received?
Mostly entertainment and consumerism, but notice that two of the top five are important news events. Also notice how much of an opportunity exists for a voice. Taking the opportunity to engage and raise awareness and involvement is extremely important, and obviously there is a desire for the conversation.
So how do we engage?
We can start by remembering that strictly digital connections are very rare. This statistic may make it seem like online presence for an organization is a waste of time, but think again. Marketing through those people already engaged in your organization can yield a tremendous reward. If one person shares an inspirational link on Facebook and it is viewed by 100 of their friends, then only 2 of those share the video… The effects of viral media are tremendous, and far reaching. Use the members already passionate about your cause, and ask them what they’d like to be able to share, then produce it. If they share it, then others connected to them will likely share as well.
What do we create for Social Media?
YouTube’s top videos of all time (warning about content for some readers) illustrates what is engaging people. Why YouTube: because of this report which shows that YouTube has a larger share of search queries than Yahoo (Google’s second.) *Because of the commentary generated by these reports, comScore stopped illustrating YouTube’s query share.* If you remove the music videos (though that is certainly an aspect to ponder in creating a media strategy) then you are left with funny / uplifting and largely light / rewatchable videos. These are the things that are shared and reshared. These are the videos that, when discovered a year later, will be just as readily spreadable as they were when first posted.
So don’t be afraid to create and get involved. Leverage your passionate fan base. Rely on the openness of social media to help you. Next time we’ll be talking about how to integrate these concepts into a web platform, so stay tuned.