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How to define a social media strategy

Posted on Jan 15th, 2012 by

young wheat plant

Long gone are the times where nonprofit organisations saw social media tools as a “nice add-on”. Time and again, social media has proven its potential in fundraising, advocacy, campaigning, live event reporting, knowledge sharing,..

Now comes the time where organisations’ media people are actively seeking to merge the “social” media with their more “traditional” media outreach.

Now, we have more social media tools on offer, than ever before. Which tools are the best suited for your cause? Which give the best return on investment? How do you use these tools best?

Now, more than ever, our management asks questions on our social media efforts. “What is its return?”, “What does it cost us”, “What is the measurable impact?”.

While I touched on the subject before, it is high time to tackle a core challenge for many organisations: “How to define a social media strategy”, and “How to integrate it into an organisation’s overall online strategy”.

Case study: How to define a social media strategy

In the past year, I have been fortunate to work with several international agricultural research centers, part of the CGIAR Consortium. With several centers, we’re engaging in a more strategic approach to social media. My work with the CGIAR was the inspiration for this case study, in which I will build up a social media strategy from the beginning until the end. Though this strategy is specifically applicable to the CGIAR, the process used, can be applied for many other nonprofit organisations.

As I stressed in Part 4: this is not the only way social media can be used. Dependent on your organisation, the “social” part of “social media” might be more important than merely being a tool “to get a message out”: using social media as a tool to network, to get input and feedback through social interactions.

The case study:


This case study is based on my work with the Consortium of international agricultural research centers, who kindly allowed me to share our work on this blog.

One Comment to “How to define a social media strategy”

  1. Social media has evolved dramatically since it burst on the scene. Capitalizing on social networking has gone from interesting concept to must-have for many organizations. It’s moved beyond applications and tools like blogs and Twitter, to include policies, protocols and etiquette. More than anything, social media has changed the way we communicate by becoming an integral part of marketing and public relations strategies.

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