How would different groups/organizations use the different social media channels to reach their customers or supporters?
What I’m learning as a neophyte to Social Media 101 is that if you can indeed relate to the exercise as a painter––whether it be of fine canvas or the more ubiquitous wallboard––the organization that employs you as that painter will expect you to be able to find the tools for the job. Just like mass communications or marketing, public relations can segment its audiences by the channel in which they prefer to use and stay connected with on social media.
As there are multitudes of sites to correspond with humanities’ voracious appetite for variety, it is important as the public relations artist to chose wisely the channel that will best reach the audience your organization wants to engage. We’ve learned from our learned instructor that My Space is the web space that teenagers have turned back to because their parents’ generation is largely on Facebook. Messages formulated for users of the Pinterest channel will not reach the same audiences as those that use the WordPress channel, and neither (or perhaps both) may or may not be using the Twitter channel.
For example last quarter I was tasked with creating a plan for diversity training for middle and high school students in the Minneapolis public schools as a final project. Recent incidents in the schools indicated a need for more tolerance and understanding between students. In order for the mass communications training to be successful the plan used Twitter as a channel for both parents and students with different messaging styles. It also used Facebook to persuade the parents to have their student(s) participate in the training sessions.
No one says being a social media manager will be easy. What is easier, is knowing that you must be vigilant in your upkeep of your channels. Remember the painters on the Golden Gate Bridge? Finished: No! Time to start over: Yes!