The need for more stakeholder engagement in social media
18 November 2014, Blog
In today’s world of social media, iPads, tablets, smartphones and superfast internet, the industries of Public Relations and Public Policy have been able to extend their reach to the world exponentially. The stakeholder industry enjoys less frequent use of social media because of its nature, and the need for more stakeholder engagement online is something that the industry would greatly benefit from.
There are five ways the industry could use social media to improve stakeholder engagement:
Use social media to get the public involved and expand your influence. Social media is a powerful tool, especially in stakeholder engagement, as it gives the public the opportunity to get involved and voice their opinions on certain matters. It can also expand your audience; promoting key messages via Twitter communities, circulation on Facebook or videos shared via YouTube or Instagram allow us to target a wider audience than ever before
Use social media to target certain groups of society. The success of social media in stakeholder engagement depends entirely on what you are trying to achieve and who your audience is. Dedicated Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and public consultation events are very effective ways of consulting with the public about redevelopment plans and are a good way of targeting people who may be directly affected by a redevelopment or project
Combine social media usage with other forms of engagement. Social media can be used alongside other forms of stakeholder engagement, such as public consultation events, to produce strong and effective stakeholder engagement programmes. Traditional consultations are not the only way to reach out to influential demographics; for example teenagers, young professionals or stay at home parents. Social media provides us with a tool to reach these demographics and engage with them effectively and publically
Use social media to receive instant feedback. Feedback forms can gather information from the public, but this depends on the speed of delivery and when the individual wants to fill in the form. With social media, the public can give instant feedback via Twitter or Facebook in an easily accessible format. The fact is that the online community will most likely be speaking about development projects in the first place. Therefore, it is important to have an online presence and be publically engaging in the conversation
Use social media to increase website traffic. Not only does social media help direct people to your website but the more shares you receive and more proactive content produced, the higher your search ranking will be on search engines such as Google, which in turn improves your exposure, success and public engagement
As an industry, stakeholder engagement needs to develop more ways in which social media can be used on a wider scale to include as many people as possible from all age groups. This will be the industry’s challenge for the future. The industry as a whole needs to increase the amount of social media exposure it receives.
In an increasingly interconnected world of high speed internet and instant messaging, the need for stakeholder engagement to adapt to its surroundings is more prevalent than ever.
Written by Account Executive, Alex Watson.