Paper No. 228-2
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Social media is playing an ever-increasing role in science communication, education and information dissemination due to its broad reach, low overhead costs, media sharing capability and versatility. Science organizations that don’t have a social media presence are missing out on the opportunity to connect with the public, partner organizations, government officials, emergency responders and the media, as well as to prove the broader impacts and efficacy of their programs. However, to fully capitalize on the potential and capabilities of social media, organizations must create an effective social media strategy that clearly outlines their audience, goals, messaging, content and growth objectives. It is also imperative that organizations perform a regular, rigorous evaluation of social media performance and conduct user engagement surveys and that they utilize this information to improve online performance and engagement. Here, we will outline the steps needed to establish a rigorous social media presence and examine the key elements needed to compose a robust social media strategy. This approach has been already been successfully used by a variety of programs and organizations to improve their online communications, increase reach and engagement with the public and partner organizations, and provide quantitative metrics about broader impacts.