Photo by Simple Dolphin
Let's say your organization has started to master the art of social listening - you're monitoring what people are saying about your organization or issue and you are using a variety of tools and strategies. And before you've gotten obsessed with what tool to use, you've figured out how to make your listening truly actionable. But, sooner or later you'll need to strike up a conversation or respond to some comments. So, now what?
One thing to remember: As Sean Maloney of Intel says, "It's not what you say about you, it's what they say about you." (This quote really stood out in a brilliant piece by Brian Solis called the "Art of Conversation."
There's lots of excellent advice on the art of conversation and commenting on blogs. Take these for example:
- How to Comment Like King or Queen by Coolcat Teacher Blog
- Strategic Blog Commenting A Screencast by Amy Gahran
- Strategic Blog Commenting: Blog Post by Amy Gahran
- Commenting by Alan Levine
- Power of Comments by Chris Brogan
- The Art of Listening and Engagement Through Social Media by Brian Solis
But how does it work within an organizational context? People want to have conversations with representatives from your organization who are experts in the issue or program area and who are excited about their work. But they have to feel empowered to speak. And that's what I'm curious about.
Certainly, training for these staff members or volunteers on social media participation so they are comfortable. But there is also speaking on behalf ... what are the talking points? What conversations are most important to join?
In larger organizations, there is the benefit of splitting the workload, but will senior management feel comfortable having those interns down the hall represent the organization on Facebook or on commenting on blogs?
I'm curious to know if how those you are who are putting listening and participating into practice in a nonprofit organization - how you do this within your organization? Do decide what to respond to? Who is authorized to speak on behalf of the organization or is it a team effort?