In the age of the World Wide Web that occupies a large part of our daily lives, it’s no wonder that companies and organizations alike have made it mandatory to maintain a digital presence. As such, they and their products are made more accessible to the general public. However, not all entities have effectively utilized the available technologies, such as social media applications. In this regard, it would be beneficial to share some examples of organizations that have and have not implemented a successful social media strategy.
PPH is a health network that serves the City and County of Peterborough and two First Nations in the surrounding area. The organization provides a plethora of programs, which include healthy eating and nutritional workshops, testing drinking water and controlling infectious outbreaks. PPH stands out from other organizations by having a strong community presence through its programs and medical expertise and their consistent use of social media.
The communications team update the PPH website weekly with press releases and initiatives that are also shared on their social media accounts. These are also sent to local partners, which have the ability to post them on their respective websites and social media applications. For example, PPH has provided the latest information regarding the coronavirus outbreak and the ways it’s been monitored and managed in the Peterborough area. What’s more, the organization’s Medical Officer of Health often shares audio recordings of her professional expertise with community partners and the general public on a variety of subjects. PPH has also applied YouTube to its media repertoire by uploading videos of PPH initiatives or to promote federal programs like the New Canada Food Guide.
The NHL has implemented a successful social media plan that has evolved over the years to include the most up-to-date applications alongside the traditional three, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It now uses GIPHY, Snapchat and TikTok amongst others, increasing their online presence to the fullest. As a big hockey fan, it’s been interesting to see how social media has been used to expand the sport’s reach into other areas of the world where hockey is not as popular, like in China.
Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin became the NHL Ambassador to China last summer and it was a great way for the NHL to establish an image abroad. Social media was used throughout his trip as he visited historic sites and played with youth hockey players.
While the NHL furthers its brand through the players themselves, the players also have the ability to publicize their own image. But the unique aspect about the NHL is that staff writers also have a presence on social media. In addition to articles that are published directly on its website, writers post messages on Twitter and engage with followers and others in real time, like during hockey games. Lastly, it produces podcasts with easily accessible links for visitors to download on androids and iPhones or to listen to them directly on their website. An example is a podcast entitled, NHL Inductions Class, which discusses the latest Hockey Hall of Fame inductees.
ARM is an organization that seeks to help asylum seekers and refugees in Canada. They have an informative website that lists all the programs and support services that are offered. One such program is the ‘Twinning Program,’ which connects women who’ve lived a refugee experience with other women who are born or have lived in Canada for some time. In this way, the program allows a bond to develop between women with the hope that it will assist their transition into Canadian society.
Yet, ARM hasn’t utilized social media to its fullest, which is surprising for an organization that has existed for 26 years. For instance, it doesn’t have a Twitter link that is visible on their website. I had to Google its name along with the word Twitter to verify they had an account. Moreover, the last time that it was used was in November of 2019. They don’t even have an Instagram account.
It seems that ARM is missing out on opportunities that can be gained through social media, such as more exposure, especially since immigration has been a hot topic over the last couple of years. Firstly, with the continued growth of platforms like Twitter, it provides a space to further promote the programs it offers and network with other community groups. Secondly, since information sharing through mobile devices is becoming increasingly popular, people, especially youth are becoming more accustomed with these forms of communication. Lastly, ARM’s website would benefit from linking all social media accounts on their homepage, preferably with a feed of each so followers can easily engage with the organization.
There’s no doubt that online marketing strategies will vary from one organization to another, depending on objectives and vision. Still, in today’s age of communication through non-traditional means, it seems absolutely necessary for organizations to implement some form of strategy that would utilize social media in order to increase their online presence. What do you think?