#Idlenomore is shining a light on the challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples. It is also one of the reasons that so many of us are spending more time communicating through social media. We’ve been sharing promising practices, promoting our programs, sharing cultural knowledge, and decolonizing in exciting new ways.
But we’ve all experienced backlash to this progress in the form of nasty comments on news articles, Twitter, and other platforms. My concern is that this is fueling a common myth in social media – that building an online presence exposes you to negativity. This is not true.
Negative comments about your organization will be made whether you have a Facebook page or not. Without this page however, you will not have a voice to respond. Maintaining social media pages gives you some control over the conversation and the stronger your presence, the stronger your voice will be in that response. And I’m not just talking about Facebook. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, are all being used effectively by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.
We know from doing SWOT analyses that we must identify our weaknesses and threats in order to address them and be prepared. Being aware of what people are saying about your organization online is part of that process and there are tools that we can use to monitor the conversation. These tools are also useful for staying current in your field by alerting you of new publications, events and other important information. Here are a few of my favourite social media monitoring tools – all are free.
SocialPointer scans more than 100 social media platforms for mentions of your keywords in real-time.
Enter your keywords into Google Alerts and you’ll receive emails when new results become available. A word of caution though… some social media experts have noted a decline in the effectiveness of Google Alerts in recent months.
SocialMention will notify you of results by email or RSS feed and offers additional information such as sentiment and reach.
Please note that I’ve said MAINTAINING social media. You cannot take a “set it and forget it” approach to social media pages. Like all tactics in your communications strategy, you’ll need to set objectives and create a plan but I’ll save that for my next post in the social media tactic category. Make sure you don’t miss it by subscribing to the Aboriginal Marketing Blog!