This week let’s talk about the differences in using the social media between Business, Non-profit Organization and Government, more specifically in terms of the target audiences and the strategies using social web.
Before diving into the detailed discussion, we should hold on and think about the objectives of these sectors, which are the reasons for making difference later.As business entities, they have the responsibility of making money for their shareholders, so their objectives of social media strategy, as part of the overall strategy, should include making profit, accompanied with driving sales and building awareness, for example. Unlike the private accompanier, the non-profit organizations (NPO) don’t have particular owners, so they don’t have intention of making profit for somebody, just as their name stated. The nature of NPO are gathering support and giving value to people their administer to, therefore their social media objectives normally include fundraising, gaining new attention and developing exiting loyalty. The biggest advantage of government, within the three sectors, is that they have the stable income sources, taxes for sure, so they just need to worry about how to gather the opinions from their constituents and provide efficient and good services, that are also the common goals of their social media strategies.
Due to the different objectives, accompanying with the products and services that they provide, the target audiences of their social media strategies are obviously distinctive with each other. In general, the enterprises are looking for people who will and have the ability to buy goods or services, the NPOs are acquiring donors and volunteers, and the government and their agencies are trying to cover the populace who have the need of inquiry and support. When it comes to set down the details of strategies or goes even further to make the tactical moves, the metrics of searching target users are important. Although the metrics are very specific and relating to particular products and services, there are some common requirement in the same sector,that are showing the difference between sectors, i.e. the private company will stress on purchasing intention and purchasing power, but the NPOs will concentrate on intention of donate and willingness to volunteer, and the government agencies will focus on intention to participate and need for inquiry and support.
We all agree that despite the difference between sectors, the strategy model of social media is almost the same, including four parts: Connection, Engagement, Influence, Action.The distinctions locate in the sub-level strategies of each part, i.e. the business entities tend to demonstrating attractive visualization to acquire new prospects and encourage engagement, like the Toyota showcase room on Google+; the NPOs will share the campaign reviews and stories to attract new attention and develop member loyalty, and establish a public and powerful way to recognize their supporters and encourage the desired behaviors, like the Facebook page of “Because I am a Girl“; and the government will choose to share information and hear from their constituents, and provide efficient service based on the characteristic of specific platform, like the White House page on Facebook and the earthquake warning service @USGSted on Twitter.