Interchange is a member organisation that provides family support and social opportunities for children and young people with a disability. As an organisation focused on younger people, the use of technology as a communication tool, is becoming increasingly important.
I was invited to discuss the role of social media, as a community engagement tool, where we explored both current and emerging platforms.
Platforms, such as Facebook, are utilised across all demographics, providing an opportunity to reach not only young people, but other family members. Facebook is useful in reaching a broad demographic through an organisational page or group. Instagram is an increasingly popular social media tool for under 30 year olds, and is a mobile based platform. Organisations that can document their activities through photos can extend their reach through Instagram and other targeted tools.
Each social media platform has its own target markets and use cases, it is imperative to use the right tools to reach your communities.
We also covered safeguards on social media. Topics included the need for policies that outline acceptable usage of social media and the need for consistent communication. An organisation is responsible for any content that is published on its social media pages. It is imperative there is a proactive response to managing and fostering communities.
Social media has the potential to extend the reach of organisations and foster the development of communities. Like any communication platform, social media requires a strategic approach to deliver positive outcomes to an organisation.