Day Two of Horsham’s VolunteerFest opened with our presentation on strategic marketing and communicating via social media. The session was designed to provide an overview of marketing and to guide organisations through the development of a marketing plan.
A marketing plan needs to support the vision of an organisation and as such should work in tandem with the business or organisational plan. Often a business plan will identify what an organisation wants to achieve and a marketing plan will look at how these outcomes can be realised.
An organisation should begin its marketing plan by considering the goals that it wishes to achieve. Do you want to increase the number of volunteers? Raise funds? Engage sections of the community?
Once the goals have been identified, it is worthwhile considering the strengths of an organisation. This is because a strength is something that an organisation does well and can leverage to assist in achieving the identified outcomes. Likewise an organisation needs to consider the barriers that may hamper the ability to achieve a goal.
The identified target markets need to reflect the strengths of an organisation as this will assist in reaching the identified demographic. The communication methods should also be considered so that the right market can be reached.
Organisations need a consistent approach to marketing. Generally someone needs to experience a message several times before they will act. A consistent message ensures that each exposure works towards prompting action.
This means that no matter how an organisation communicates there should be a consistent message that is reinforced across all communication channels. For example, the Eastern Volunteers building fund campaign was reinforced across the organisation’s newsletters, social media, email content and news bulletins.
Marketing encompasses all forms of contact that someone has with an organisation. It is imperative that this provides a positive experience that reinforces the key messages of an organisation.
This is where social media can be effective in reinforcing the key messages of an organisation. Social media needs to be used in conjunction with traditional forms of communication to ensure a consistent message and approach.
Website feeds can be integrated with Facebook and Twitter to provide a consistent message and traditional newsletters should be adapted as individual articles to provide regular online content.
Ultimately social media needs to be considered as another form of communication with an integrated approach that ensures consistency across an organisation. It was fantastic to receive such positive feedback after our presentation and we look forward to working further with organisations within the Wimmera and regional Victoria.
Several attendees were discussing our presentation on Twitter through the #VolunteerFest hashtag, this has been collated into the following feed (via Storify):
Discussion on our presentation at VolunteerFest, which was held in Horsham on the 26th and 27th of July.