Sunny Tulips

Sunny Tulips

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Friendly Tweet...connecting through social media

How does a publicly funded, higher education institution reach out to a world of prospective students? 

Can a large multinational corporation engage in personal dialog with clients and potential clients? 

What communication platforms would allow a regional organization to share the stories of it's sixty-four member non-profit organizations, while adhering to tight financial restraints? 

Working under the demands of a twenty-four hour news day, how does a national news organization provide an avenue for community dialog?

The effective use of social media provides an answer for all of these questions.

Northern Illinois University is the second-largest public university in Illinois, having a student enrollment of more than 24,000. The large College of Visual and Performing Arts attracts a global student body. NIU's primary website prominently displays links to a variety of social media platforms including a page devoted to connecting through social media.

Cisco Systems, Inc. is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. The immense size and product line of the company could very easily be intimidating and pose a barrier for personalized communication with prospective clients. Cisco's website opens with a four subject slide show above the fold. A link to Cisco's social media site in posted to the right of that panel. Social@Cisco is a dedicated web page that directs the viewer to interact with Cisco across the Social Web. Cisco Social Media Blog provides  personal insight to connect with. The Cisco website displays prime examples of their communication skills.

Community Shares of Wisconsin is the umbrella organization for sixty-four member non-profits that address social, economic, and environmental problems through grassroots action, advocacy, research, and public education. Their website provides a stage for education and community outreach. The home page displays icon links for Facebook and Twitter and the viewer is asked to follow the organization on both social media sites. I think the use of YouTube videos to the Community Shares website would allow their member organizations to clearly identify themselves and possibly increase community dialog.

National Public Radio is a non-profit twenty-four hour news source. The home page of it's website asks that the viewer follow them on Facebook. A navigation tab provides access to the dedicated NPR Social Media page with excerpts of current community dialog on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. NPR is to be commended for keeping the means of community dialog open and vigorous.

I think these four diverse organizations have successfully integrated the use of social media in their websites.

Thanks for allowing me to hijack this space to post a class assignment. It will shortly return to the regular program.

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