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Yesterday I had the good fortune to sit in on a roundtable discussion with the faculty of Full Sail University's Internet Marketing Master's Program (IMMS) and the leadership of the Adult Literacy League of Orlando (ALL). As a part of their community outreach effort through the GiveCamp initiative, the IMMS faculty teamed up with ALL, a local non-profit organization, to brainstorm ideas for building their brand and developing a strategic social media plan.

Of particular interest to me was which social media outlets are being used most, content development strategies and insight on how to engage an audience through these channels.

Below is a list of my top 5 take aways from the session:

  1. LinkedIn has groups! Did you know? Consider this: If your organization's entire presence on LinkedIn is connected to an individual - What happens if that person moves on? Enter LinkedIn groups.
  2. One of the most important considerations for posting (whether to a blog or Facebook or Twitter) is consistency. By maintaining a schedule you are developing an expectation in your audience that they can rely on. Whether it's once a month, once a week or once a day - be consistent.
  3. When deciding which individuals or institutions to become a fan of or follow, consider how those connections help tell the story of your brand. It tells your audience who you like, who you support and so much more.
  4. Google offers a lot of free services to help businesses/organizations get found. Google Analytics offers insight into which keywords lead visitors to your site... try loading your blog posts with those keywords. Google AdWords offers free advertising to qualifying 501(c)3 organizations. List your business/organization with Google maps. And although Google+ doesn't have business or organizational pages yet... when they do, get one, because it will certainly be indexed in search engine results.
  5. When thinking about social media, you should focus on 2 things:
    1. How to get people to join your community.
    2. Why does your audience care?