Tweets, posts, petitions … where is an organization or activist to begin? Mike Kujawski, partner and senior consultant of the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing, says, “If you are feeling overwhelmed, realize that no one these days knows everything.” He stresses, “We all feel overwhelmed. It is a mindset shift. It is no longer possible to be expected to know everything.”

Mobiles in Jakarta © 2013 Sarah V. Harlan/JHU CCP, Courtesy of Photoshare

Mike says that what was once separated as “social media” is now a natural part of the “modern digital landscape.” He urges organizations and social change activists to start with strategic objectives and think about their overall web presence rather than specific tools. He says, “What tool is hot? Who cares. … You shouldn’t be tackling everything. There is a tool for everything. Start with the basics: ‘What are you trying to do?’ and adapt it to the space.”

To measure your progress, Mike recommends distinguishing output objectives (which are within your control) from outcome objectives. The outcome objectives are mostly outside your control, but are what you want to see happen as a result of your tactics. Once your goals and objectives are in place, Mike says, “Develop a tactic, try it and see if it is contributing to your objectives. … If one works, try multiple attempts. Stay focused on quick wins at first, then go deeper.”

For example, he suggests activists begin on Facebook and Twitter to find the influencers for their cause, and then follow them to more niche sites. However, Mike cautions, “Don’t isolate the ‘lone ranger’ that is a huge physical world influencer.” Not all influence takes place online—some highly influential people may operate offline or behind the scenes.

Critically, more search tools exist now than ever to see how users (and your targeted segments for social marketing) are interacting and engaging online. Take advantage of the ability to search the data that can inform your efforts.

Intrigued? Check out Mike’s writings on strategic engagement, monitoringand mobile appsFor more information, contact Mike at [email protected] or 613.230.6424.

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Photo credit: Two teenagers send texts on their mobile phones outside the Jakarta History Museum in Fatahillah Square, Kota, Jakarta (Old Town area), Indonesia.
© 2013 Sarah V. Harlan/JHU•CCP, Courtesy of Photoshare