The key to our social media strategy was identifying our primary audience. We are building a database to hold VR and digital reconstructions of sites and structures in peril. We knew that our topic was micro-targeting a very important issue where the primary audience was limited to people who already work in VR and digital reconstruction as well as people who are actively concerned about the environmental threat to archeological and natural structures. So the initial step of our outreach efforts was simply to find the online community where these groups of people engaged with one another. The most widely used platform for this type of public academic engagement was twitter. So we created an email to register for a twitter account. The email will also serve inquiries and subscriptions from our website. This allowed us to discover a lot about the communities that will be the primary audience for our project and to think ahead about which institutional need our project fulfills in those spaces.
Social media strategy
Our social media strategy is to engage with the 3D and Virtual reconstruction community and the environmental conversation community of scholars already on twitter by interacting with their work through likes, retweets and comments on a regular weekly basis. We want to make sure we are on top of news, discussions, and breakthroughs where a lot of conversation is being generated. We also generate conversation through new posts and add minor comments based on new articles that come into our inbox from the google alerts we set up. We regularly update our audience on our project. We also make strategic use of hashtags to bring people in the search tags to our page. We will also create a small marketing blurb to post about our projects on relevant facebook groups that will identify as the project nears completion.
Our email strategy is to organize a list of email addresses of public digital scholars and people working in the field of our projects into a sizable list. We will gather these email addresses from academic communities that we have access to as well as public Linkedin and Twitter profiles. By the end of this week, we will have a draft email introducing our project that we will share with these members.We will have an automatic response email that links inquirers to our social media page where we update our project’s milestones.
Communication and Website
People will be able to reach out to us directly on twitter where our email address is listed and through our website where there will be a contact page that allows the public to ask questions and submit other requests. Our Website will also contain an about page that introduces our team members and gives specific details about the goal of our project. In addition our twitter feed will appear on the side of our site to allow people to follow us on twitter after they visit our site. The public will also be able to subscribe to our site to receive email updating them about the project.
We will also create a promotional flyer with relevant information about our project to attach to email or give out in person.
Search Engine Optimization
A technical aspect of our outreach is to optimize pages of our website for google’s ranking algorithm. I’ve previously worked with SEO when I did marketing for a jewelry company and I helped place close to 7000 pieces of jewelry online. Although I used proprietary software to optimize our pages. I think it is worth trying to play with the algorithm in hopes of reaching a secondary audience. It certainly can’t hurt to try. Backlinks are proven to be one of the most effective ways of increasing google ranking, other than keyword optimization. Part of our strategy must be finding scholars who may be willing to link to our website from their blogs and other online public accounts (facebook/twitter)