Recent Approaches to Digital Communication
As a starter question, people were asked what their favourite social media platform is, or which platform is used most by their organisation. Twitter and Facebook are used most widely, but it was clear that people are interested in finding out about other platforms, trends and opportunities for innovation.
Reflecting on the last twelve months and the role that digital communication and social media play within the organisations represented at the focus group, everyone agreed that digital communication is a high priority for their organisation. For some, it acts as a ‘shop front’; for others, it is a means of connecting with local community groups; for still more it is an ‘epicentre’, used to engage audiences with the things that their organisation does or sells.
It was clear that different levels of resource and budget for digital communication and social media affect what people are able to achieve in terms of output. There was a high level of awareness amongst the group of the time that it takes to identify audiences, use the right platform for the right audiences and tailor content.
People reported that the lockdown had been transformational for their organisation’s digital communication activity, with great examples of new content and innovative use of technology. But in the transition out of the pandemic, some organisations are finding that the time they can put into digital communication is being squeezed, as well as a sense of fatigue amongst existing staff. For some, this results in an ambition to get new staff or volunteers on board who are dedicated to social communications. Other organisations are trying to involve a wider range of existing staff in communications activities, particularly visitor-facing staff.
Naturally, the type of content that has proved successful over the last year varies with each organisation and its audience. Some people find that images from their collection or site generate a high level of interest, while others find that stories from volunteers, members of their audience, or stories linked to a theme represented by their organisation, are the most popular.