Think Media Labs collaborated with the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) on Social Media Strategy customized for the needs of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
The project, “Enhancing Dialogue via Social Media Strategy and Mentoring for CSOs”, was initiated because CSOs in Lebanon are not taking advantage of the full capabilities of Social Media. CSOs had to learn that having Social Media channels and being active on them is not enough to get their message heard, to grab the attention of the media, to get politicians to support them, to collaborate with other CSOs, and to grow their user base, thus our objectives were:
One: Enhance the organizational capacity of target CSOs to widen their social media reach by devising and implementing a social media strategy
Two: Enhance dialogue between leaders of CSOs by improving their outreach techniques via Social Media
Throughout the six-month project span, the participating CSOs benefited from the following:
- Full strategy for Social Media presence and activity
- Weekly support from Think Media Labs agency
- Strategy documents and content advisory for Social Media Channels
- Weekly monitoring of Social Media activity progress
- Higher level of discussion between collaborating CSOs
The results were exceptional with a measurable increase of 243% in the Social Media activity level on Social Media of the CSO accounts by the end of January (for the CSOs that had moderate initial activity)
One of the challenges for the CSOs is to build the habit of being active on a regular basis on Social Media, and not only when they want to promote a cause or event.
A common theme involves CSOs struggling to generate content to post on Social Media. This is generally due to the focus of the CSO to talk only about their own activities thus the lack of content when they don’t have an activity coming up. Our work with them focused on how to generate and curate content to regularly post throughout the year content related to the issues they stand for, relevant trending topics, sharing content from other CSOs, performing Outreach Activities (more details in section below), tools to use to facilitate finding and sharing relevant content,
The challenge for CSOs (thus a pre-requisite) to do outreach and reach their targets is:
- Having a solid online presence
- Being active on a regular basis
- Use Social Media search techniques
- Learn how to use Social Media tools for search and other activities
- Being confident to talk to others on Social Media
- Giving time to outreach efforts via Social Media
By end of the project, CSOs were able to measure Digital KPIs and what influences these KPIs. The weekly sessions with the CSOs and the leaders played an important role in guidance and building the habits of improving Social Media activity on a regular basis. The parallel approach of CSOs and CSO leaders in the communication has contributed to the enhancement of the CSO’s Social Media improvement.
You can find summary presentation of the key messages and action items from the project below: