Having an online presence, and how to manage it, is often a big question for institutions. Thankfully, the website has nearly become a corporate necessity today. It means then that what mainly remains is how to increase efficiency. When well used, you can also create value through improved alignment and integration with operations. Be ready to fully harness the benefits of ICT integration.
A well managed online presence will pay off with increased efficiency of recurring operations cycles within the organization. Some organizations have reported having an online presence has improved capacity building within the organization. Examples may be hard to come by, but think of being able to look up the office calendar of events from the comfort of your house. In a nutshell, an online portal through which your employees can access some information.
Prototype models of operations and online presence can be developed. Their success or failures are then evaluated after a period of time. You will also want to look into their scalability, ability to deliver and ease of use among other factors. Such prototypes guide the eventual integration in the whole system and the rolling out of the program in the whole organization.
An important component of online presence is a blog. They provide an avenue to share news, insights and events with your audience. Sometimes if you allow guest posting, a blog becomes a way of appreciating and sharing resources with your audience. Blogs increase the life cycle of some news content as well as providing an internally controlled channel of releasing news about the organization. Timely publishing and news content quality control is possible when you control the channel of news release. With a good content calendar and blog management, you will experience a lot of growth in subscriptions and registrations.
Paperless operations are enhanced by digital communications and electronic versions of material. Providing an aggregated information source for your visitors is one of the payoffs of having an online presence. E.g one can download the whole package offered at the entrance of the conference in digital form onto their phone or computers, tablets and other electronic reading platforms.
For conferences and workshops, social media and blogging provides an avenue for continuous engagement of participants. Information about the organization and directions can be given digitally via social media. This could include links to download content, live webcasts and press releases among other digitized material.
It leads us to digital libraries. Digital libraries should include online subscriptions and access to databases of content. Cloud operations can be integrated in the organization as well. Stability and cost-effectiveness of internet services that are available to you. As with any cloud-based systems, ensure adequate local back-ups to mitigate security and control risks.
With a proper social media policy, you can even achieve staff development by broadening their skills base to include social media skills and personal online presence management skills.
Written with some pirated 😉 content from the African Economic Research Consortium Annual Report of 2014/15
Food for thought: If you have a vibrant social media team that often engages your staff in training and fun activities, can you use social media participation levels as a measure of employee satisfaction?