I recently had the opportunity to meet with Captain Benny Fulkerson and Captain Larin Anttila from the Public Education Department at the Oklahoma City Fire Department. They handle social media, photo and video for the OKCFD and got my name from a lady who works for the National Forestry Service who heard me speak at an iPro Conference last year. (Networking FTW, amiright?) One of the functions (also my favorite part) of this job is meeting with entities to discuss strategy, efficiency, tips, “secrets,” etc of social media. Most of these entities are other departments/colleges/groups on campus but, fortunately for me, OU Web Communications is supportive of community outreach! As my brother is an OKC firefighter, I was especially excited about this meeting and saw real potential for their networks.
My first objective was to identify what their goals are – or what their boss’ goals are. Their goals were the same as 100% of everyone I’ve ever consulted with: They wanted to increase their follower count. I’m all for this. Heck, I just wrote a blog post that was entirely about using @UofOklahoma’s Twitter following analytics to recap 2014. It’s every bit the thrilling read it sounds. You can read it HERE.
However, while growing your following is great fun (I mean, who doesn’t like to see those numbers climb?!), it’s never my main focus at OU. Here, we use social media as a branding tool and my overall objective is to build our brand. With this strategy, we’ve seen our following grow because we’re building the brand. I also believe this allows us to net like-minded followers and have less turnover.
The captains asked a lot of really good questions and we discussed a lot of fun ideas. Be sure to follow them – I’m sure we’re in for some informative yet entertaining content.