Green Means Go! Learn the Social Media ‘Stop Light’ System

October 24, 2011

 An important step in developing your Section’s or Branch’s social media strategy is in clearly defining to volunteers and/or staff which platform is most appropriate for disseminating information. Here at ASCE, with the help of our great consultants, SocialFish, we have implemented a social media “stop light” system.  This tool is easy for your volunteer staff to understand and recall when they find themselves trying to decide what ASCE platforms they would like their content to appear.

The system allows you to break down your Section’s or Branch’s social media outlets into three categories: red, yellow, and green.

Red: These are sites where there is no volunteer staff posting and all content is member created (staff involvement can be necessary to address a breach of policy or correct obvious inaccuracies).  The discussion threads in our LinkedIn groups are a great example. These are sites where you want group members to embrace the ability to engage in open discussion with their peers without staff interruption.

Yellow: Sites that fall under category rely on minimum staff activity.  Facebook is a good example, where fans of your Section’s or Branch’s page will not be able to sustain the page. You will need to keep the page seeded with somewhat regular postings to keep fans engaged and coming back for more.

Green: Social media sites in this category require high levels of involvement from volunteers and/or staff.  This is true for sites like Twitter where accounts are updated every few minutes (but most content is written and scheduled in blocks in advance.)  In order to stay in the top levels of your followers’ news feeds, staff make frequent posts.  If your Section or Branch does not have content to meet the rapid demands of these sites you should stick with sites that fall in the yellow and red categories.

Understanding the stop light system can help your Section or Branch make the most out of its social media platforms as well as maximize the impact of your messages on the target audience.  Let us know if you’d like more details on this system, or if it raises any questions, in the comments below.

Do you already have a volunteer/staff participation system in place? If yes, how does it work?

Lauren Swartz  – Communications Assistant

1 Comment
  • I had never stopped to notice how there are different levels of engagement required for each type of social media but you are 100% correct. Now that you brought it up I will now look consciously at how and why I choose to engage on the various platforms.

    David Ramirez

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