You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Much has been written (some of it in this blog) about growing your Facebook audience, increasing your hits, and building your followers, and those are laudable, quantifiable goals. The question is whether achieving those goals is doable and, more importantly, meaningful for your district’s particular situation?

It all goes back to the first part of the RACE formula: research. Only by researching the needs, wants and habits of your audiences can you develop strategies and tactics that will solve a problem. If you’re blindly following the lead of other social media practitioners, chances are that the outcomes you desire will be more elusive.

A case in point is a project my district mounted that employed QR codes in a publication. The premise was that the codes would deliver students to a web page where they could obtain additional information. By moving that information online, the cumbersome material could be left out of the print piece but still be available. The result? Very few people actually visited the pages and the important information went unread.

A series of focus groups (conducted after the fact, unfortunately) revealed that students had seen the QR codes, but either didn’t know what they were for or didn’t have the smartphone technology needed to access them. We made the false assumption that our audience would not only be tech-savvy but also have the latest technology at their disposal.

We may re-visit QR codes or delve into whatever new social media channel or technology emerges, but first we’ll take a moment to find out what we don’t know.

2 Replies to “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know”

  1. We use QR codes to enhance what we do, not substitute. We used a QR code on our annual printed calendar given to 42,000 students and 6,000 employees. The QR code takes users to an online version of the same calendar so they can access it 24/7 wherever they are if they don’t have the printed version in front of them. We also use a QR code to help users download our mobile app.

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