A colleague and I are delivering a presentation to a client this morning. We’ve been asked to help senior leadership promote digital literacy both within their organization. We created an acronym to help our client remember the way forward: CREAM.

  • Culture: The leadership team must model the behaviour it would like to see internally. Part of this means creating the conditions under which their employees feel comfortable and supported in using online tools to engage their target audience. I suggest tip sheets and how-tos available that are as visible as guidelines and policies.
  • Research: Know who you want to engage, where they are gathering and what they are talking about. Online attitudes, styles and language in any community are adapted to the digital platforms people use. Being human online is done through constraint-based creativity. Knowing how its done is important to informing your own activities.
  • Engage: Sometimes the best way to be comfortable using social media tools, and especially getting noticed on social media platforms, is to seek out themes and ideas that interest you and responding to them. Lots of people publish content. Get noticed by interacting with others where they are rather than trying to start a new interaction.
  • Adapt: Being relevant online is a process, not a product. Social media tools and culture constantly evolve. You’ll have your own experiences as well as observe how other interact, and prepare and post their own fresh content. Don’t be afraid to try new ways of participating or presenting your content.
  • Measure: If you’re trying to make an impact, it’s important to measure your progress and know when adjustments are necessary. It’s critical, though, that you use metrics that are meaningful for your organizational goals. HINT: these are not how many followers, shares and likes you accumulate.

Remember, CREAM always rises to the top.

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