Posted on March 15, 2011

For organizations around the world, social media has emerged as a powerful form of communication that allows for unprecedented levels of two-way engagement. The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) was one of the first government organizations in Qatar to enter the social media realm when it established a basic presence on Facebook and YouTube in 2008.

Since then, ictQATAR has expanded its outreach to nineteen social media outlets, finding different benefits and challenges with each.

In a newly released white paper, ""ictQATAR: Creating a Strategic Presence in Social Media,"" ictQATAR presents its social media journey and details its eight-stage strategy for enhancing its social media efforts, as well as twelve tips for creating an effective social media strategy.

The paper includes specific case studies on social media usage by ictQATAR across a variety of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Qatar Living and Qatar Shares. It is meant to serve as an example for other organizations, specifically government bodies, on how they can effectively use social media to engage their key audiences.

"ictQATAR has found social media to be an extremely powerful way to connect with our stakeholders and receive valuable feedback and insight on a variety of programs and initiatives. It has truly helped us build a dialogue with our constituents," said Howaida Nadim, ictQATAR's Executive Director of Communications. ""We hope this white paper will encourage more organizations in Qatar to integrate social media into their outreach plans and tap into the powerful two-way communications it enables."

In the white paper, the eight-steps outlined for ictQATAR's social media efforts were:

1. Establishing a Share of Voice
2. Developing Clear Social Media Goals
3. Identifying Key Social Media Sites and Focusing on Them
4. Setting a Content Strategy
5. Selecting the Right Tools
6. Engaging and Facilitating Conversations
7. Monitoring Progress
8. Establishing a Growth Strategy

ictQATAR plans to present the white paper to numerous government and non-governmental organizations to help them understand the benefits of social media and demystify some of the concerns about engaging in it. The white paper will also be presented to at numerous universities in Qatar, specifically to marketing, communications, media and IT students.

The white paper, ""ictQATAR: Creating a Strategic Presence in Social Media,"" is available online at this link. To request a hard copy, email