So, you want to jump into social media. Or, maybe, you want to refresh your existing online presence. Great! Now, how do you stand out among the hundreds of organizations trying to do likewise? Here are some tips for planning and executing a social media strategy with impact:
Planning a strategy
- Focus on the social media channels your audiences use vs. the ones you like simply because you already know them
- Outline realistic goals for frequency and scheduling on each channel
- Set up analytics and tracking to help identify which type of posts get results vs. which don’t. Programs like TweetDeck and Hootsuite can get you started, and many social media channels generate their own analytics reports for customers.
- Brainstorm ideas about the type of news and info you want to share. Quotes and photos are particularly powerful. You can also mention new products, neat results or stories, or upcoming events.
- Establish a process for engaging with others through social media – remember, it’s a two-way dialogue
Crafting compelling posts
- Think about the length of your news and the most appropriate channels to communicate it
- Adding photos, links, quotes and hashtags can create intrigue, but don’t overdo it
- If you have a static piece of news, consider formatting it on top of an image – people love visuals!
- Aim for short, punchy and enticing in your language
- Mention key people, organizations or items
- Put the most interesting information first (This might be different from what you think is the most important information. People won’t get to the important if they don’t first find it interesting.)
- Leave the readers curious so they engage with links or follow up conversation
Each version assumes a bitly link would follow the language.
- Weak: Read our new article.
- Strong: The newest article by Dr. Joe Smith focuses on improving access to transportation services.
- Stronger: How will access to transportation improve the lives of Milwaukee-area residents? Dr. Joe Smith shares his insights in our latest article.
- Weak: Join other community leaders at our seminar event.
- Strong: Connect with #nonprofit leaders for hands-on learning at @AFP_VI
- Stronger: #nonprofit leaders are applying lessons from #JohnSmith. Are you? Stop by @AFP_VI today!
The “Stronger” versions in these examples ask questions, sound personal and pull readers in. They also utilize specifics about people, places and hashtags to boost visibility and relevance.