Sep 8

Social Media: When in Doubt, be a Resource

If your organization is looking to up its social media game, you’ve likely researched best practices online, perhaps even from our blog.Social Media Photo

Earlier this summer, we wrote a great piece about organizational tips for becoming a social media pro. A common conundrum we often hear is that organizations want to post more on social but they feel lost and don’t know where to start. They want to get better, gain more followers and increase engagement but feel stuck at the starting gate. This is common, especially for organizations where social media isn’t necessarily a top priority or common tool used in their industry.

While it may be the dream of all social media mangers to have millions of followers, tons of engagement and clever, topical content to keep people coming back for more, the reality is, social media works differently for each organization. Not everyone needs to be at a Wendy’s level.

The short answer to this problem? Use your social media page as a resource.

Where to start

One of the essentials to being successful on social media is to know your audience and cater to their needs. Your followers are there for a reason; they like you and your brand, want to learn more from you and stay updated on your organization. So use that as a launching point.

As a staff, discuss common issues or concerns your customers or stakeholders have and how you can use social media to better address their needs. Look for community groups on social media relevant to your organization and see if there are common themes discussed. Your organization may have insight to these discussions that can help shape how you can use your social media platforms as a resource.

Education

Regardless how large or small that number under “followers” is, an easy way to get your foot off the social media ground is to start educating your followers on your organization and the work it does. An educated audience is almost always a friendly audience.

If you’re worried about trolls spreading misinformation, nip it in the bud by consistently posting quality, fact-based content. It won’t happen overnight, and the possibility of an occasional troll will always be there to an extent, but when your audience becomes educated, many times they can start policing for you by jumping in and correcting misinformation or shushing a troll. Be a part of the solution to stopping the spread of misinformation that continues to be a huge focus in the social media landscape.

Be a news source

Studies have shown that nearly two-thirds of Americans get their news from social media. Don’t mourn; use those numbers to your advantage. A great way to gain followers is for people to view your organization’s page as a source for reliable and helpful information. Share tips and relevant news from your industry too and tie it back to how your organization plays a role in it all.

It’s also okay to share resourceful information from other reputable organizations. A common fear here is that if you share other organizations’ posts, that will drive traffic away from your page. However, if users can get information more efficiently through your page rather than sifting through multiple channels, they will continue to see your page as an all-encompassing resource.

You have more content than you think

Choosing what to post: another common social media struggle. You may think there isn’t a lot going on in your organization or certain times of year may be slower than others, so you don’t post frequently. However, organizations usually have a good amount of social content readily available and they don’t realize it.

Cue your website.

An easy way to fill in those social media lulls is to dissect your website into social posts. Turn your staff directory page into monthly staff profiles. Perhaps your organization has multiple locations. Create a graphic showing where they are. Going through your website and brainstorming creative ways to use information that is already there is a great way to post regular content.

But it should be more than just copying and pasting text. Visuals are essential on social media, particularly videos, so think of how you can convert a few sentences on your website to a video or infographic. You don’t have to be an expert videographer or graphic designer either. There are free tools out there that will do the heavy lifting for you such Canva for graphics and YouTube has its own built-in editing software.

Improving your social media presence is not done overnight. It takes time. Struggles stem from organizations not having a plan, being impatient, too busy, feeling skittish about posting or thinking there’s nothing to say. Every organization has a story to tell and each one is written differently. So if you want to be better at social, dedicate time regularly to maintain it, have a plan, be patient and tell your story.


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