1. Make Metrics Your Best Friend
Just like you use measurable outcomes to determine if your programs are working or not, metrics provide invaluable insights to your community. What does your community enjoy hearing about? What do they need to know? What do they want to know? A big component the first year of using social media is listening. Not physically listening but listening to what your community tells you through their actions, reactions or in-actions. Many of these can be determined through metrics. Hootsuite, Facebook and Twitter have intuitive metrics. Make sure you have enabled metrics on your website (if you’re using wordpress access the “JetPack” plug-in), you can also access metrics on Pinterest easily. Beth Kanter, nonprofit social media guru, walks you step-by-step how to make SMART goals and then standardize them (extremely helpful if you are attempting to get a grant for social media purposes).
Setting aside time specifically each week or each month will help you make analyzing metrics habitual. Take a close look at everything to see what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t look at it like a chore. This is free feedback from your community. Use it!
Other great articles and resources:
2. Reassess Your Posts
Ask yourself: what is bringing the most engagement? Do not ask: How many likes/followers have we gotten this week? Many will argue this point but here we feel strongly that 200 strong supporters far outweighs 1,000 passive “likers.” While the numbers look great – are those numbers engaging with you? Are they providing feedback? Are those followers being advocates and spreading your message, donating, or volunteering at your events? If not, then you need to reassess how you are reaching your audience. Social media isn’t just a popularity contest, it’s a way to connect and engage with those who are passionate about your cause. Make sure you aren’t getting sidetracked by the “vanity metrics” by reassessing your posts and motivations. Allyson Kaplin from Frogloop Nonprofit Marketing suggests these great parameters:
- Focus on Target Audiences – Are we fostering meaningful conversations with target audiences?
- Focus on Influence – Do the people we seek to reach look to our organization as a leading authority? Do they come to us first for the latest information and resources?
- Focus on Trust – Do the people we have relationships with on social media trust our organization and the information and resources we share? This also relates to our influence, highlighted above.
- Focus on Commitment and Conversion Rates – Do people feel committed to our organization and the work we do? Are we moving people up the ladder of engagement and getting them to take an important action on behalf of our organization because they feel passionate about our mission?
- Focus on Engagement That Connects to Mission – Are we measuring engagement based on our organization’s mission and key goals?
Read the entire article here.
3. Engage Differently On Each Platform
Just like you speak differently to your mother than you do your co-worker, each social platform handles a little differently. Tailoring your posts and interaction on each platform does not take a lot of time (you have Hootsuite, remember?) and it makes a huge difference. Facebook can be more conversational, it has a larger amount of characters. Twitter has limited characters. Facebook is very visual, images go a long way on Facebook but on twitter links reign supreme. Again, who is your target? Are you speaking the way your community “hears” best (back up to number 1). You can share the same message you just need to package it a little differently per platform. Here are a few examples from our feed:
Kivi Miller of Nonprofit Marketing wrote a great piece about why it’s appropriate to speak differently on each platform.
4. Add An Additional Element
You are rocking at your current methods of communication. You’ve found where your audience lives and feel like you’re getting great interaction. You have extra time (maybe?) and some extra zeal and want to attract even more people, convert some dormant followers, or test a new market. Yes, it’s time to add an additional platform. Now, what that looks like for your organization is different than the organization next door. It is time again to define what those goals would be for an additional platform and make sure you have the right one.
The Atlanta History Center has a great following on all its platforms. They decided to use Instagram to humanize their organization? Yes, they found the same issue, their audience wasn’t as engaged with pictures of the building workers, etc. Until they came up with a genius hook: “Wouldagrammed.” They post old photos in history from the center, with a brief description and the hashtag #wouldagrammed. Initially it pushed their user engagement up by 20%. The best part is the photos are all parts of exhibits in the center, encouraging those viewing them to either donate, visit or pass it along.
A past July 4 post from the Atlanta History Center:
5. Prepare to Get a Little Uncomfortable
Are you going to know everything you’re doing? No. Should you? Ehhhh maybe, but most likely no. If you’re bored or completely content with how you’re marketing and interacting with your audience chances are things have gone stale. Constant reassessment and retooling help keep your organization fresh and in tune with what is at your fingertips. Don’t be afraid to try and fail miserably. The best way to learn is to try and a good percentage of the time the most effective learning happens through failure. You have to accept the fear and the discomfort in order to fail or succeed!
So get out there and try something new then let us know about it! We’d love to cheer you along.