Social media itself is large, overwhelming and all-encompassing. While most organizations use the top 5 platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube) there are hundreds of platforms on which you could be using. If you’re like most of us, initially it appears very defeating. It doesn’t have to be. Start small and you will see how integrating and streamlining your social media can have a huge impact.
1. Find your audience
Each organization is different. Who are you trying to reach? Are you trying to further your message, reach potential donors, retain donors, crowdfund for a project, network for upcoming events, or educate the community at large? Where are your people primarily? There is no right answer – each organization is different. Keep in mind you may be catering to three different audiences in three different places, that’s okay! That’s normal. Throwing mud on the wall and hoping it sticks is an old tactic in marketing – defining who you are speaking to and finding them is more strategic and will absolutely get you farther.
2. Define your goals for each platform
Now that you know where your audience is – how are you going to speak to them? How does it differ on Facebook versus Twitter? They may look something like this:
Facebook Goals: Increase awareness about our organization, it’s mission, promote our events, blog posts and spotlight our members.
Twitter Goals: Connect with organizations doing similar work, potential sponsors and those interested in our blog posts driving traffic to our website.
LinkedIn Goals: Provide a place where we can professionally align with our corporate sponsors and receive recommendations and feedback from those attending our conference for CEU’s. Also, to drive traffic to our website.
Knowing who you’re talking to and why is what will help you from spinning your wheels.
3. Create a content calendar
In it’s simplest form, it is a list of what you should be doing every day for social media. It can be a small list or as complicated as a very detailed Excel worksheet, or whatever format works best for you. Content calendars are organization specific. If you are a small team, you most likely do not need a very complicated calendar. You can have a 7-day rotation like so:
Fill in your themes for each week. Say, you know you do a Wordless Wednesday and Saturday Community Features. Fill them in to do every week. Content will change but the theme remains. Find a way to optimize each day. Using your metrics find when your audience is online and what they are needing to see and hear. Does that mean Tuesday at 11:30 am is the best time to promote events? Great. Now you know. Schedule your promotions accordingly.
4. Combine all accounts to a publishing platform
Great! You’ve figured out you’re audience is on four different sites. Now you have to update them all? Don’t worry. Streamline. Create a Hootsuite account, add your social networks and you’re all in one place.
5. Allow yourself to make mistakes
Chances are you aren’t going to be perfect right out of the gate. No one is. Every 2-4 weeks set aside time to analyze your metrics and see if you’re projected content and timed posts are being seen and the level of engagement. Tweak it. Don’t get frustrated or feel deflated. Just like your schedule, things change depending on the time of year, current world events, politics, holidays- remember that! You won’t know until you try.
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for monthly social media and grant writing tips!