By Daniella Burgos, PR Coordinator, Scott Circle
Social media has become a crucial component of PR and marketing. For organizations and groups who may be working on a budget, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach an audience. Social media outreach, when implemented correctly, can be used as an incredibly useful tool for everything from raising an organization’s general profile to fundraising campaigns and can help build communities of support for relevant issues.
Below are 5 tips and strategies you can utilize that will maximize the impact of your social media efforts in your next campaign, no matter what your budget may be.
1. Find the platform that works for you
Not every platform will work for every organization, nor should you necessarily use every social media platform available. It is important to be selective and find social media platforms that are compatible to your organization, your staff and your specific campaign.
For example, if your campaign has a lot of photo content, focus on using Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to share all the photos. As another example, if your campaign relies more on written content, set up an account on Medium, a blogging platform, and share testimonials on Facebook. These would be more useful strategies to reach a broader audience and share your mission and message with written content, as opposed to visual.
2. Consistency is key
Keeping a consistent presence on social media is just as important as the content you are promoting. Before establishing an online presence, make sure your organization has the resources to devote time to building a strategy and executing that strategy. If you are not able to dedicate the time or resources to regularly post, it might be better not to create an account at all. Inactivity on a social media platform could negatively affect your online reputation. If a platform has not been used for months or even weeks supporters may think you are no longer in business, therefore affecting your credibility as an organization.
You can start off small, working on building up one platform and posting at least once a day. In order to help build interest or action on a topic, you must remain present on that platform and make sure to engage with followers and/or supporters. Thank them for their support or follow them back. Consistence presence on social media helps build trust and credibility with your audience.
3. Prioritize your goals and focus your messaging
Create goals for your social media campaign and focus your messaging around these goals. Do you want to raise awareness? Do you want to cultivate new donors? Do you want to become a thought leader within your community? The success of these goals on social media depends on the type of messaging you post. “Call to action” messaging that is direct and easy to follow is the best way to get quick action. Using terms like “Donate Today”, “Click Here for More Information”, “Like Us On Facebook”, or “Sign Up To Volunteer” will help promote and increase engagement.
4. Evaluate often
As you plan out your social media strategy and set goals for your campaign, make sure to use tools that will help evaluate your messaging and outreach. Evaluating your social media strategy at least once a week during a campaign will help you determine what is working and what needs improvement. For example, if a Facebook or Twitter post is not getting shared or liked, that may be a clue to re-evaluate the messaging or add supporting pictures or videos. If a particular post has seen a lot of engagement, you can mimic the format or content in future posts to hopefully see similar results. By evaluating your posts, it will also give your team the needed confidence boost and feedback to help tackle different social media platforms.
5. Small can be impactful
Spending money to boost or promote your social media posts can be a great way to help target your audience. Even a couple of dollars can go a long way! For example, if a piece of content (i.e. a video or picture) is getting a lot of attention, put some money behind the post to boost engagement and/or views. This will really make a difference with the number or impressions or views and help drive more followers to your page. This boost will also help give your team quantitative data that can be used to help redirect or retarget your efforts to get the most out of your money.
Social media can give organizations the opportunity to drive awareness, cultivate relationships and engage with potential new audiences. It may at times seem daunting, but there is no “one size fits all”, so don’t be afraid to try something new!