By Zuri Forman
Is social media a key component of your organization’s marketing strategy? Using social media is a way to get people engaged with and talking about your organization. It’s a great opportunity to share your message, as well as inspire your audience to serve as advocates for your message with others. Though it may take a while to build momentum, it’s a perfect way to speak directly to your audience, receive feedback and lead the conversation.
Don’t overlook the potential of social media to help your organization raise awareness of its cause and programs. Everyone uses social media, from your volunteers, donors and supporters to the media. Use this as a chance to grab your supporters’ attention. There’s already so much information on the Web on how to build a social media following. Between research and experience as both the manager and the receiver of social media outreach, we have outlined a few key tips to help you engage your organization’s audience in a way that excites their interest and compels them to get involved with your work.
Promote your social media presence as much as you can, from your email signature to your organization’s website, business cards and during speaking opportunities. Make it easy for your supporters to find your social networks and stay connected with your organization. Encourage people to follow you and always follow them back.
Initiate the dialogue. Get creative! Join discussion groups on LinkedIn, participate in Twitter chats and create hashtags for events, your area of expertise or a topic of hot debate. Doing so will help you tap into the interests of niche audiences who share a similar passion for your organization’s cause or community work and position your organization as a leader in larger conversation. If you fail to stay active in conversation, you’re not keeping your audience fully engaged and may lose their attention.
Supplement content with images and videos. A picture is worth a thousand words. Take advantage of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube and Vimeo that allow you to broadcast images and video and illustrate your message in a way that text content cannot. Sharing images of your programs and events gives your followers a peak into the organization’s work in action and presents the organization in a personal and accessible way.
Write a blog to share your organization’s expertise, entice dialogue and build momentum for your cause. You can keep your audience actively engaged by taking different approaches with each blog posting, from opinion pieces to questions and answers from your organization’s leadership to simply sharing a roundup of the latest news in your field. However, with each blog post, remember to encourage comments as a way to spark discussion.