So, what should you post to keep your fans and followers engaged? How do you navigate social media without boring or annoying people? Here are some of the guidelines I’ve found in my own search for answers to these questions.
Emphasis on social
Remember the social aspect of social media, and don’t make it all about you or your organization. Try to follow the so-called Rule of Thirds or the 80/20 Rule. While the ratios and guidelines are each slightly different, the main point remains the same: your content should not be entirely self-promotional. You should also aim to inform, educate, help, or entertain your followers.
A nonprofit’s strategy will probably have a different look than a strategy for a for-profit business. This article describing the Three A’s (Appreciation. Advocacy. Appeals) offers great advice for nonprofits. An animal rescue organization for example, could share volunteer profiles, successful adoption stories, and tips for pet owners, in addition to fundraising appeals.
Don’t forget that social media should be a two-way street. That means acknowledging and thanking people for shares and retweets, and responding to comments and questions. Building relationships is key and should be one of the main aspects of your social media presence.
Know your audience
Who are your followers, and what do they care about? Think of topics that relate to your cause or your area of expertise, and find content to match. Try a mix of relevant news stories, how-to articles, videos, and blog posts. If you find something interesting or helpful, chances are that others will, too.
Quality over quantity
Not everyone’s goal can be, nor should be, the most likes or most followers. Figure out what matters to you and your organization. Do you want to create a relationship with your community? Do you want to increase awareness of a cause? Focusing on a goal can help you choose what to do with your social media, and help you measure whether you’re achieving those goals. Keep an eye on your metrics to see what people respond to, and do more of what works.
I’m still working toward our goals, but I’m using the tactics here to reach them. Pay attention to your audience, try to provide valuable and interesting content, and use metrics to help guide your choices.