Social media should be a massive part of your communication strategy. Whether your aim is to keep current supporters up-to-date or to encourage engagement from new audiences, a properly thought through social media strategy can help you achieve your goals.
Not sure where to start? Here are our top tips for developing a social media strategy that works for you.
Identify your goals
Your social media strategy should be aligned with the overall goals of your organisation. What are your key performance indicators this year? Are you trying to increase regular givers, or improve brand awareness, or increase the number of single donations?
Your social media strategy should be planned with this in mind. Work out what you want to do, then plan the content you need to help you do it.
Assess what’s working and what isn’t
If you know that case studies perform particularly well when you post them then it’s likely that you’ll want to fit these into your social media strategy somewhere, but it’s as important that you stop wasting time on things that aren’t working, too.
Conduct a full audit of your current activity. What works? What doesn’t? What have you yet to test?
Your best content should form the foundation of your new social media strategy. Get rid of anything that doesn’t work, and make time to test and review the things that you haven’t tried.
Find your inspiration and become them
Have a think about the social media accounts that you enjoy. What is it that they do that makes you engage with them? How can you emulate this across your own accounts?
It’s also a good idea to have a look at your major competition. If you’re an international development charity, what are the bigger charities like UNICEF and Save The Children doing? At the moment, they’re focusing a lot of their energy on video content. It’s highly likely that this is because this form of media really works for them, so perhaps you should try it, too?
These types of organisations are ahead of the game. They’ll have done a lot of testing to inform their social media strategy, so try and learn as much as you can from their actions.
Social media shouldn’t be something you do when you have time, or when you have a campaign that needs a push. The algorithms running behind these networks are complicated, and they reward organisations who post content people are inspired to engage with on a regular basis.
If your channels are quiet for days at a time, you’re going to struggle to gain traction when you really need it.
Create a designated social media plan, highlighting what content you’re planning on posting when, and stick to it.
You can plan and plan and plan, but there should still be times when you need to drop everything and react to something important. Alongside your planned social media strategy, you need to be ready to react at all times.
It’s a good idea to create a series of templates. That way if something happens out of the blue, you’re not having to create brand new social media assets from scratch, because this will hold you back.
Identify your audience
Who is most interested in your work? Men? Millenials? People from a particular ethnic background? Create your content for them.
It can be tempting to try and make all content relevant to everyone, but this is a mistake. You might alienate those who really are interested in what you are doing, whilst only converting a few of the wider population into supporters.
Don’t be afraid to really go for those who you know for sure are fans of your work.
Create your social media strategy based on the type of content they interact with and post it at times when they usually frequent social media.
Track your results and be flexible
Sometimes you’re going to spend a lot of time creating something, only for it to flop when you post it online. Other times you’ll react to something you think is only vaguely relevant, and your supporters will love it.
Social media strategies need to be fluid. They should be monitored and reacted to. They should be flexible.
Take good note of what’s working well and what really isn’t, and take it all from there.