You’d have to be living under a rock not to know what social media is and how important it can be for organisations. It’s vital that your charity is on there, and that you’re working towards building up supporters through the platforms the internet has to offer.
Social media is the best way to keep your audience engaged with your brand, and in this ever-competitive sector, we all know how important engagement is. Any potential supporter of yours wants to know who you are, what you’re doing, and how their input is helping to change the world, or impacting the causes they care about. Social media is the best way to get that out to people.
But it can be difficult. It would appear that the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram teams are adamant on making engagement difficult to attain unless you’re willing to pay for it.
Nevertheless, there are free ways to encourage your supporters to interact with your content. Here’s our advice.
Choose your content wisely
Think about the things you like to engage with on social media. You probably like case studies, nice stories, compelling images and well-edited videos. You probably do not share toolkits, resources, donation requests (unless it’s an emergency response) or PDF downloads of ‘useful content’.
If you’re trying to promote any of that stuff, you need to be clever about the way you do it.
The bulk of your social media activity should be made up of content your audience would genuinely be expecting to see and engage with on their social media pages, like case studies, videos and interesting imagery. Save the formal stuff. Put it somewhere else.
Know your audience
Who are they? How old are they? What’s their average income? What other content do they regularly engage with? You should be able to answer all of these questions, and the answers should be informing your social media strategy.
It should go without saying that your content should be built for the people who like you, but you’d be surprised how many charities are missing the mark on this. Think carefully about what your audience would want to see, and make sure you’re producing it.
It’s also very important that you make sure you’re targeting your audience wherever they are. If they’re young people then you need to be on Snapchat and Instagram. If they’re older people, focus your attention on Facebook.
Post consistently. The Facebook algorithm favours predictability. You must make sure that someone within your organisation is being held accountable for producing content for social media and posting it on a regular basis.
This is not an easy task, so make sure you’re giving them the time they need to do it. There’s no point in posting content that isn’t well put together and properly thought through, or you won’t get the response you require, so make sure that social media management is a specific part of someone’s job description and not an extra task you add to their endless things of important things to do.