Let’s face it: Social media is here to stay.
For those of you who are not tech-savvy or overly enthusiastic about the online world, it’s likely this fact fills you with dread.
But I encourage you to think of it as a tool, one which is free and can help promote the wonderful work that you’re doing.
There are benefits to utilising social media, particularly when it comes to sharing information and raising awareness about community projects.
A few benefits are:
- It’s free!
- You can reach people who may not otherwise engage with your service.
- It can be a brilliant way to network with other organisations.
- You can use the analytics to find out more about your online audience.
- You can use the analytics to create content that your online audience is likely to engage with.
- You can maximise the potential audience of any event, workshop or training that you do.
- You can use it to drive traffic to your organisation website, if you have one.
But where do you begin?
- Start looking for content. It doesn’t have to be complicated at all. It could be photos of a group meeting (with permission, of course), photos of activities or a few words of feedback from the community. It is everywhere!
- Think about who you want to appeal to. Do you want to attract more residents to your meetings? Would you like more professionals to make referrals to your support service? Think about who you want to target with your social media content.
- Create a key message. Following on from the previous point, think about what is the overall message you want to share. It could be around the accessibility of your groups, the availability of your sessions, the ease of referrals or a special anniversary you are celebrating in the community.
- Find your online audience. OneWalsall is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But you will notice that our content is slightly different on all three platforms. That’s because I have noticed that the audience changes. Facebook seems to have more community members engaging with our posts, whereas Twitter seems to have other organisations on. LinkedIn is a website for professionals to network. You can see how the content would need to be altered slightly for each audience.
- Pick a platform. You don’t have to be on everything, so perhaps pick a starting point. Following from the previous point, it would be a good idea to start wherever your audience are.
- Create content! Share events, activities, feedback, service information, behind the scenes, case studies, opportunities, anything and everything that is focused on promoting your organisation.
The secret to creating a strong online presence is about being consistent – with time and with content. So don’t wander too far from your organisation’s Aims and Values, respond to messages and comments efficiently, and have fun!
Got a communications question? Email our specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org