Social media. Where do we start?

I usually start these blogs explaining what the topic is, but I feel I can skip that this week!

Twitter is now X. Threads has arrived. AI integrations are popping up all over the place. It’s a full time job just keeping up with the changes, never mind trying to put a social strategy together for your organisation.

I’m not going to go into the nuances of every available platform as this blog would be out of date almost instantly! Instead I’m going to remind you of the things that remain true regardless of any changes:

Be where your audience are
Like with any marketing channel, you need to be really clear about who you’re talking to. Work out your audience first and then pick the right platform/s for you. Read this useful article which explains who’s on which platform.

Don’t try and do it all
You need to spend 10-15 hours per week, per platform to ensure you’ll get a result. That includes content creation, posting and community management. Read that again – 10 to 15 hours per week, per platform!

Don’t think of social media as ‘free’ any more. It takes a real investment of time and/or money to get a meaningful result, and to build an engaged audience that converts into customers or donors. If your resources are limited, focus on one or two platforms that really work for you or post less often, but make it really good content.

Be a good citizen
People who only talk about themselves… annoying right? Don’t be that person on social media. You should put as much time into engaging with your online community as you do into your posts. Make sure you’re interacting with posts in your feed and answering all DMs. Post comments into groups and interact on pages that aren’t just promoting your own services. Be a useful person to know and you’ll see the impact in your own engagement.

Be realistic
This one could also be titled ‘manage everyone else’s expectations’. Social media management is a lot harder than it was even 12 months ago, so if you’re reviewing your engagement year on year don’t be surprised if it looks like you’re not performing as well as you were. It’s not you, it’s them!

Use video
People are consuming more and more video. Its content you really do need to be creating to drive up your visibility and engagement. Before you sign up to TikTok or start creating shorts and reels check it’s right for your brand, audience and message. Social is the channel for experimentation though so give it a go and make sure you review how it’s being received and course correct accordingly.

Follow best practice
Repurposing content and cross posting between platforms is a great way to populate your feed. But when sharing across different platforms, ensure you make adjustments such as length of post, tone of voice, hashtags, positioning of links and image size. Tailoring your content to each platform will help create meaningful engagement, and build your audience base.

For more tips on social media best practice, read this great blog entry from hootsuite.

Don’t make social media your whole marketing plan
Remember you are renting space on these platforms and – as we’ve seen – the platform owners can do whatever they want. Ensure you have other ways to reach your social media audience. Links to your website, events, donations and regular reminders to sign up to your newsletter will ensure you have a way to communicate with your audience outside of social media.

If you struggle to update your feeds regularly, or find yourself rushing out content you haven’t put enough thought into, then consider scheduling your posts, so you can write them at a time that works for you, ensuring your audiences are getting high quality, impactful content that aligns with your brand. Or ask us to help!

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Lisa Cormack
Marketing & Client Services Manager