Make Social Media Matter More: Part 1

Flickr: Kevin Dooley Pressure. You feel it. I feel it. The pressure to generate social media miracles.

It’s still there, even this many years in. And whether the source (that you’re keeping up, have a billion Facebook likes or Twitter followers, or your Instagram strategy is driving action) is your boss, board chair and/or your colleague in programs, it’s a problem.

Here’s Your Solution

Start by reviewing the Pew Foundation’s recent Social Media report (great summary here). Objective research is the most powerful tool you have to make your case (take that, “pressurizer”). Follow with these four steps to get the social media monkey off of your back:

  1. Get to know your people. Pew tells us that more older adults are on social media than ever before, especially Facebook, while younger adults 18-29 are visual platforms like Instagram. It’s time to learn where your supporters are social media wise. Follow John Haydon’s step-by-step directions to find which of your donors, subscribers, and volunteers use Facebook. For insights on other social media platforms, use an online survey or ask folks during calls you make for other reasons. Log and share your findings (and responses) with colleagues.
  2. Use supporter insights to project where prospects are social media-wise. Review your marketing plan to focus in on your primary prospects  (start with the people who are most likely to take the actions that will drive your marketing goals forward). Then use what you know about current supporters  to project where similar prospect groups are on social media.
  3. Assess if and where to invest in social media (even if your organization has been there for years). Probe whether the most-used social media channels are useful to help you achieve your broader goals. Use Pew’s finding that 52% of online adults use multiple social networks as a frame for your assessment, and ask yourself 1) Does the kind of interaction in that channel mesh with your calls to action and goals; and 2) Is your investment in each of the most-used channels likely to be profitable?
  4. Focus your energy and time on the SINGLE most-used channel, but only if the return on investment (ROI) is there. Use doesn’t mean value to your organization. It’s near impossible to drive actions on Facebook without paying for advertising at this point, but even Facebook ads aren’t driving the kind of return you want.

Note: It’s going to be far more effective to use one platform well, rather than use multiple platforms in a half-baked way. That’s been proven time and time again. Be ruthless!

More to come very soon!

Nancy Schwartz in Social Media | 6 comments

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