It’s easy to set up social media accounts. Maintaining them is much more of a challenge.
Social media has a voracious appetite for content. It never stands still — but your nonprofit’s accounts can. It’s a bad look when you have a social media profile that hasn’t been sharing content for weeks, or even months. The key to social media success is to consistently share valuable content that is, well, shareable.
That requires some thought, and so does your social media strategy. It’s important to plan ahead, to have enough content in the pipeline that your accounts will never lie dormant for too long.
Social media posts are NOT something you want to spend time coming up with at the last minute every day. Sure, there will be times when you have an event or campaign that creates tons of postable content, or there’s a breaking news story that you would like to share or comment upon. What about those quiet times when there’s seemingly nothing to talk about? That’s where the planning comes in.
It’s important to sit down with whoever is in charge of your social media accounts and content creation to create an “editorial calendar.” The goal is to develop a schedule for posting, with the content all queued up and ready to go. You can even schedule posts for posting at a future time on some platforms like Facebook, so once you have the content, you can set it up all in one day!
What kind of content should you schedule? Here are some ideas:
Start a Blog. One of the best sources of content for social media is your own blog. Here, you can write about topics of interest to your audience, and then share them on your social media platform. The cool thing about blog posts is that you can repost them from time to time — say, every few months — and it can be fresh content for your fans, especially your most recent ones.
Ask Questions. A good use of social media is to ask questions of your audience. First, it shows you care what they have to say, and are not only about self-promotion. Second, it builds community, as commenters get to know each other (and your nonprofit). Even better, your nonprofit might learn something from your followers’ responses.
Post Video. Even if it’s just of one of your staff members giving an update on goings-on, post the video. You can show the culture of your nonprofit through a fun video. Every time something happens in public, be sure to shoot it. Don’t worry too much about professionalism, if you don’t have access to a video expert. It’s what you’re communicating that’s key. Keep in mind that platforms, like Facebook, seem to be giving videos preference in their news feeds. Video content greatly increases your chance of being seen.
Post Photos. This is especially great if you’d like to capture an Instagram audience. It’s easy, and again, it humanizes your cause.
Link to Pages on Your Site. You probably have a lot of great content on your website. Share different pages from time to time!
Post Links of Interest. You don’t need to produce everything yourself. Inform your audience of interesting articles, studies, websites, and about other social media accounts they should follow. These are easy to do, and again show that you’re not all about self-promotion.
The key, again, is to create content and schedule it in advance, so there’s never any extended “downtime” with your profiles.