As a social media consultant, I have often been asked about best practices. I do hesitate to just give out advice about specific strategies because in this ever-changing world of social media, a strategy or practice that was effective for one brand, may not work on another. Furthermore, a social media tactic that works today may not work tomorrow, due to changing algorithms and platforms.
So when asked about best practices, I go back even further, looking at core practices that will work regardless of platform or medium.
Below are THREE CORE PRACTICES that you could implement on your brand, no matter what social media platform you are using.
To start, you must remember this:
The followers and supporters you have on social media are there because they believe in the work that you do, share your values and appreciate your brand or organization’s mission. The social media landscape changes every day. Platforms remove and add features constantly. And algorithms are altered continuously.
You can reach new audiences and strengthen relationships with existing supporters, regardless of the changes that happen in social media. Here’s how:
1. Use Storytelling Techniques in Your Posts
It’s always about the story. By incorporating narrative techniques into your content, whether through text and photos or even better – video, you can trigger emotions and engagement.
American Cancer Society on Facebook
When Velma Dunn was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was in shock. Today, she is optimistic thanks to advances in research and technology.
Posted by American Cancer Society on Friday, October 26, 2018
The story of Velma Dunn, a cancer survivor, is told in her own words via video.
The story here is about Tom’s campaign to “End Gun Violence,” and of course, what better way to tell the story than to have Tom’s Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie relate the story in his own words, via video.
Barks of Love on Instagram – In thoughtful #pupoftheweek posts, Barks of Love tells the story of ONE pup at a time.
A Walk on Water on Instagram – Again, another effective storytelling post, tagging the appropriate partners.
2. Understand your audience. Each platform has a unique audience, so posting the same image or video or text across all platforms is ineffective.
Use Instagram to share snapshots of people, volunteers (if you are a non-profit), customers, event attendees, your products being made, etc. Remember to direct them to your Facebook page or website for more information. (Note: at this time, hyperlinks in Instagram do not work, instead direct them to a “link in bio,” which is clickable.)
Use Facebook to post longer stories, campaign information, event promotions.
In this example, you will see the same post with a slight difference for each channel – the hyperlink, also see how it is tagged on Instagram. Note the same content posted on different days per channel
Charity:Water on Facebook
3. Leverage social media to achieve a concrete goal: promote an event, get donations, recruit volunteers. Remember to link signup or event pages on your website.
Ex. Alzheimer’s Association
These examples show how the Alzheimer’s Association promotes its Walk for Alzheimer’s accross platforms -note the size changes but the same look and info.
So what now? As you enter the new year, remember these three things when creating your social media strategy. Tell a story, know your audience, and remember that social media tools are just the means to an end and not the end itself.