It’s time for a fresh look. A clairifying look, if you will.
Many of you have questions about social media, so let’s start by blowing out a few cobwebs and clearing our heads.
Because if you think any of these things (below), you’re making a mistake in today’s zeitgeist.
There’s been a digital revolution, and the way people learn about you and communicate with you has changed. Dramatically.
If you don’t know it, they do.
You can either get inside their heads, or stay inside your own.
You’re inside your own head if you think:
1. I am my brand and cause’s messenger in chief.
No, you’re not. Social media has changed the paradigm. We’ve always trusted word of mouth from our peers more than any other source. Social media makes it possible to channel the wisdom of the crowd in ways never before possible. What you say doesn’t matter to folks all that much. What their friends and people they respect say? That matters a lot.
2. The more places I am, and the cooler stuff I use, the more folks will be impressed.
Are you substituting shiny objects, bells and whistles for heartfelt stories that speak to your constituents’ desires to make an impact in the world? Not using what is known about the power of empathy and storytelling in order to fill your social media messaging with compelling content that drives actions is a huge mistake. Your goal is not to have someone think: “What a cool infographic; I’d like to make one like that for my business.” Rather, you want them to act — volunteer, sign a petition, write to a congressperson or make a donation.
3. It’s fine to send the same message to everyone.
Special plug-ins and apps like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck and Buffer make it easy to send the same message to everyone, on a range of social media channels. This saves time. But the fact you’re doing a certain volume of social media is not the point. If you’re not segmenting and personalizing your messaging so it speaks to what matters to the recipient, then it really doesn’t matter how much or how little time you put into it. Sometimes in social media, as with everything else, less may be more. Quality trumps quantity.
4. I don’t need to worry too much where someone is reading my message.
Wrong again. Test this out for yourself. Try reading your organization’s e-newsletter on your mobile phone. Do the same for your website, your donation page, your (fill in the blank). A Science of Email Marketing study by Hubspot year revealed over 80% of folks are reading email on mobile devices on a daily basis. Very rarely do folks view those emails again on a computer. So if you lose them here, you lose. If it’s hard for people to interact with you from their phones you’re missing a huge opportunity.
5. I don’t really need to engage with folks on social media, as they’re not my big donors.
It’s a mistake to dismiss those who do nothing but ‘like’ you or send a ‘tweet’ as slacktivists who don’t really matter that much and, therefore, don’t require much cultivation and stewardship. Social media can be a great point of entry. And that’s the point. Once you’ve got folks in the door you want to lead them inside. Your goal should be to persuade them to stick around for a while. Encourage these folks to take baby actions to begin with; then move them along to greater engagement. Any ‘customer’ can become a ‘donor.’
There is, of course, a lot more to be said about social media. Why it’s important. What it can help you to achieve. How much time you should be spending on it. How it integrates with your other marketing strategies. How it can help you to generate greater support for your mission. How it can totally derail you if you don’t do it properly. We’re going to talk about all these things—and more – this year.
First, however, consider whether you’re making any of these mistakes. Then think about how you can stop – yes, stopping is good sometimes – and start afresh with a new outlook and a clean slate.
Want to Build Loyalty Using Social Media?
I offer this simple Tip List + Worksheet to walk you through a step-by-step process of evaluating what makes sense for you. How to Stand Out and Build Loyalty Using Social Media will help you build a social content marketing plan, and more. And if you’re not satisfied for any reason, there’s a 30-day no-questions-asked refund policy.
What are your questions about social media and how it can help you achieve your objectives this year?
Please leave a comment, or feel free to contact me directly.