In response to my post “Leveraging the New Addiction,” one reader wrote me to point out that social media platforms aren’t solely free advertising; they’re an arena to engage in discussions with their audiences. This couldn’t be more true.
Once a nonprofit has defined its goals and objectives for using social media, it can begin interacting with fans and followers in meaningful ways.
Take a moment to reflect on what YOU like and don’t like about social media content. When you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed, what catches your eye? What do you look past? What annoys you? What do you retweet or respond to?
Think about these points when you’re creating social media content. You shouldn’t be force-feeding your audience information about your organization or else they’ll never pay attention. Use the least amount of words in the most creative way possible and your viewers are more likely to read what you’re posting.
Whenever you can, find ways to spark conversations. If you’re posting an interesting article on Facebook, add something that asks for audience’s feedback. Questions like these, encourage your audience to post feedback, which allows you to move from a one-way conversation to a two-way one.
It’s not enough to simply post content. If one of your fans post an interesting article, share exciting information or pose questions related to your nonprofit, here’s your chance to be a part of conversation that’s outside of your page. The more you interact with others, the more likely they are to interact with you.
Respond to feedback
Unless your organization is god sent, you’ll probably receive both positive and negative feedback from time to time. Whenever you’re mentioned positively on Twitter, it’s common courtesy to say thank you in one way or another. However, if the content is negative, it’s natural to want to shy away from saying anything. “Who would know if you responded anyway, right?” Wrong! Be the first to contact that individual and try to alleviate the situation before the alleged “problem” turns into something more. If you don’t, you’ll regret it.
Since the birth of social media sites, businesses, brands and nonprofits have experienced the power that people have to make your mistakes known on a global scale. For example, Amazon and its “#AmazonFail” episode is still in the process of recovering from the wrath of its angered audience years after the incident.
Ultimately, social media platforms are an excellent way to communicating with audiences and having valuable discussions. When used correctly and strategically, these discussions can be used to form relationships.