Social Media: Get your voice heard
Engaging with customers within the cacophony of social media can feel chaotic
There’s a great big conversation happening right now all over the web. Everyone wants to be heard, whether they’re a person or representing a business, charity or cause. Engaging with customers within this cacophony can feel chaotic, success can seem random and the point of it all can get lost along the way. Getting your voice heard takes investment and time, but if you do it right it can also be a lot simpler (and kinder to your sanity) than you might think.
What’s the DNA of your organisation? A simple key to being heard is having a unique voice. It’s not something you tap into by trying to be unique (which often has the opposite effect) but by knowing who you are. You don’t have to sound like anyone else. You don’t even have to sound cool or exciting. Your relevancy will come by staying true to the spirit of your organisation. When you do, your voice will draw those who resonate with your values and your purpose - and they’re probably the people you most want to reach anyway.
Know your capacity
You don’t have to do everything (breathe that sigh of relief). If your organisation only has a little time to give to the social media conversation, focus on doing just one thing well. It’s worth doing a bit of research to determine which platform most of your target audience is using. It’s a different kind of person that spends large portions of the day on Twitter, to one who watches Instagram Stories. Once you know where your people are, throw your full weight in that direction. You can always expand to other platforms when you have more to give.
Engage in conversation
Social media is primarily meant to be, well, social. If you only using the platform to advertise your services, your account won’t feel very human. It takes time, but jumping on the platform simply to engage - or in more human terms - talk - with people has rewards that go beyond simply getting more followers. People seem more trustworthy than businesses, even than charities, and since your organisation is made up of people, it would be a shame not to let that show. Celebrate the success of others online, like other people’s posts or pitch in to those long, silly threads of comments. You’ll end up connecting with people, which is the whole point of the thing.
Tend to your images
On social media, visual content rules. Even though some platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow you to post without an image, it’s (high quality) pictures that will grab people’s attention away from the hundred other things crowding their feed. If you can keep a steady chain of striking images coming, you can create easy momentum for yourself. Use tools like Canva to help you compose an image, or Snapfeed to enhance the quality of a mobile photo.
Offer something of value
Grabbing people’s attention is the first stage, keeping it is the second. You’ll only hold interest relative to the value of what you’re sharing. But that doesn’t mean you need to be profound. Something of value just means that it needs to be something people are interested in reading, or that could benefit them, even in a small way. You’ve already got expertise from your field to share, it’s just a matter of condensing it into Twitter or Instagram-sized chunks.
Looking for further ways to reach people in the ever-developing 21st Century? Read our advice on how to connect to young people using technology.
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