To join or not to join? That is the question. With hundreds of social media sites out there, how do you choose which ones to use for your organization? Doing it because it’s popular isn’t necessarily the best reason. Here are a few tips on making the tough choices. Or view these tips in an exciting infographic.
1) You can’t possibly be on every network, so don’t even try. Pick the 2-3 that make the most sense and approach them with gusto.
2) The message is the medium. Join the networks that your audience is using, or that has an audience you have the potential to connect with. Meet them where they are, don’t just join to join.
3) Remember that each network has it’s own audience and demographics. Users of particular sites are on that platform because they expect specific content delivered in a certain way, i.e. interesting articles shared in 140 characters on Twitter or images with commentary in the form of hashtags on Instagram.
4) Consider sites with a strategic advantage. Being on Google+ can help your search rankings on Google. You can create content in Vine that can be shared in other places, like on it’s sister site, Twitter. LinkedIn is striving to be the social network for business professionals. Think about your social media goals and which sites might work best for you.
5) Audit your network presence. Before you hop on a new site, think about your level of performance and engagement on your current sites. Evaluate whether you have the time and content to truly succeed on each site.
6) It’s okay to say goodbye. It’s actually better leave a social media platform altogether than have a page that is neglected. Use your audit to decide where to stay and where to leave.
7) Have a plan. When you join a new site, be sure to approach it with a strategic plan. Consider the audience on that site, the content you’ll be able to share with them, the times they are on the site most, your end-goals for your presence, etc.
8) Listen and engage. Social media platforms are a critical vehicle for allowing you to get to know your supporters better. Spend time listening to what they are saying, about you and topics you care about, and engage with them accordingly. It’s not always about pushing your own agenda- build relationships by caring about theirs.
If you’re looking for an additional resource after you’ve chosen your sites, check out The Most Amazing Online Organizing Guide Ever, complied by Green Memes and created with the help of industry experts for nonprofits at every level of social media.
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For more information, download The Essential Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits.