Your Facebook and Twitter accounts are established and growing fast. You’ve got best practices down to an art. You know what works for your audience and how to move them to action. You’ve even got your tweet buttons and Like buttons integrated into your post-action and post-fundraising pages.
So what’s next? Now that you’ve mastered the basics, here are five ideas to help you take your social media strategy to the next level.
1. Recruit (and engage!) volunteers. Could your organization use volunteers? Maybe you need on-the-ground volunteers (for events, canvassing, or administrative tasks in the office) or virtual volunteers who can help you with your social media content or blog. Either way, social media is a great way to identify potential volunteers. Take note of folks who are super engaged in your cause. You know the ones — they always leave a spectacular comment, come to your organization’s defense whenever someone posts an unfair criticism or inaccurate information, and even report back to let you know they’ve taken action. These are your superstars. Reach out to them privately and invite them to become more involved with your organization.
A few ideas for how to engage your social media superstars:
- Offline volunteering
- Invite them to volunteer at an event, for a phonebank, etc.
- Offer opportunities for them to help with administrative tasks in the office
- Ask volunteers to collect petition signatures in their own communities or host an event
- Online volunteering
- Assign them to a digital volunteer team to help with creating social media content
- Invite them to guest blog
- Ask them to write an LTE when the opportunity arises
- Train volunteers to be official online ambassadors
2. Cultivate relationships with journalists and bloggers. A majority of journalists use Facebook and Twitter professionally these days. Has your organization adapted its press strategy accordingly? Social media is certainly not a replacement for traditional communications methods but it can help strengthen them. Find and follow/subscribe to the journalists (and bloggers!) who are central to your issue area on Facebook and Twitter. Retweet, like, and share their material. Read something you like? Thank them or leave a thoughtful comment. Have something you want them to see? Flag it for their attention!
3. Use social media to help shape your organization’s messaging, tactics, and campaigns. What better way to see how a message, tactic, or campaign topic will perform than to give it a whirl? You can use social media to get a sense of which ones resonate, what criticisms you’re likely to receive, and what the feedback is overall. For some clients, we’ve helped identify an average response for an action posted on Facebook — then we use that to get a barometer of how our actions will perform with the email list. Social media is also a great way to involve your fans and followers in the internal planning process. Need creative ideas for your campaign? Not sure what to name your upcoming event? Ask for their input!
4. Get out of response mode and proactively seek out conversations. You’ve mastered the art of responding to mentions on Twitter and comments on Facebook. Now it’s time to step out of your immediate audience and bring the conversation to the masses! Use Facebook as the fan page and participate substantively in conversations on other fan pages. Seek out tweets related to your issue areas, such as “I just took a CPR class!”, even if they don’t mention your organization specifically. Find dialogue to participate in instead of waiting for the conversations to come to you.
5. “Socialize” your staff. You’ve mastered the organizational account, now it’s time for your organization’s staff to get social! Earlier this year, we encouraged organizations to start thinking about having staff represent your organization online through their Facebook profiles. If you’ve mastered the basics, now is the perfect time to get started. Organizational representatives can use social media to provide an inside view of your work and interact with advocates and supporters on a more personal level because they can take advantage of some of the functionalities denied to fan pages, such as joining Facebook groups and leaving comments on personal profiles.
Does your organization currently use any of the five tactics above? Do you have other ideas for taking social media strategy to the next level? Share your thoughts and comments below!