I'm a content hunter. And I'm after yours. It's the only way I can keep my social media well fed.
I was late to the social media party but, once there, I fell in love with it. Twitter was my first fav, but once the new Facebook design appeared, I became an avid poster. I update my FB page frequently and even groom my Facebook updates so they look nice and read well.
The cardinal rule of social media is share and then share some more. So I do.
Brian Murray, blogging at PRDaily, made that point recently in his excellent 6 warning signs that you're doing social media wrong. Murray says that if all the links you're sharing on social media lead back to your own website, you're doing something wrong.
Whatever social media I'm using, I find that I'm sharing 1) information from nonprofit organizations, especially when they have examples of actual campaigns or good practices; and 2) information from the many fabulous consultants working in the nonprofit space.
So I scan my RSS feed and my social media streams constantly, looking for material that my nonprofit audience can use. That material could be from you.
But, here's the thing. Some of you don't make it easy to share your content.
So many blog posts have no photos (except the person's own face - not the best thing for FB or Google+ shares) to go along with their otherwise wonderful posts.
Marissa Garza, writing at DonorDreams, says she learned from studying FB Insights that, "...most people will interact with a post if it contains a photo. Once I figured this out, I now make sure that most of my updates include photos."
John Haydon, in his post, 6 creative ways to use photos to increase engagement on your Facebook page, says "Facebook users love liking, commenting on, and sharing photos more than any other type of content on Facebook."
Many people who are on Twitter are not very consistent or simply automate tweets from their own blog posts, and don't really invite retweets. I often can't find the retweet button on their blog or the service used is sort of wonky.
Some bloggers fail to make the first couple of sentences in a post (which a FB update picks up) appealing and relevant, or write a good meta description, which is sometimes pulled into an update.
Most larger nonprofit organizations are now quite savvy about social networks, thanks to gurus who have focused on social media for nonprofits, such as Beth Kanter, John Haydon, and Heather Mansfield. Smaller charities are still struggling, but there is ample free or low cost help around the Internet.
Nonprofits have learned the how-to and where-for of social media because they are paying attention, learning to use it for many purposes, and they use it all the time. They have figured how to make it easy for people like me to share their information.
But many consultants, who advise the nonprofit community on things other than social media, don't always make it easy to share their stuff. Frankly, it breaks my heart when I come across great content, but then find that it isn't easily shared for one reason or another.
So, please, do me a favor and help me share your content. Try these tips:
- Blog frequently...if you don't have a blog, add one to your website. If your blog's design is old and tired, get a redesign with all the social media bells and whistles.
- Add images to your posts. Use videos when possible. Most social media are very image-centric.
- Practice. Share your own links and look at what shows up. Have you written the first couple of sentences with sharing in mind? Does it make sense and is it appealing? Write a concise but informative meta description.
- Encourage readers to retweet your wisdom, and learn to use this fabulous tool yourself. Include a RT button on your blog.
- Make it easy to curate your content. Add RSS and other curating tools to your blog; and make sure that those emailed newsletters can be viewed on the web and not just in my email client. Why? So I can share a link to that great cover story or refer people to the entire thing.
Even if you're late to the party, social media can still be a lot of fun and great for building reputation and your own brand. For businesses that work in the nonprofit arena, social media is a hard-to-beat and inexpensive B-to-B marketing tool. For nonprofits, getting shared is great PR.
Are you all in when it comes to social media? Or have you held back or just tiptoed in? What's your social media journey?
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