8 Things to Know About Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool

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What are the secrets to building a great social media marketing infrastructure within our organization? Well, they're not so secret, but the following eight points will help our teams understand the basics behind social media strategy and structure.

Basic Philosophy

  1. Social media is not the only outreach we should use, but it is a powerful tool for the arsenal.
  2. Understanding how to connect with people is paramount. Learning how to use each of the social media platforms is second. (Essentially, platforms come and go, but connecting with people doesn't.)

Where and How to Find Content

In addition to the basic ways to find content (like sharing popular content, connecting with others, etc.) I do the extra steps of:

  1. Google alerts - set them up for keywords related to our centers. This is one way to find good and varied content.
    1. Join special interest groups and listservs and use them to gauge the discussion happening around certain topics.

What to Post

  1. What do you find interesting? Don't post anything you or a reasonable facsimile of a human would not find at least two of the following:
  • Educational
  • Entertaining
  • Information/knowledge building
  • Referent to self/identity
  1. Engage with writing, but provide context - the same rules for creative writing apply to social media. My basic stance on communications is that people are people first. Essentially, there are things humans will always find interesting (like using story arcs to relay info) and that goes double for social media. Questions, characters, conflict - these work well.

Where to Post

  1. Multi-modal. Of course. When possible. Meaning, don't commit to just one type of posting within one type of platform. Use photos and videos. Faces are always good.

  2. With new media and social and whatever else comes along, I always remind myself, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Basically this means, watch, understand how something can benefit our org/campaign/whatever and then use it in a natively enhanced way (i.e., don't bust onto the scene of some social media like a total newb and alienate people - use the platform how others use the platform, always with the sense of being there to help and inform, not sell).

Bonus!

Overall Strategy

The main points of our social media are to:

  • Make people aware that we exist and of what we offer.
  • Connect with people on the human level and to engage in conversations when appropriate.
  • Become an authority in the field (building a rep for both potential clients and other referral sources).

Stephanie A.

Stephanie A.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

The bottom line: fresh content from an experienced writer + editor + strategist. While others in math class were groaning about story problems, I would gleefully read about Juan and his oranges or Rebecca and her favorite pencils. When Juan gave away four of his oranges and t...

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