Social media for your organization might look a little like this:
Facebook page? Check.
Twitter handle? Done.
LinkedIn Profile? 100%.
Engagement with your online community? None what so ever.
This is what we at Tidal call “Social Media Crickets.” You’ve set up your social media accounts, but you are not seeing the kind of results you were expecting. Post after post, tweet after tweet—all you hear is silence.
You are by no means alone. A lot of organizations get started on social media very quickly, and get frustrated just as fast when they don’t get more than a handful of friends or followers.
But before you write off social all together, take another look. Social media can be extremely powerful tools for engaging your most loyal supporters and inspiring action. You have social media. What you likely don’t have is a social media strategy. All is not lost, but it’s a good idea to take a step back and ask yourself some essential questions.
Who is your target audience?
This is single most important question you must answer before starting any social media strategy. It is important that you be specific. Don’t just say “our members” or “our donors.” Get detailed and build a profile of who you’re trying to reach.
Where are they?
Now that you know who you want to engage, think about where they currently are. Are they really on Facebook? Do they actually tweet? It’s possible that you aren’t getting a response from your community because they aren’t using that particular platform. Do some research and find out which platforms are the most relevant for your target audience.
What do they expect from you here?
What your online community wants and what your offline community expects isn’t always the same thing. Using what you know about your target audience, try out Forrester’s social technographics tool to get a better understanding of how your community uses social media. This step requires some experimentation. See what works on each platform and iterate.
It will take time. But using these questions as guiding principles will get your social media strategy on the right track.