You’ve finally set aside some time to post to your organization’s social media sites, and it hits you: you have NO IDEA what to say. After all, you’re not going to have an event or a discount code every day. How are you going to keep people engaged?
Your best bet is to approach your social media accounts as the Land of the Soft Sell. Sure, you can occasionally post a link to a new product or a fundraising appeal. But nine times out of ten – or really 19 times out of 20 – your social media content should be about building community and loyalty, not about the hard sell. (Read more about why.)
If you’re not selling, then what are you saying? Here you need to think about your organization’s goals and what you stand for. You need to tell your organization’s story.
Let me give you an example. We manage social media (and other communications functions) for Angel Flight South Central, a non-profit that provides free flights for people who need medical care outside their hometown. (Why yes, this client does give us the warm fuzzies. Thanks for asking.) Like most non-profits, Angel Flight has a lot of fundraisers. But you can’t fill a Facebook page with appeals for money. You’re going to lose people fast.
So instead, you tell the story. What story do people want to hear? What will keep them engaged with Angel Flight South Central and make them want to tell others about it? Maybe even make them want to donate in the future? They want to hear about the flights. They want to hear about the cancer patient who lives hundreds of miles away from M.D. Anderson who got to his treatment because this pilot donated her time and resources to get him there. They want to hear about the kid with a cleft palate whose surgery was successful and is flying home on a private plane with his mom – no security lines, no germy passengers – all thanks to Angel Flight. They even want to hear that while this other parent might not ever come home from the hospital, Angel Flight South Central got her kids there to visit her one last time.
OK, so you tell that story. You post the photo and the compelling paragraph … and it gets 3 likes. This will bum you out. This is where you must be strong. Have faith in your story. Keep telling it – again and again … and again. Regularly. Because only regular posters get noticed on social media. It will take months, years even, to build up that following bit by bit. But you’ll get there if you stick with your story.