How do I make social media work for my organization?

As ubiquitous and prominent as social media is, getting your head around which to use (and when!) can be complicated even to those of us in the industry. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with a quick cheat sheet to the five of the biggest social media networks and how you can leverage them intelligently to increase your social prominence. (A quick hint: you won’t want to use all of them.)

1. Facebook is about you and your friends (and their friends).

Facebook provides the best opportunity for social media advertising, through both organic and paid channels. And if you’re a metrics person, page data on Facebook is especially easy to track and obsess over. It’s also a great place to share original content in the form of graphics, images, and videos, which you can then boost for greater reach.

Post your events and promotions, and encourage your members to share. Make sure they know you’re there, and make sure you keep your info up to date.

Don’t be afraid to self-promote on Facaebook: people want to know what you’re up to. They wouldn’t Like you otherwise.

2. Twitter is about a conversation.

Twitter is not Facebook: if you’re only talking about yourself, you’re talking to yourself.

Unless you’re an A-list celebrity, people who follow you on Twitter do so because they trust you as a curator of relevant content. Effective Tweeting is about a dialog: if you aren’t engaged with the community, they won’t be engaged with you. Take the time to like, retweet, and @ as many of your fellow Twitterers as you like, and be selective about the original content you put forward.

3. LinkedIn for showing off your business prowess.

If want to establish yourself in the business world, you should be on LinkedIn. A hybrid of professional blog and Facebook’s newsfeed, shared content comes in two forms: status updates and published content.

Use status updates in much the same way you might share things on Facebook. Fill it with relevant articles you’ve read, professional updates, or the occasional promotional post. Published content, on the other hand, would be something more like a whitepaper, a blog post, or a short video.

4. Instagram is about pretty pictures.

It’s not about tons and tons of selfies.

Au contraire, a good Instagram page has a nice mixture of properly filtered pics of your society (camera pointed away from you most of the time) and nice nature images overlaid with thoughtful quotes in thin white text.

I’m only being half-snarky here. Truth be told, as clichéd as that sounds, we all kind of like it, because that’s the point of Instagram: happy and uplifting, no sadness allowed.

5. Tumblr is a blog, basically.

If you’re using a Clubhouse website, though, we give you a blog, so this is less useful to you. Tumblr can be a helpful tool for some, and if your society uses it and has a good following—good job, keep it up! It can be a good way to write and share blog posts of any length. If you’re not using it, though, it’s better to just get rid of it. That’s no slight to Tumblr, it’s just that an unused social media channel looks unseemly.

Get out there and ace it!

Consistency and volume are the keys to overall success in social media. Across almost any platform, if you update erratically or infrequently you will struggle to engage your followers. However, with regular, thoughtful content, you will almost certainly see your online prominence grow.

Published 11/11/15 by Laura Lynch