Published: 19 January 2016

Integrating social media with your comms

When you integrate your social media comms, you save time, deliver more relevant content and increase your reach and engagement.  

It can be easy to get bogged down in day-to-day activity when you manage charity social media accounts, such as juggling requests from different teams, staying on top of digital trends or signposting supporters to the right information. I also find myself focusing on the task at hand and hoping the need to plan will sort itself out. But like a press release, direct mail appeal pack or campaign email, social media is another medium through which your messages are being delivered. So it makes sense to plan social activity to align and integrate with your other comms. 

Image: CharityComms

There are lots of benefits to integrating your messages. As the influence of digital rises, there are more opportunities for people to see your charity online. Having integrated messages as people receive a campaign email or a direct mail pack from your organisation can encourage them to complete the journey or further inform them before they take action.

In our social media guide, Kate McCoy from Sightsavers says:

Social media should sit in the middle of the process – use other channels like email or media to get the reach to kick start something, send people to social to consume or share, then send them on to your site or action-based destination to get the rest of the story and complete the journey.

Integrating social media comms is also a time saver. Instead of trying to think of more and more ideas for content, you’ll have messages, case studies, approved images, campaign asks and money handles already at your fingertips. 

Want to start integrating your social media comms? These tips will help you get started. 

Become a detective 

When you manage social media accounts, you quickly learn it’s about becoming a detective and scoping out information from everyone. When’s the chief executive on TV? Was there a flood in your charity shop? What time is your helpline open? Did some volunteers who just handed in a petition to an MP get a photo with her? Not everyone is going to know what might be relevant to your social media audience. 

The more you investigate and find out what’s happening in your organisation, the more your colleagues will realise how important it is that you’re included in the planning process, making it easier to join up for the campaign launch. Check in with colleagues who manage internal comms from time to time and stay close to the media team.  

It’s all in the timing

Ensuring social media activity and communications are timed to happen together is already well practised by lots of charities. This maximises your campaign’s impact across all channels and helps supporters find content that’s relevant to them. It can also help create a ‘moment’ for your campaign and increase exposure, which proved useful for Dogs Trust when it launched its emoji keyboard and Cat’s Protection for #NationalBlackCatDay

Use social for what it’s good for – testing and audience insight

If your colleagues are still wondering what social can offer, remind them of the benefits it can bring to the campaign. Social can help you test your message before you invest heavily in a campaign. Read about how Friends of the Earth did this for its Bee Cause campaign in our One Voice best practice guide, or how Anthony Nolan put this into practice for its #Donatingisntscary campaign.

It can also help you build a picture of who your online audience is. Facebook and Twitter insights mean you can target your messages to suit your online audience. It might be worth feeding this insight into the development stage of your campaign material. And don’t forget to mention that social platforms offer very specific targeting when you use paid ads. 

More like this
Join us for our integrated comms conference
Read more about integrated comms in our best practice guide, One Voice
Check out the CharityComms Insiders' Guide to Social Media for Charities  

Susheila Juggapah, digital content editor, CharityComms

Sushi joined CharityComms in September 2015 having previously worked at Concern Worldwide (UK). She manages CharityComms online communities and digital content. Sushi has worked with various charities and non-profits for the past five years, specialising in digital communications and online campaigning.