Keeping up with social media channels and algorithm changes etc. can be hard. But there are easy ways to make even more of what you are putting out there. Might you be missing a trick with your charity’s social media? Lots of charities are.
Most charities put a lot of effort into creating great, regular social media posts. Most of them also understand that social media works reciprocally (I like your posts and you like mine!). And that means it’s just as important to put effort into engagement so that your beautifully crafted posts get the attention they deserve.
But are you actively encouraging everyone in your organisation – and that includes your trustees and senior leaders – to be part of your social media activity? This will strengthen your social media presence enormously and it’s easier than you might think.
Here are a few ideas about how you can:
- persuade your staff and trustees that they can make a real difference by getting involved in your charity’s social media.
- help them do it in a way that is both manageable and effective.
- show them the value it can have for them professionally.
Please note: It’s important to remember there may be personal reasons why some people choose to not be active on social media (e.g. for their wellbeing) and it’s important we respect that.
What are the benefits of getting your staff and trustees involved with your social media?
Most charities have limited resources and these limitations apply to staff, time and budget. So, anything that helps you achieve your goals without putting too much strain on your resources is valuable.
You’ll already know that social media – like the rest of digital – offers powerful opportunities to punch above your weight and reach a wider audience. But do the individuals involved with your organisation realise they can help? Everyone can play a vital role, increasing the impact of your charity’s social media by acting as ambassadors and helping promote your charity’s work.
Those leading your charity – trustees and senior leaders – have often developed large networks, so they are ideally placed to increase your charity’s reach. For trustees, social media also offers an easy way to deliver two of their core roles: promoting the charity and ensuring its resources are used well.
Can your staff and trustees really make a difference to the impact of your social media?
Yes. By acting as advocates, everyone involved in the charity can help you reach and connect with the widest possible audience. Here are a few ways they can do this:
- Endorse your charity’s posts by engaging with them – liking, sharing / retweeting, commenting
- Celebrate their connection with the charity
- Leverage their own networks and connections on behalf of your charity
- Make your charity aware of relevant social media content and opportunities to connect with potential supporters / funders / partners
How can you make this quick, easy and effective for your staff and trustees?
Everyone has different amounts of confidence and experience when it comes to using social media. But most people need only a little guidance and practice to get comfortable. Here are three ideas to help them get started:
- Help them decide which social media channels to use. Start with the channels they’re already using. Most people’s Facebook and Instagram accounts are personal spaces, so a ‘like’ is probably the limit of what most people will be happy to do there.
LinkedIn is better suited to more active engagement (e.g. comments) by staff and trustees, as everyone on LinkedIn is there as a working professional.
Twitter can also work if used as a professional platform (though the jury’s out as to whether Twitter will be a good environment in the future, given the current changes).
- Emphasise that the charity’s values are an ideal starting point for comments. Adding comments that echo your values, key messages and strategic goals is usually a safe bet.
For example, if your charity’s values are openness, togetherness and inclusivity, this would help guide the tone of your staff’s engagement and the types of content they should highlight.
And if your strategic goals were to:
– raise awareness of the issues you’re working on
– encourage people to work with you
– develop partnerships with other like-minded organisations
these should guide who employees and trustees might choose to engage with in a professional capacity on social media and what they say there.
It’s also worth sharing advice with staff and trustees about how they can keep themselves and the charity safe online (e.g. understanding copyright issues, including a disclaimer in their profile / bio).
- Help them understand the mechanics of social media engagement. A lot of people are embarrassed to admit they don’t understand the difference between, or impact of, a like, share (retweet) and comment, or between a hashtag and a handle. Demystifying social media can make a huge difference.
It really is quick and easy for individuals to engage with social media – it literally takes a minute or two a day. And the results can be highly effective for everyone.
For the charity this can mean increasing engagement, widening your audience and generating more support. For the staff member or trustee, it can help them build a stronger personal social media presence that shows the world who they are and what they care about.
All it takes is for people to understand why this is worth doing, what’s involved and how they can do it in a way that doesn’t take over their lives.
Social media was a hot topic at our Digital Conference, which is available on-demand.
Banner Image: Adem AY on Unsplash