My number one piece of advice for anybody going to a party: choose wisely. Don’t just hop into the first conversation you see. Make a lap, check out the place, decide where you want to commit.
Social media is like a party with many conversations happening all at once. Where will you end up? Where are your (potential) friends? Where will you have the most meaningful conversations? Do a little research, make a choice, and commit.
There are many social media sites out there. Even the biggest social media site won’t be any help to you if your audience isn’t there.
Once you choose where you want to be, stay present. You’ve joined the conversation. You’re connecting with patrons, donors, partners, etc. You can’t go silent after starting the conversation. People are expecting some sort of recognition or at least some more information. If you’re not replying to questions on twitter or just stop posting your pictures on Instagram, they’ll eventually edge you out of the conversation.
I know it can be tough to make the time, here are some tips:
– every morning craft your tweets or posts for the day, first thing, get it done.
– use themes to stay on track: throw back Thursday, fun fact Friday, and non-alliteration themes too. (Monday we post a photo from our donors)
– Use an editorial calendar. May I suggest Hootsuite? Hootsuite will help you schedule posts to go out when and where you want.
Of course, like any conversation, you’ll need to be ready for a change in topic or mood.
No matter what, the first step to any great conversation is showing up to the party. So, get out your party shoes and show them what you’ve got. Your audience is waiting.