Last week FLC hosted its 10th annual Leadership Institute, where speakers came to share their knowledge with representatives from various literacy-based organizations from around the state of Florida. On Friday of this two-day event, Annie Schmidt and I presented on using social media to help expand your digital storytelling efforts. For those of you who were there, thanks for attending, and for those that weren’t, here’s a brief review of what was covered.
Social media isn’t like traditional marketing. Instead of the typical one-way marketing scheme where you share content with others in hopes that they will be interested enough to reach out to your organization to join your cause, social media works best when you engage in a conversation with your audience. The hit rate for the traditional type of interaction is far from ideal. Luckily, social media has transformed the way organizations can use marketing and storytelling strategies to better suit their mission. This transition which social media has made allows for us to engage in real time communications with our community. Knowing this difference is crucial to having success with our social media platforms, whichever they may be.
As stated in mine and Annie’s presentation, social media isn’t about follower count and accumulating “likes” to get a better klout score (yes, in this case with a K, not a C). Social media is about connecting to people. True, social media is used to increase your reach on your target audience, but it all comes down to building and maintaining relationships. Increasing reach is important only to drive traffic to your social media platforms and then subsequently to your website. Furthermore, what’s most important is that your storytelling is effective so that members of your community become more active with your organization. Whether that means volunteers becoming annual donors or donors becoming advocates, getting followers to take that next step is key.
Once you realize the fundamental goals of social media, it’s time to choose a platform, or platforms, which will best serve you and your community. Questions to consider are:
- Who am I targeting, and what is my audience’s demographic(s)?
- What content do I want to share with my community?
- Has my organization already established a presence on social media, and if so on which sites?
- What’s the best medium to help effectively tell my organization’s story?
There are many different social platforms to choose from. The most common are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and WordPress; each of these has its pros and cons. The trick is finding out which site is right for you. For help in making this decision, please look at Digital Storytelling with Social Media where you can see the Prezi which we used at the Leadership Institute.