Written by Robyn T. Braley
Service clubs are pressured to leap into the world of social media. However, when not developed properly, your social media experience can lead to frustration. Don't get me wrong, if your club is not active on social media, time is passing.
In this series, I am providing tools and knowledge that will help you make the leap. Rather than starting the series with how-to" posts about platforms like FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogsites, Instagram, SlideShare, Snapchat, YouTube or other relevant channels, I am going back to the basics.
This post explains the lifeblood of social media. Quality content is the foundation for success.
And, if you are already active and have experienced success, there are ideas that will broaden your thinking and provide greater value to your digital communities.
Let's start with the question, Why does it make sense?" The answer is simple. Social media is central to online communication and relationship building. At a club level, a program will help you ...
- Increase the club's profile
- Promote club activities
- Build an online community through likes, follows and connections
- Align with collaborative partners
- Communicate with members and circles of influence
- Attract new members.
As millennials represent the future, it is natural to consider them as a key target group for finding new members. However, more people of every age group are social media users. In fact, there are seasoned users in every age group.
Whoa Matilda! It's Not That Simple
Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. Social media provides an excellent way to achieve your goals, but it must be done well.
It takes discipline and focus to curate quality content and an editorial strategy that will take you where you want to go.
Why is content important? Millennials have grown up online. Their lives are fully integrated with social media. It is a way of life. I'm reminded of that every time my daughters text each other at the dinner table.
So, when another user invites them to join their community, they make an immediate assessment based on the quality and value of the 'inviters' content. In seconds they make a judgement call about further engagement.
I've looked at a poorly written bio or silly picture and rejected the invitation in seconds. A positive first impression is that important.
What is Content
Content is everything you see, read, hear or in any way experience online. It includes;
- Interactive forms
- Chat forums
- Graphs, charts
- SoMed Bio
- Search Engine Optimization
- Live streaming
- Action buttons
What is a Content Curator
How do you find or create content that will attract your target audience? Who ya gonna' call? The content curator, of course!
|Pictures that tell stories are key|
Content curation is the process of finding or creating relevant content, gathering and organizing it into an easy-to-manage system, and then sharing it in a consistent and meaningful way.
The final step is to use analytics to measure the effectiveness of your efforts so you can adjust your strategies. Most platforms have a free analytics component.
A Curator ...
- Is a real person (probably you), not an online trolling program (sorry!)
- Identifies a lazer-focuses on a target audience
- Works with a team to develop a strategy that includes goals
- Finds or creates content that adds perspective, insight or guidance
- Identifies and frames your online voice
- Is discerning and able to separate good stuff from the bad (include personally created material)
- Understands the key to growth is long term commitment and consistency
Content Builds Communities
In review, your Social Media platforms must take visitors through the relationship building model. Content that makes a positive first impression leads to engagement.
Visitors want content that is transparent, authentic and will add value to a visitors online experience. In other words, it should answer the question, "Why should they care?"
Is Your Rotary Club About to Plunge into Social Media? Read! 8 "Ps" for Success!
Simplify the Process
I hope I haven't discouraged you by implying that the work required to do social media properly is onerous. As my daughter would say, let's back the bus up. These ideas will settle your nerves.
- Find someone - family, friends, team members, consultants - who will help you with the basics
- Choose one platform and master that (more about that in later posts)
- Write a short profile of your targeted audience
- Begin with what you know and the resources you have at your finger tips
- Shape your online voice. Frame your stories
- Think bright, light, attractive, entertaining and engaging
- When in doubt, JGT (just google that). It's all online with easy-to-follow written and video tutorials
There are tremendous online tools at your disposal. For example, there are easy-to-us automation tools to help you organize and share your content.
Following a plan will help you achieve that. Seeing past, present and future content laid out in your dashboard tells you all you need to know. Just google editorial calendars.
|Use a stand for quality phone videos|
In this section are ideas for developing content for service clubs. It takes time and effort, but it doesn't have to be laborious.
- Take photos of real people doing real things. They tell stories
- Do a 5 minute Interview with a speaker after a meeting using your phone. Clean it up using free editing programs like Audacity, Garage Band or Windows Media Player for an instant podcast
- Create attractive images to profile messages Click here for Shareable Images
- Shoot several photos of the same action, item or people. Pick the best one. Try different heights and distances. It's what the pros do
- Write a 500 - 700ish word account of a project and launch a blogsite. Include pictures. Link to it from other social media platforms
- Share positive quotes like these. Golden Quotes
- Ask a member to write a 500 word Rotary or life moment for a blog post.
- Shoot a video using your phone. Use free software on your phone or free programs like Windows Movie Maker or Filmora.
- Creative block? Ask questions like, "How or why do we do this?"
- Download action photos of clean water, polio or other activities from the Rotary International social media resources
- Share fun facts that are relevant
- Repurpose old stories from newsletters
- Quote guest speakers
- Follow people who's content you trust. Share relevant items
- Subscribe to a low cost photo bank selling royalty photos
- Share meaningful content about an organization you are supporting. Include likes to their website
- Link to online videos of people who need help
- Create a silly or serious survey. Share the results
- Share a solution to a common personal problem
- Interview a recipient of a scholarship, student backpack, warm jacket or other gift that made a difference in their lives.
What do you think? Do you have creative content ideas? What is your biggest content problem? I want to hear from you. Please comment below.
Robyn Braley is a brand specialist, professional speaker and writer. He is also a Rotarian who is passionate about Building the Rotary Brand. He has led two teams that received the Rotary International PR Award. He has also served as the PR Chair for District 5360. He often speaks at Rotary clubs, conferences and leadership development assemblies.