World Social Media Day is celebrated every year on the 30th of June. Mashable started this day back in 2010 as a way to acknowledge the impact of social media in our daily lives. If you’ve managed social media channels at any point as part of your job, then you understand how they can help you amplify your message to a wider audience.
Not everything is perfect and there are many challenges that come with social media management but we want to focus on the positive side of social media. As firm supporters of #ReclaimSocial and the whole idea of making social media more inspiring, we’re all about supporting the positive ways that we can use social networks.
We asked a few charities about their use of social media and we offer top tips on how to get involved in #SMDay.
How can charities improve their success on social media?
We asked our friends at Survivors UK to answer this question. Here’s what Agnese Manfrin, Digital Communications Officer, had to say:
Social media at its core is social – and sometimes we tend to forget about it while in search of higher engagement and ROI. It’s about relationships and giving, rather than asking. It’s about being human and breaking down the walls that sometimes see charities on one side and their supporters or beneficiaries on the other. One of the things that really helped us grow our online supporter base on social media was focusing on sharing content that is of interest to our different audiences (and potential followers), and make members feel welcome, heard and part of a big community.
This means using an empathetic and friendly approach when writing content on one side, to show that you care about people and that they are not numbers, and being actually “social” on the other, by sharing a variety of content from the web related to your cause (but not necessarily to the services you provide). This encourages people to come back to look for specific information that matters to them and to make connections with other people.
If there is one thing that we should always remember is that it’s about them, not about you!
We’ve also asked Róisín McGovern, Development Officer at mothers2mothers to share her own tip for charities and the use of social media channels:
Know your audience – It’s really important to know your audiences for different social media channels. Social media is meant to be “social”. It’s about people spending their spare time looking and reading things they’re interested in. We shouldn’t lose sight of this when creating content. We should make sure we give our followers engaging content, relevant to their needs and interests. While all organisations will have their own priorities and messages they want to push, they should be mindful of who they are saying it to. If you know your audience you can take them on a social journey, one that they will want to continue by supporting your cause.
Does story-led content perform best?
We asked Rebecca Curtis-Moss, Digital Fundraiser at Friends of the Earth Scotland and Digital Communications freelancer, this question.
Last month, we shared a story from a local Friends of the Earth Scotland activist, Joy, on our Facebook page. Following the success of a local campaign against flushable wet wipes, they’d been nominated for a prestigious campaigning award. The post went viral, and Joy received a special commendation at the awards, at which she was up against some of the biggest charities in Scotland!
Have a story-led, person-first approach to your brand’s content – particularly on Facebook and Instagram. Stories don’t have to be dramatic or complex: they should simply be the truth, well told. They make incredibly engaging and popular content. There are lots of theories as to why this might be; I personally believe it’s due to the authenticity of a story told in first-person, vs a more traditional case study. In the right format, stories can be highly shareable, making this an easy way to build your brand, and grow your audience. Everyone has a story to tell, so get out there and tell them!
What’s your favourite social media platform and why?
We asked Leif Frymire, International Fellow of PeacePlayers – Nothern Ireland about his favourite social media platform as well as which is their most popular platform:
I think my favourite platform is Instagram. In terms of our best platform, it’s definitely Facebook. So I guess, this makes it my favourite!
While Instagram is great for sharing photos, videos and cluing people into some of the day-to-day work, Facebook is so much more multi-faceted in terms of the content we are able to share to our participants, champions, ambassadors and supporters.
We’ve also asked Róisín McGovern, Development Officer at mothers2mothers, to pick her favourite social media channels:
Instagram is one of my favourite platforms for posting “behind the scenes” and event content. This allows followers to connect with our work which can sometime feel distant considering m2m’s work takes place in sub-Saharan Africa. I love the different features you can use when creating stories such as polls and the new quiz function. You can create content to fit your brand while also making it fun and interactive. I’ve also recently discovered apps such as Mojo and Ripl which are amazing! You can make content look really professional even when on the move or posting live from an event.
Twitter is a brilliant platform for engaging with other organisations and charities. It’s great to be able to participate in online conversations, follow hashtags and live tweet from events to raise your charity’s profile and voice within a particular sector. It’s really exciting to be part of live conversations!
I love Facebook because there are so many different tools which charities can benefit from such as birthday fundraisers, events pages and advertising. It’s such a global platform which is great for mothers2mothers as a global charity. A lot of our Facebook followers are from countries where we work in Africa so it’s really important for us to connect with these followers. They are really active on the platform and it’s great to see their comments and be able to reply back to them!
Can you share a success you’ve had on social media?
We’ve asked Hannah Iqbal, Social Media Manager at CAF and Giving Tuesday UK, to talk about a big win that she remembers on social media. Of course, it would be about the huge success of #GivingTuesday.
I was over the moon with how our 2018 #GivingTuesday campaign performed across social media especially on Twitter. The hashtag trended in first place from 8am until 5.40pm. I kept a close eye on it throughout the day. We had many charities, celebrities and people talk about their favourite causes with many of them sharing their support on Instagram as well. We had over 31K Giving Tuesday mentions and over 18K unique authors talking about Giving Tuesday on Twitter. This generated over 600M Twitter impressions.
When it comes to her own tip on how charities can use social media:
The most important part is social is engagement so it’s very important for charities to join in with conversations and respond to questions and to thank their supporters on social.
Last but not least, Hannah picked her favourite social media channel:
At the moment it’s Twitter – it’s the first place I go to in the morning to get updates with what’s going on in the world and within the charity sector. As a social media manager this is very important to be in the know and helps you see if there are any opportunities for when you get into the office.
How to celebrate #SMDay
There are many ways that you can celebrate #WorldSocialMediaDay.
Schedule some posts
You don’t necessarily need to be active on Sunday to post relevant content. You can schedule ahead a couple of posts to join the conversation of those who will be using the hashtag on the day. (Lightful can help with this task!)
Tell a story
Share how you’re using social media to make a difference. Tell a story of how social channels are helping you to bring your community together. Or even share #throwback photos from a successful event or campaign.
Thank your supporters
Use #SMDay as another opportunity to show your gratitude to your supporters. You can thank your social media followers for their support. It’s a great way to keep them engaged and make them feel special.
Share a GIF
You don’t need to create new images to celebrate the day. You can even share a funny GIF that’s relevant to be part of the conversation.
Inspire your followers
During social media day, we’re coming together to highlight the positive side of social media. You can share a few posts that inspire your followers to take action. It can be a great opportunity to motivate them to support your cause with authentic and relevant content.
Post before and after the day
There are several posts already using the hashtag #SMDay. Even if you’re not active on the day, you can still post before and after the day since many organisations will also be tweeting about it after the actual day.
How are you planning to celebrate #SMDay? Mention us @Lightful to make sure we check out your content!
Plan, schedule and measure all your social media posts in one place!