August 7, 2012

How to take engagement to the next level

Begin by questioning assumptions & looking at the data

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, community managers, Facebook administrators.

Debra AskanaseSocial media used to be all about assumptions: Who is online, what they are doing, how much they love you, whether or not your content resonates. When nonprofits and companies began rapidly adopting social media in the late 2000s, activities were based on assumptions and experimental ideas. Fast forward five years, and we now have at our disposal some solid measurement and data collection software systems, research studies, case studies, demographic data and a relatively savvy social media user base. The problem? We’re still working from hunches and assumptions.

If your organization is not getting what it wants from its social media engagement, question your existing assumptions and look deeply at your own data. Here are a few good questions to ask to take your social media to the next engagement level.

6 questions for social media teams to ask

1Are our social media activities tied to SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals? Surprisingly enough, I hear “no” when I ask that question nine out of 10 times. The doing of social media is usually what consumes staff and organizations. (“We have to be on Facebook!” “We need a Twitter account, right?”) Why? To what end? When we begin by knowing what goals the organization needs to achieve, the direction of social media implementation becomes clear. Here is a relevant case study on how one organization did just that. Continue reading

December 8, 2011

5 tips on writing knockout social media content

Image by Tawng for Big Stock

How to get your content noticed in a sea of information

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, bloggers, Web publishers, marketing professionals, educators, individuals.

Guest post by Debra Berger
Founder, The Academic Support Link

Debra-BergerIn 2011, people are tweeting 200 million times daily, reports TechCrunch. With that kind of competition, your target audience can jump ship before you can say “nanosecond” (1 billionth of a second). What’s going to keep them glued to your information and coming back for more?

Here are five tips on making a long-lasting impression:

1Energize your copy with action verbs (you learned about them in fourth grade)
Social media writing is all about descriptive verbs: “Google,” “share,” and “recommend” – you get the point. Power up your information by beginning sentences/tweets/postings with vibrant verbs and steer clear of the dull ones: is, are, am, etc.

2Cut content to the core
Clarity and conciseness is your goal. If you have ready-made copy, try putting it into bullet points. It’s amazing how many words you can eliminate (by doing this – I cut these last words. Do you miss them?). To craft concise content, you can also imagine that you’re writing an outline.

3Create engaging, quality copy that educates
You’ve probably heard this before, and you’re thinking, “How?” One way is to scan reports, e-newsletters, and other information for memorable statistics that create a buzz. Here’s an example: “Shocking unemployment rate for veterans at 14.3% – they deserve better.” However, don’t make the mistake of writing news headlines – you’re the expert here. Continue reading