Numbers aren’t everything. Where the Third Sector is concerned we want quality, not quantity. Still, we need to get connected with people, and there are some pretty straight forward steps we can take to do that. These top ten ways to increase the following for your charity are easy to do and highly effective. Share more ideas in the comments or on Twitter @BeGoodBeSocial.
Post great content
People won’t read low-quality content. Shape your posts to what your audience will read, and what your organisation is concerned with. A remember to use appropriate visuals. Check out our blog on top free image sites to boost your content.
Write a professional bio
This will vary from platform to platform. But the basics are to avoid too many buzzwords, to focus on who your organisation is, rather than giving a potted history and to revisit it every few months.
On the appropriate platform, in the generally accepted manner. For example, on Twitter you can tag during a sentence due to character limits, whereas this isn’t the done thing on Facebook.
Place widgets on your blog
A widget is a tool or content you add to your site or blog’s sidebar- you can easily customise the sidebar using them. Don’t overdo the widgets. Select one or two. For example, one that shows the latest Instagram or Twitter post, nothing too fancy as people find it hard to concentrate when there’s a lot of visuals going on in a small space.
Engage with others
Get involved in discussions, like stuff, interact with your followers. The more interesting your organisation is, the more they’ll pay attention.
Make sure your content is shareable
Ie. Content people will want to share. Try a decent meme, a quality infographic, embed some video
Reshare other people’s content
With permission. Obvs. Good content curation can also increase your following. Make your Twitter account the place to go for info on X. For example @thirdsectorlab is kept up to date on the latest and greatest in Scotland’s Charity comms world. Though Ross is known to post pictures of his bike. Just for variety he claims.
Reach out to influencers
These are people who have a wide following and ability to, yes, influence their sphere. They could direct people to new ideas, inspire them to read, or take part in a challenge or fundraiser.
Use Hootsuite or another content planning tool to set up and release posts. If you struggle to find Twitter time, use your coffee break or commute to some interacting. Or factor in 15 minutes a day to do some posting or social media networking if you’ve got a small team.
Follow other users
It’s pretty simple, but the more people you follow on these platforms, the more exposure you get.
So, what have you done to increase your following? Anything else to add? Leave a comment or send us a tweet @begoodbesocial
Yesterday one of my biggest bugbears with multiple people running the same social media platform reared its ugly head. A colleague and myself posted basically the same content. Identical in aim. Identical in subject. Identical in timestamp (almost). A quick emailed apology and swift deletion fixed the issue, but both of us had probably spent 10 minutes on getting the content together and double checking details before posting. If only we had actually communicated which of us was taking the account that day. Or, more specifically, who would tweet the details of our colleague’s radio show slot. This is really very minor, but it’s been happening more often as we’ve been exploring and exploiting social media more.
How are we going to get this right in future? Better communication: step into the ring Editorial Calendar Tools. I’ve gone and done some lovely research just for YOU (and me) to work out what’s the best fit.
Be Good Be Social lives off Google Docs. That and coffee.
Positives: It’s free, really easy to use and designed for collaboration. It’s not a fancy way of doing things, but at least your team can refer to it from anywhere. You can create a calendar on the sheets, with publication dates, key content, staff attribution and keywords.
Negatives: This can be pretty clunky and get into a bit of a mess – especially when people don’t keep accurate track of their work. Bigger teams might want to dedicate someone to keeping the document up to date.
This is great for those who use WordPress as their CMS. Rather than relying on the drafts page for accurate planning, you can download this free editorial calendar extension. Blog post ideas are laid out in calendar form and then dragged and dropped when you need to rearrange your schedule. You can click through from the calendar to edit posts. Its tracking abilities are limited though, in terms of tracking content and social media posts. It’s best to just keep track of your blog posts through this and isn’t an all inclusive tool for your social media needs.
Trello is a beautifully user-friendly way to keep track of your development processes. It’s a template which allows you to set processes, assign tasks, and track progress on projects. The standard package is £8.33/user/month and larger companies including Google and Pixar use the business version.
This is a great platform, with a pretty decent free version, or a premium one from $28.99/year. It’s not primarily a content planning platform, but it used as such by a lot of small companies. Team members can sync with their Googledocs or Dropbox, access tasks via various calendar add-ons and of course keep track of to-do lists and monitor productivity.
Though not free, this tool is a great all-in-one option for content planning and work scheduling. Bascamp uses discussion threads, real-time chats, to-do lists, docs and file storage and a centralised schedule that you can add to your personal preferred calender (iCal, Google, Outlook). The key benefit is that everyone can stay on the same page, again with all the resources they need to get their contribution done. Basecamp takes a while to get your head around, but it’s really easy to use. There’s an option for people who prefer using email to simply receive and respond to notifications this way, and don’t need to log-in at all. It costs $29/month, which is what most non-profits would need, or go for more storage at a much higher price point.
This is a larger platform, used by companies like CISCO and CBS. The software tracks your content marketing from idea and strategy to distribution and analysis. It’s of more use for organisations with larger teams, or have a large volume of content. It’s not just a content calendar, as it includes social publishing and analytics. It’s pricier, starting at $95 monthly.
Which tool do you use? Had any great or awful experiences with one of these tools? Leave a comment or Tweet us @BeGoodBeSocial
With 400 million users, Instagram is a behemoth. More adults use this platform than Twitter, so it’s time to pay it some mind.
Personally speaking, Instagram is my favourite social media channel. I love seeing the way people express themselves through their photography – professionals and non-professionals alike. I will admit to occasionally falling into that deep, dark tunnel of caring about the *number of likes* (my most is about 30 if you’re wondering), but mostly I really do just enjoying this kind of connectivity.
For your charity, Instagram might be the channel for you to invest some time in. If you have the visuals, Instagram is the best opportunity for you to share your non-profit’s impact. You can showcase different aspects of your organisation: upskilling young people; working with service users; preserving local wildlife – whatever. Before you get started, we always advise that charities think carefully about how to use Instagram. It’s a good idea with any budding social media platform to at least set-up an account or page to ensure someone else more nefarious doesn’t purloin your charity’s name.
1 Young Scot
Stream Events Live
@youngscot uses Instagram in a number of ways. Check out this Guardian article for more information. They’re great at posting diverse and engaging images with emoticons EVERYWHERE a la Snapchat. Recently, young people met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange. This #asktheFM saw young people engaging ins politics and governance, with highlights shared on Instagram.
Tip: Arrange a hashtag ahead of time and share with delegates
2 National Trust
User Generated Content
@nationaltrust hosts the #NTChallenge weekly, inviting Instagrammers to share their images for the golden opportunity of being reshared by the charity. It’s a big draw for users who can expect to gain at least a few hundred extra followers on a good week. This content is fresh, genuine and engaging.
Tip: Try harnessing content that’s already being shared.
@scottharrison, CEO of Charity:Water has about 17k followers, in part due to his position, but also because he shares selected intimacies of his family life. His posts are more akin to celebrity-type accounts and generates a following more accustomed to this sort of account. It’s opened Charity:Water to a completely different audience.
Tip: You may not have a CEO with young kids, or someone as happy to share their personal life on the internet. There are other ways to get personal – sharing office life gets a bit boring, so if you’re trying the personal touch it varied.
Create and Share Video
The beauty of a 15 second video is that it’s best when rough and ready. (Though Instagram has lengthened the duration to 1 minute max). They’re free to post like the rest of the content and can be as natural as you want it. Videos can capture what pictures might miss out on.
@Wateraid gained 20,000 more followers when Instagram spotted one of their videos and featured the account as a suggested user. They’re also great at making the most of captioning; amplifying the message. A picture or video sits best in context.
Tip: Ask your followers to create video, or incorporate their clips with yours
5 Dogs Trust
When in doubt, go for the giggle
At our training conference in March we had not one, but two, delegates from animal charities. And man were we jealous. The internet is made for sharing animal pictures (don’t quote me on that). @dogstrust blends meme-type pictures with popular hashtags to widen their audience and entertain.
Oh Aye. Remember to measure your impact.
SumAll has a free package that analyses multiple social media platforms to provide you with statistics showing how they are working individually and also as integrated networks. Useful, accessible and straight forward..
Hootsuite allows you to schedule and monitor Instagram activity, as well as manage multiple accounts.
Any thoughts? What are you excited about trying out? Tweet us @begoodbesocial