Using Social Media to Your Advantage | Track It Forward

Using Social Media to Your Advantage

Written by James McBryan

Are you using social media correctly?

Trying to master social media feels like a moving target, doesn’t it? It seems like new social media platforms keep popping up and changing. Overall, it’s frustrating and hard to keep up with it.

Communication has evolved with the growth of social media. People are spending less time calling or searching websites and more time getting their information through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If your website is out of date and you have no social media presence, you’re going to lose out on potential volunteers.

So why and how can you use social media to your benefit?

Why You Should Utilize Social Media

While websites cost money, social media is free. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great platforms for creating and sharing engaging content. If you’re not confident in your design skills, there are plenty of free websites where you can create designs for your organization. Utilize sites like Canva, which offers a free and simple graphic design tool. It’s important to have compelling designs on your social media sites to create intrigue and help you stand out from competitors. People are going to keep scrolling if they see a generic stock image. You want to create something that stands out on their feed.

Respond to Questions Quickly

Social media is also a public way to further connect with volunteers. Instead of talking over the phone, connect on social media. Responding timely to questions or concerns on your social media profiles establishes trust. If a potential volunteer is checking your organization out and they see little engagement or questions going unanswered, red flags may pop up. 

Deciding What Platform Works Best for YOU!

The first step is to decide which platform would be best for your organization. You don’t need to feel overwhelmed by the multitude of options. If most of your volunteers are on Facebook, stick to that.

Post Regularly, But Don’t Stress Too Much

On that note, it’s important to take time to post regularly on your chosen social media channel. Any updates, content or photos should be posted. Mixing content on your feed is more engaging for your audience. While you want to post frequently, you don’t want to overwhelm or annoy your audience. Understanding ‘social media’ etiquette ensures that you won’t be creating a social media presence that’s obnoxious. If you’re annoying people, you run the risk of people unfollowing you. On Facebook, posting once or twice a day is common, whereas on Twitter users post dozens of Tweets a day.

Snapchat and Instagram Stories Create FOMO

Snapchat stories and the newly implemented Instagram stories are great ways to post frequent content without being too obtrusive. People can click on the stories if they want to or just ignore it. Creating stories of fun events or activities can create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) for people who aren’t there. People who experience FOMO by looking at these stories may feel a new sense of desire to volunteer next time.

Social media is an easy and free way to boost your organization’s awareness. Utilizing compelling content will make your organization stand out and increase awareness of your mission.

If you take the time to invest in posting frequent and quality content, you’re guaranteed to see an increase in engagement.