The importance of maintaining an online presence on various networking platforms is something I continue to stress and explore through our Social Media series for nonprofit fundraising. With so many options and the continuous evolution of features offered, it can become confusing as to what type of content is most effective on each platform. In previous posts, I have offered Tips to Improve Facebook Content to Strengthen Edgerank and I also highlighted 5 Management Tools to Measure Twitter Analytics. Today I am featuring more tips on how to build on existing Facebook and Twitter strategies to improve the reach and engagement with your online audience and, (hopefully) in turn, encourage financial support.
Grammar – Don’t sacrifice grammar or use abbreviations in an attempt to fit more into each 140-character tweet. Although it may take more time to create proper and concise tweets, you will be better served and will be more effective as your followers will not have to try to decipher your message. Also keep in mind to not tweet in all caps as that gives the reader the impression that YOU ARE SHOUTING.
Content – Pay special attention to what you share through a tweet. Tweeting just for the sake of tweeting will negate your overall results. The purpose of Twitter is to inform and engage your audience, so it’s essential that tweets do so by posing questions, sharing important cause related facts or statistics or recently released news updates. Ultimately the goal is to attract followers to click on or re-tweet your tweet.
Retweet –Only re-tweet content that is relevant to your cause or organization. Doing so will provide you with the dual benefit of providing your followers existing content that they would be interested in and engage the original Twitter user who likely shares in the same interest(s). It’s important to leave enough room in your original tweet for others to easily retweet your content (15-20 characters is recommended).
Pictures & Videos – Still or moving images continue to be worth 1,000 words. Including either one in your status updates or posts ensures you get noticed in what is becoming a crowded space. It also increases the value of your post which will in turn increase the likelihood that it will appear on your communities news feed. Make sure that pictures are of optimum size 800 x 600 pixels and mobile friendly.
Mystery – Although it’s important to have well written and thought-out status updates, there should still be an element of intrigue and mystery to entice your fans to click on your post to discover more. Writing an attention grabbing update and including a link for more information will draw the supporter in and increases the odds of them liking, commenting and sharing the information.
Voice – It’s important the voice and style of the brand is consistent and positive. There is no place for negativity on your Facebook page as this will easily turn supporters off and away. Humanizing your brand/cause/organization will make interactions more personable and will help build relationships. To do this it’s essential to pose questions, respond to comments and actively engage with your audience.
Finally, it’s important to keep track of how well you are engaging supporters through each platform. Using a free service like bitly helps shorten URL’s and can also let you share links across multiple social media networks including both Facebook and Twitter. It also lets page administrators keep track of the popularity of the shared link by how often fans are clicking on it. By keeping track and analyzing this information you can narrow down what type of posts are most effective by network.