Last week I had the opportunity to attend Webskillet’s Communication for Good: Writing for Good event. This small group conversation featured presentations by Darya Marchenkova, the Communications Coordinator at the Vermont Worker’s Center, and Shay Totten, the Communications Director at Chelsea Green Publishing. They shared their best practices for effective social media writing, from composing eblasts, to scheduling tweets. Some of my takeaways:
- Know your audience. Just because “everyone is on Facebook” doesn’t mean your readers are — make sure you are reaching your people by understanding how they use media and get information.
- Whenever possible, use first-person experiences. Have the people tell their own story, instead of telling it for them.
- Check the data. Google Analytics, Facebook Stats, and Klout are all places to get started learning how your communication is being received. Here are a few other tools.
- Test your approach. Shay Totten shared that their company develops 20(!) email headers before choosing one to send out — and they send out three different ones per mailing to see which one is most effective.
- Set a realistic schedule. Be mindful of your staff”s capacity and your own, and integrate social media communication into your week at a manageable rate.
In the face of all the other projects that need to be addressed, social media often gets squished (technical term) into free minutes. But the potential benefits of connecting with your people on a regular basis can be as great as your grant proposals and face-to-face meetings. When done with preparation and strategy, those little tweets and photo uploads can bring new audiences to your cause, increase attendance at your events, and bring new business to your door.
Webskillet will be offering these events each month this fall, and Spindle & Widget will be speaking at the next one: Finding Your Core Message. See the full schedule here.