In the past few months, we’ve tracked some pivotal developments in social media. As a nonprofit communicator, you’re facing endless social media updates and a constant stream of new tools, so it’s a challenge to figure out where exactly to dedicate your resources.
We’ve sifted through dozens of network updates, recent studies and new tools to drill down the top opportunities among this onslaught of social media news. As you think about prioritizing your time this fall, consider these top five takeaways that will maximize your efforts on social media.
- Tie Facebook and Twitter posts to current events or political commentary
Posts that relate to current events or political issues may trigger more engagement, indicates a new Pew Research Center study. The research institution released findings about Facebook and Twitter users’ news consumption habits, revealing that nearly two-thirds of Facebook and Twitter users get news via each of the social media sites. Further, 32 percent of Facebook users post and comment on political content, and nearly six-in-ten Twitter news users (59 percent) use the site to keep up with a news event as it is happening, almost double the rate among Facebook news users (31 percent).
- Apply relevant keywords and hashtags in your tweets to ensure Google searches display them
Now, when your nonprofit tweets about a particular event or news article, that tweet is more likely to display in Google searches when a user searches that event or article. This is the result of a recent deal between Google and Twitter, which now indexes tweets in Google search results.
This is good news for nonprofits that have a strong Twitter presence—more people will see your tweets when they search for your organization, hashtags you commonly use or topics you regularly tweet about. For others, it means it’s more important than ever to tweet regular, relevant content that applies keywords that may be searchable. Cure Violence, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping the spread of violence by treating it like a disease, does a masterful job at incorporating keywords into their tweets. It uses keywords related to the organization’s platform, like “violence prevention,” “virus,” “disease” and “public health.” Doing this increases the likelihood that users who search for those terms in Google will see Cure Violence’s tweets, which can potentially draw new audience members interested in those topics into the organization.
- Leverage LinkedIn’s new resources to become an expert Group Manager
LinkedIn recently launched a robust guide to managing LinkedIn Groups, the “Moderator’s Field Guide.” The free content marketing tool empowers organizations to cultivate lively conversations around issue areas and strengthen connections with audiences through moderated content sharing that can also be kept private. The e-book teaches nonprofit communicators how to find content and facilitate engaging discussions among your group. It also shares success stories from moderators of LinkedIn Groups, offering tangible advice for launching and optimizing your own Group.
- Use Hootsuite to schedule Instagram posts
Hootsuite, a social media management tool, just added Instagram to its list of supported platforms. We love Hootsuite already because it allows users to publish and schedule content from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all in one place. I particularly like the addition of Instagram because it puts the largely mobile-operated app right on my desktop, making Instagram an accessible tool in my day-to-day.
- Optimize your Facebook presence with the platform’s new resource for social good organizations
Facebook announces new updates nearly every week, so it’s hard to determine which nonprofits should pay attention to. One that we’ve found most useful: a new micro-site and user guide specifically designed for nonprofits. These handy new resources are intended to help you optimize your Facebook page to mobilize your online community, build advocacy for your mission and learn creative ways to increase fundraising. The microsite also features guides for beginning learners or more advanced page managers, such as posting best practices for mobile optimization.
Are there other social media developments you’re excited about? Tell us in the comments below.