Its easy start posting on social media platforms to promote your club, but are you really taking advantage of social media’s power to engage with future guests and club members?
To use it to its full potential, invest some time in planning.
Define Your Community
Your first step is to define your community and their preferences. Be specific; who is your target audience?
A target audience is the demographic of people most likely to be interested in what your club has to offer.
Are they students defending a research paper? Employees looking for a promotion? Managers needing to learn how to evaluate to motivate?
If you post content for everybody, you will attract nobody. Knowing your community and their preferences is important because specificity will drive your results.
Create Content to Engage
Once you have your target audience, create content that will engage them. You want them to like, comment and share.
Social media is social. Establish an interactive online presence. Encourage conversation through your content. What do you want your target audience to do? Add a simple call to action. Part of being social is getting your Club’s membership involved. Encourage them to share their speaking and leadership achievements. Post club photos and videos showcasing a member’s success at a club meeting (with permission of course!). Ask questions of your viewers. Share club news. If relevant to your target audience, share what another club’s news. Again, if relevant to your target audience, share Area, Division, and District news. Share International Toastmasters news. Collaborate with other clubs and Toastmasters leaders to spark additional interaction.
Be on Trend
Watch for trends affecting your target audience. For example, if your target audience is the first-year collage student, usually within the first month of their school year, they’ve figured out they may need help with presentation delivery. What one tip can you post and share? What question can you ask for them to comment on? Listen to your audience’s needs and be social!
Note: social media attention spans are short. The majority of social media is consumed using a mobile device. People won’t “like” or will stop following you if you are not interacting with them. Give them a reason to keep liking your content and following your platform. Keep posts short and visually engaging.
Design Your Approach
Once you know who your target audience is, then its time to design your communication approach; what is your content strategy?
While platform preferences are fairly consistent across generations, your unique target audience may prefer a specific platform. According to Gruzd & Mai, (2020). (The State of Social Media in Canada 2020. Ryerson University Social Media Lab. Version 5. DOI: 10.5683/SP2/XIW8EW), Facebook remains the most popular platform in Canada. Canadians aged 18–24 are the largest adopters of social media but are less likely to adopt Facebook and LinkedIn. Across all social media platforms, adoption drops off with age.
This is where you may need to do a bit of research.
Determine when your audience usually consumes content on your chosen platform, and the type of content they are most likely interested in. Once you’ve figured that out, its time to plan what to post and how often to post. Be consistent: post regularly and invite both club members and club guests to like, share and comment. Most platforms use mathematical formulas, algorithms, to rank posts. Posts with higher engagement are shown more often.
Always add a call to action at the end of your post, such as an ask for the reader to visit the next club meeting or go to the website to learn more tips.
So how do you know if your social media campaign is successful?
Create clear goals and objectives with measures to track progress. Are you hoping to increase attendance at events? Use Facebook and Twitter to build excitement before your event and sustain audience engagement between events. Is your club on Instagram or YouTube? Share stories through videos to connect with potential guests. Follow up with visitors: how did they hear about you?
Dedicate time to social media. Social media may be free, but time will be your biggest cost and is critical to your social media success. Ask for help. Include the members in your club. Draw on your younger members’ online confidence. Involve past and present executive members who have lived Toastmasters experience. Having more than one person blogging, posting, or tweeting will make your social media strategy robust.
Track responses. Use the tools the social media platforms provide. Statistics can help you track your efforts and understand which posts are generating the reaction you want, such as engagements and other indicators.
Learn by Doing
Social media lends itself to experimentation and learning by doing. Test different elements, such as having posts that end with an interaction such as a question to answer, or a poll to take. See what works and what doesn’t work to engage your audience. Track how people are reacting to specific posts; for example, if your target audience is the university or college graduate, and your post about virtual interview tips is getting a lot of engagement, consider posting similar content more often.
Evaluate and adjust your social media strategy until you find what is works best. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Your best opportunity lies in deeper engagement with your audience; creating a strong social media presence takes time.
A Powerful Tool
Social media is a powerful tool when effort is made into determining the target audience, the content they wish to consume, and how to engage them to keep the conversation going. Social media is social. Take advantage of that – many successful companies do! Successful brands use social media to listen to their audiences and engage with their consumers to strengthen and enhance their brand impact.
Steps to take are to:
- determine your target audience,
- listen to their needs,
- post the content they want to see,
- include a call to action,
- and use the platform’s measurement tools to track results.
Do you have any social media tips you can share with us? Have questions or suggestions for future social media related blog topics? Let the PR team know!
Email us at email@example.com
Created by Nancy Movrin DTM Public Relations Manager 2021 – 2022