Its easy to get stuck in a rut with your social media channels.
In the last two years, social has exploded. Many are trying to capture an audience’s attention. What can you do? Be intentional with your posts.
There are many ways to get intentional to increase engagement. These include, but are not limited to:
- Sharing What Others are Posting
- Uploading Video
- Reaching Out to Readers
- Looking Globally
- Knowing Your Platform
- Providing Value
- Using User-Generated Content
- Having Consistent Images and Tone
- Beginning With a Bang and Closing With a Call to Action.
- Posting When Your Audience is Active, and
- Playing the Long Game
Let’s take a look!
Share What Others are Posting
If you are running out of ideas, consider sharing what Toastmasters International or the District is posting. Do other clubs offer posts that you could take inspiration from? Does your Area or Division have a social media channels and post resources? Take a look at the District blog page, or the resources section of the Toastmasters International website. Toastmasters offers many speaking tips on their website that you can use. There are also many tips listed in the monthly Toastmaster’s magazine. List one tip per post on your social media page.
Upload a Video
If you’ve only been posting text with an accompanying photo? Switch it up! Upload a 60 second “Toastmaster’s tip” cell phone video or a “how-to” Zoom video created by you or by one of your members. Offer a teaser of an upcoming club meeting, contest, workshop, or other club event. Ask you members to post a quick video in the table topic format about why they joined your club, or what professional or personal success they can attribute to Toastmasters. Go behind the scenes; is your club doing hybrid meetings? In person meetings? Post a quick video of your members setting up the room for a hybrid meeting.
Reach Out to Your Readers
Still stuck? Talk to your social media audience. Ask them to leave a comment or send you an email about what they would like to see. Do they want to learn more about your club and its members, about Toastmasters in general, or would they like to see more speaking tips? Ask them what their leadership or communication challenges are, then do a post addressing those pain points.
Solicit your members, your family, and your non-toastmaster friends and colleagues for ideas. You want your posts to engage a non-toastmaster and entice them to come to a club meeting. Your family and non-toastmaster friends have that non-member perspective; tap into their ideas. Or ask them what they would want to know more about when they hear the words “professional development”, “leadership” or “communication”.
What are other Toastmasters clubs outside of our District posting? Take a look at how they engage their followers. Learn from the sites that seem to get the most engagement. What are they doing differently? Can you learn from them and emulate some of their ideas? Then test and experiment on your platform. The best social media post for your club might be one you’ve never considered before.
More Than One Platform?
It helps to understand what your club’s goal is for each platform. Each platform attracts a different audience. Learn who is on each of your club’s social media platforms to give you the best return on your effort. For more information about the different channels and groups, read the blog post “Many Social Media Accounts to Chose From… Which Online Platform is For You?” https://toastmasters86.org/blogs/
Having a specific purpose for each of your club’s social media platforms can help focus on what to post.
Don’t “Sell”; Provide Value Instead
Social media platforms are really networking sites. Users are most likely to join social to connect with others. To maximize your success on your social channels, make helping your audience a priority.
Social media algorithms reward meaningful social interaction. Consider each post as your club’s direct connection to your audience. Your audience will follow your posts if you provide content that gives them value and doesn’t come across as spammy or sales-y. Keep in mind who your target audience is (i.e., a job seeker needing to rock an interview? A manager having to give performance appraisals?), and post content that matters to them.
Do you follow any major brands? What are they posting? @nike doesn’t sell shoes; it offers inspiration. @redpathsugar doesn’t sell sugar, it displays recipes. @hydroquebec1944 has some great posts and customer engagement. @BenjaminMooreCanada offers lifestyle tips to its audience. For fun, check out @nonamebrands – they truly embrace their two brand colours. Which Brands do regularly visit on social? Analyze what content they post, how they engage with their followers and learn from them.
User-generated content is powerful. Type ‘consumer brand research’ into a search engine and you will find many studies indicating that people trust fellow consumers more than what the brands tell them. To take advantage of this, encourage your followers to post images of themselves attending one of your club meetings. Ask members to upload selfies of themselves writing or practicing their speech.
Testimonials are currency. Approach current members, past members and even guests for one. Chances are, they will help if you tap them on the should for one.
Consistent Images and Tone
Ensure a loyal following by staying consistent. A consistent image and tone acts as the voice of your club. It helps increase brand recognition and helps non-Toastmasters relate to your brand better. If you stray off brand, you limit your success because your messaging will confuse your audience. Toastmasters is a professional development organization. Always go back to why people join Toastmaster’s in the first place; to be better leaders and communicators.
Begin With a Bang. Close With a Call to Action.
You are encouraging others to share your posts – great! Your followers are sharing your posts – even better! You want others to read these shared posts and forward them on. To really gain traction with post sharing, keep in mind that when a post is shared, the text is usually chopped down a bit. Counter this by making your first few sentences count. A non-Toastmaster should get the gist of what your post is about within those first few sentences.
Adding keywords and hashtags that clearly explain what the post is about will also encourage more views. Keywords and hashtags help to categorize your post and help them show more easily in a search. But limit the number of hashtags you use. It can be confusing for your viewer if overused. Less is more.
Have a call to action. Make it clear to your reader what you want them to do next. Do you want them to visit a website for more tips? Contact a member for the club meeting link? Leave a comment? Read your blog? Pick one. But don’t always have the same call to action; switch it up stay fresh.
When Your Audience is Active
Study your platform’s analytics. The data will show you when your audience is most often viewing your posts. By scheduling posts on the days and times your audience is most likely to view them, you’ll maximize engagement.
Don’t get too caught up in the metrics of shares, clicks, and likes too much. While these numbers will give you an indication of what to post more of, or less of, the real data is in the reach. Its like being at party. If you immediately gravitate to the kitchen and stay there all night, you will miss talking to all of the other people in the other rooms. The point of attending is to network and meet new people. Same with your social media content. You want posts to reach further.
Play the Long Game
Translating social media success to into high club visibility won’t happen overnight. With each post, you are playing the long game. Build relationships, not just followers. When you publish valuable, bite-sized content, you’re gradually building your club’s reputation as the go-to place for professional development.
Keep in mind that once a guest shows up to a meeting, the conversion is up to you and the club. The most stellar and inspired social media posts can’t help you with that. Well developed, Interesting, and relevant posts only help to increase your club’s presence and brand awareness.
Each post (and even how you comment on other Toastmasters social media posts) will have an effect on audience perception years from now. Be proud to say you’re creating quality content. Ensure that any comments you leave on other Toastmasters sites reflects well on your club and its members.
Social is an easy and inexpensive way to increase your club’s visibility. When you:
- Share What Others are Posting
- Upload Video
- Reach Out to Your Readers
- Look Globally
- Know Your Platform
- Provide Value
- Consider User-Generated Content
- Use a Consistent Images and Tone
- Begin With a Bang. Close With a Call to Action.
- Post When Your Audience is Active, and
- Build the Long Game
You will have a direct line to your audience. Along with this list, don’t be afraid to come up with new strategies others aren’t using. As long as you post consistently, you will keep the social conversation going and before your know it, your audience will grow and people will start to seek out your club.
Created by Nancy Movrin DTM Public Relations Manager 2021 – 2022