Chances are that you first learned about Students For Liberty through social media. Can students at your university say the same about your organization? Here are some essential social media tips to draw attention to your university’s libertarian student organization:
1. If your group doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter page yet, GET ONE!
Social media is extremely popular and effective with college students. Organizations from fashion blogs to restaurants are left in the dust without a social media presence. Social media is another way for the public to gain information and interact with your student group outside of your events and tabling. In the same few hours that you spend tabling in a day, your organization’s social media manager can organize an attractive Facebook page that will give users unlimited, 24/7 access to your organization.
2. Post frequently, but not too much.
Membership does not begin with a like or a follow. An effective social media presence draws meaningful interactions with its users. However, interactions don’t happen unless you generate the content first. A minimum recommendation for number of posts is one post a day, three to five days a week. Advertising experts say that simply gaining consumer awareness and recall of a product takes at least 3 frequent exposures to your message. Without frequent exposure to your organization, users can lose interest and simply forget that your organization exists. Frequent posts not only expose new users to content, but frequent users will always come back for more. Are there websites, pages, and accounts that you check daily? This kind of interaction that can occur with your organization too! Frequent exposure and engagement is the first step in gaining this type of interaction.
At the same time, not that no more than one post a day is necessary for an organization that is simply trying to gain exposure. Posting too frequently can lead to users feeling annoyed by your organization and leave. However, more updates may be necessary in the occasion of a special event or crisis.
3. Encourage interaction.
Facebook and Twitter make it easy for users to share your content with just a click. Posting photos, videos, and user content to your page encourages interaction beyond just a like or a follow. Hosting photo share contests is an easy way to get your content off of your page and in front of the users that do not currently like or follow your page. In fact, sharing contests usually encourage others that do not subscribe to your page to share the photo, thus expanding your exposure.
4. Start a blog.
Facebook and twitter are considered “micro-blogs.” Although these sites are the most effective way to garner a social media presence, hosting a blog on a site such a Tumblr, Word Press, or Blogger allows users an in-depth look into your organization. Blogs are good for sharing your member’s writings and ideas. If a member writes a paper for a class about liberty, show it off via your organization’s blog. If you are the leader of your organization, write a welcome letter at the beginning of the semester outlining your organization’s goals and objectives for the year. If your organization hosts a speaker, ask the speaker to write a guest submission for your blog. Nothing looks better on a student organization’s blog than an expert’s advice and support.
Save the cute and flashy content for Facebook and Twitter. Allow your blog to show your organization’s nuts and bolts by getting down the nitty gritty in your descriptions and advice.
5. Layout is just as important as content.
On Facebook and twitter, layout includes cover photos, backgrounds, and thumbnail pictures. Blog sites allow for even more layout options. Layouts should be attractive, but not so flashy that they distract users from accessing content. Conversely, content should not simply blend in to the background of your blog.
Users should be able to take one screen shot of your organization’s Facebook page and know what you are all about.
6. Use multiple platforms.
Facebook, Twitter, and a blog should not be the only platforms used by your organization. The internet is a diverse place; your organization should be equally as diverse. Use a YouTube channel to host your organization’s videos. Use Ustream to upload a podcast of a speaker’s lecture. Use Instagram to post pictures. Believe it or not, Instagram has grown beyond a fad and is now being utilized by professional organization to encourage the same interaction that Facebook and Twitter provide.
These are just a few tips for your organization to gain an effective and meaningful social media presence. Remember, a social media presence allows users to interact with your organization outside of day-to-day events and meetings. Content should encourage meaningful interaction while layout should complement the content.