Posted By Alex French
To Tweet, or Not To Tweet: Picking the Right Social Media Platform For Your Organization

First impressions are important. If you’ve ever been to a job interview or on a first date, I’m sure you know this. Mothers everywhere have reiterated these values for ages. An improperly tucked shirt could mean the difference between getting a call back or not. A rogue piece of parsley in your teeth could send your date running. You get the picture.

What moms have been trying to communicate all along is this: portraying yourself in a composed and professional manner is important when making a first impression.  These values translate to the organizational world through the medium of branding, and are particularly important in the developmental stages of an organization.

We’ve discussed branding a lot in older posts. In the content-driven, web-based world that we live in, it’s important to think about branding strategies in advance, rather than generating content willy-nilly in order to build solid relationships with your clients via social media.

Social media can be a great tool in establishing your brand and getting your name out there. User-friendly formats and high engagement rates of people all across the board make this medium a great tool in reaching broad audiences with relative ease. However, it’s wise to consider your branding, as well as your audience and organizational values, when considering which social media platform fits you best. Missteps in social media management can leave familiar and new audience members alike shaking or scratching their heads; it can impart organizational parsley-teeth. Let’s take a look at what social media platforms are available and which fit your organization the best.

1.     Facebook

This is a pretty easy one. Chances are, you’ve heard of Facebook and probably even use it. This platform is a great fit for most organizations, offering you a place to display your general information, photos, and updates. Facebook can be a fantastic resource for community-based organizations, allowing you to connect to constituents and supporters, and spark local interest. Giving people ways to get involved, share your content, and supply feedback can be a useful tool in creating connections to your target audience.

While Facebook can be a powerful social media tool, there are a few do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of:

·      DO create a Facebook business page for your organization. DO NOT use a personal page for your organization. Business pages are tailored to businesses (surprise!) and allow you to present your information in an easily accessible way and makes for easy navigation. Business pages also have the option of advertising, which can come in handy. They also offer you a chance to see the data of the traffic you are generating-another handy tool. Plus, if you choose a personal page for your business or organization, millennials will laugh at you.

·      DO NOT treat your business page as a personal page. Post only content that is relevant to your organization’s mission. Be conscientious of consistent and cohesive posting. Avoid divisive topics to prevent an all-out troll-fest.

·      DO NOT overpost. Followers will become overwhelmed, exhausted, or just plain mad. Scheduling posts can be a good way to avoid this in the event that you do have a lot of good content that you’d like to get out.

2.     Twitter

With 140-character posts, Twitter allows you to communicate in small, bite-sized messages. Twitter revolves around sharing small blurbs called tweets and connecting to others. It can be a great tool for organizations looking to get their name out and connect to other agencies, government representatives,  clients and constituents.  This platform can be especially impactful for promotions and fundraisers, particularly when branded with a popular or unique hashtag. This takes lots planning in advance.

3.     Instagram

Instagram is a photo-based platform, allowing users to share pictures and accompanying captions. Like Twitter, it utilizes a short-form style. This platform can be great for organizations looking to share visuals of their work. Pictures can speak volumes, and when coupled with hashtags, make a huge impact on Instagram. Such an example can be seen here, where one woman’s post about domestic violence sparked important conversations around the world.

With its visual focus, Instagram is not a good fit for all organizations. Those without a steady stream of good content might reconsider before joining. Floppy or forced content can fall flat the hardest on this platform.

So there you have it: A brief intro to the most popular social media outlets today.  Making the most of these will take some advanced planning, but its worth it to help support your mission. If you need help planning in advance, consider reaching out to CLC to establish a social media strategy to get you started!