My name is Sondra LoRe and I often have the pleasure of helping organizations set up and evaluate their social media footprint. I work for the National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER) at the University of TN, and while most of the social media evaluations I design are related to STEM educators and programs, the formats are applicable to any organization.
Hot Tip #1: Investigate
My first step in beginning a social media design is to do some investigating. With permission, I gain access to the analytics portion of any used platforms and follow activity. What’s hot? When are users most active? What platforms have the most activity? I recommend checking news feeds to see what people are engaging in related to your content area. This could also be done incrementally by adding additional platforms and tracking engagement.
Hot Tip#2: Rule of Threes
Follow a Rule of Threes for content creation:
- A third of the time promote others by sharing their posts and/or content. This will increase your views on other news feeds.
- A third of the time promote your client by sharing news related to the business/project. Consider a personal component to these posts to help audiences get to know your client.
- The last third should be related to content/learning that will increase the knowledge base of your business or project. For example, if your client is an online food safety curriculum for middle school teachers, a third of the time should be spent sharing content related to the benefits of best practices in middle school education curriculum design.
Rad Resource: Schedule for serenity
Keeping up with multiple platforms and evaluations can be a daunting task. Social media management software such as Hootsuite can help keep you organized. Take time to reflect and analyze the activity and engagement around your posts by using the analytic tools built into platforms. Need help learning to use social media analytics? Lynda.com is a fee resource with wonderful instructional videos and YouTube has a bounty of free videos like this one, How to Build A Social Media Plan.
Lesson Learned: Research vs. Gut
General social media market research may not fit your targeted audience so do some exploring of your own and follow your gut. What may be the most popular platforms, posting times, and trending topics on social media may be completely different for your group. For example, in a recent evaluation, I found that Facebook is the platform of choice for middle school science teachers and that they are most active on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. When I moved my posts from the days and times that research suggested, the engagement tripled in size.
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