How to Up Your Social Media Game

I cannot overstate the value of a strong social media platform and strategy. It’s worth its weight in gold. Every like, comment and retweet or regram you get is energy for the movement you’re building.

But you already know that, and you’re here because you want to better leverage the power of social media. Here’s how you can up your game.

Let’s Break it Down

First, what’s your goal? Are you trying to get people to attend an event, take action (e.g., sign a petition, call their legislators), or grow your community and deepen engagement? Create a campaign (or campaigns) that meet that goal?

Know your audience. As my dear friend and social media powerhouse Courtney White (@courthousecouture on IG) told me, identify your audience. Do your homework. What is important to them?  “Build your community based on whatever message you’re trying to get out. Are you working for kids to have access to healthier foods at schools? You want to reach people with kids but also anyone who cares about public health. Next, do your homework. What are these communities talking about? How are they already engaging around the topic, or with other advocacy-related topics?” Do your homework #MovementMakerTribe, and you’ll find natural inroads to engaging with this community. Leverage conversations already taking place to meet people where they are.

Study the field. What are thought leaders in your field doing on social media? What seems to be their strategy? What makes them stand out? Understand what strategies you can borrow from them, but don’t get lost in the crowd. The only way to do that is to figure out what you can add to the conversation that’s fresh and new. Every single #MovementMaker has a fresh take. This is your chance to share it boldly and loudly.

Make sure your hashtag game is strong. My friend Courtney has a fabulous hashtag game. Here’s what she has to say about it: “Using effective hashtags is really important because that’s how people you may not have identified in your initial community search can find you. Or maybe they aren’t in your target community but care about the cause and would be effective in helping you to create and grow that movement.” Here are tips for a variety of social media objectives.

  • If you want people to attend an event, create a catchy hashtag unique to your event and post using just that hashtag and your brand/movement hashtag (e.g., if I were hosting an event in Washington DC I might do #TerriVisitsDC and #MovementMakerTribe).
  • Grow your community and engage. Research what your audience is talking about and determine how those conversations intersect with what you’re trying to accomplish. Then use already trending or broad hashtags (e.g., #socialjustice #equity #2020approach) to join a larger conversation.
  • Get people to take action. First, is what you’re doing part of a larger movement? If so, don’t reinvent the wheel. What are popular hashtags for the movement? If what you’re trying to do is smaller and truly unique to you, then make sure what you come up with is authentic and catchy. I like following VoteRunLead (@voterunlead on IG) a non-profit that trains women to run for office and win!  I like how they highlight partner organizations or those who share beliefs. Some of the hashtags they have featured include #NationalDomesticWorkersAlliance, #CouragetoRun5k, and #WomenInPolitics, but they also use their own, #VoteRunLead.

Gamify. Launch a contest on social media. Think about the ALS Ice bucket Challenge, for example. Or Stella McCartney’s campaign #ThereSheGrows to protect the Leuser ecosystem in Indonesia, the last place on earth Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers, rhinos and sun bears still roam the same habitat. The number of people who have participated will astound you. Or participate in a challenge yourself and you’ll find yourself quickly gaining in followers.

Pay attention to detail. Even though it’s social media, spelling, grammar, and writing style count. Write succinctly and clearly. You don’t want to turn off any potential followers by having less-than-quality content. Don’t cut corners. Check for typos and spelling errors. And let your unique voice shine through. You still want to sound like you on social media.

I Want to Hear From You

#MovementMakerTribe, can’t wait to hear about your success with these strategies. If you’ve tried one and have a great case study for our community, share it with me in the comments so I can include it in an upcoming newsletter and help spread your news on social media. As they say, #DoItForTheCulture.

It’s sort of obvious, but let’s stay connected on social media to build movements together. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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