As the newbie to Voice4Change I was tasked with continuing the management of the organisation’s social media platforms. When I got here there was already a social media presence but the engagement and activity was fairly low.
One of the first things I noticed at Voice4Change was how refreshing it was to see a team who were active on their own personal social media and that they had an understanding of how key it is to any organisation. In previous employment, I’ve worked with staff members who weren’t very ‘social media friendly’, they didn’t understand social media and wouldn’t touch it. So I settled in to Voice4Change feeling very relieved to be honest!
Issue(s) we faced
The main issue we faced was that the organisation had two separate Facebook profile pages. The challenge was how to merge the two Facebook profile pages into one page for the organisation - This meant losing a lot of content but the bonus would be that we kept all of our followers/Likes.
The other issue was building engagement. I could see the potential for all the social media networks so I essentially just wanted to get on with re-establishing some of those networks.
What we did
The organisation has a blog and they were already on Facebook and Twitter so it was a matter of just looking at how they were updating the blog, engaging on social media networks and basically how to improve on what they had.
- We changed our Facebook banner to look more inviting and to give a visual representation of what the organisation was all about. I used more large visuals on the Facebook timeline to draw in followers. Through this we were able to highlight even more of the work we do just by using visuals.
- Retweet, mention and reply. This was something I could see as an opportunity to engage more with our members and external stakeholders. In the run up to our events we work with partner organisations to share and exchange tweets and retweets, including mentioning the twitter names of the speakers at our events.
- We looked at how to grow the blog. We had a monthly membership spotlight, and staff contributions. I wanted to bring back contributions from membership organisations. We now have a steady stream of weekly blog posts with external stake holders and most recently our new project development intern. In addition we have expanded our blog readership just through promoting blog posts via Facebook and Twitter.
What went well
- Our Facebook page has seen a dramatic improvement; first off we now have the one page. From looking at our Facebook statistics we found that our supporters enjoy big visual images and therefore we have ensured that we continue this on our Facebook page. People love big appealing pictures!
- The contributions to the blog have gone extremely well. We make active use of our blog and sharing it via Twitter and Facebook has enabled our audience to grow. The sharing of different voices through the blog shows the strength of partnership working in the sector.
- We found that when referring to partners and key speakers for upcoming events in tweets, they are more likely to retweet thus expanding our reach. We have also made good use of the hashtags #FF and #CT (also know as #FollowFriday - used to suggest other Twitter users to follow, and #CharityTuesday - used to show your support for another charity).
What didn't go well
We have done really well so far. The only thing that we’d like to do better is that during our last voluntary sector arts event we didn’t use a dedicated personalised hashtag. This is something we intend to do in the future.
We will also consider using platforms like Audioboo to make the coverage of our events more interactive and as an alternative to written case studies. Audio and visual images of case studies seems to work well as evidence.
Key lessons learnt
- We now have just over 1,040 followers on twitter. Our mentions and retweets have doubled.
- Our online engagement with members and external stakeholders has increased considerably through likes, replies, follows, retweets and mentions.
- We have established strong social media partnerships with member organisations such as Voluntary Arts, Olmec and others such as The Big Venture Challenge.