4 Tips & Tricks to Stay Ahead of the Curve on Social Media

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4 Tips & Tricks to Stay Ahead of the Curve on Social Media

With Twitter having been sold two weeks ago, many people are considering changing their social media strategy. In this week's blog, we discuss our top tips and tricks for staying visible and relevant across all your social channels.

Ben Roberts

It may be that in the following months we see many organisations' social media strategies change dramatically. The end of October saw Elon Musk finalise his acquisition of Twitter, of which he himself is an inveterate user, resulting in the platform’s collective user-base asking what the future of the site might look like. Musk himself has been outlining his plans by Tweet, and has received a huge amount of backlash for changing the platform's verification policy, requiring a paid subscription.

The negative implications of this are wide, but in the charity sphere the main concern has been the potential rise of fake accounts posing as legitimate organisations, as well as the need to cough up the monthly fee. Many users have been considering jumping ship from Twitter as a result, and several alternative social media sites have been vying to become the new platform of choice for the sector.

In the wake of this potential upset to the established social media hierarchy, we’ve decided to share some of our best tips and practices for futureproofing your online presence, and maximising your online engagement – particularly if we might all be starting from scratch on a new site soon.


1. Follow your audience

How do you know when it’s time to try a new platform? It’s as simple as making sure your biggest presence is where your supporters already are. As charities, it’s less vital that you become an early adopter of new platforms, and more important that you join onto platforms that have already taken off and have dedicated user-bases.

We’ve had this conversation recently about TikTok, where at first it was unclear about whether charities should join, and what sort of content they should post. But, now that data and guidance are available about what performs well, charities have been able to thrive on the site and share their mission with TikTok’s young and notoriously hard-to-reach users.

So, whether Twitter’s users stay where they are, or migrate to alternatives such as Mastodon, CounterSocial, or Cohost, be ready to monitor the numbers and make the leap when it’s time.


2. Learn what works on different platforms

Many platforms provide their own courses in how to maximise your reach (such as Twitter’s or LinkedIn’s), letting you quickly gain expertise in how these different platforms reward different types of content.

But don’t stop there. There’s a wealth of information available elsewhere that can help you master your different channels. For example, a study by Yahoo Labs and the Georgia Institute of Technology found that on Instagram specifically, photos containing faces are 38% more likely to receive likes. Similarly, software developer Hubspot produced data revealing the best times to Tweet (midday to 3pm to ensure that you catch people’s feeds during their commute home).

Knowing the specific tricks of each site will help you to organise your content plan to thrive in each space individually.


3. Use the tools at your disposal

It’s not just courses that you should be looking out for though - we’re living in a golden age for free-to-use tools and services which can take your social media to the next level.

Whether it’s free imagery, graphic design, video-editing, presentation templates, or content planning, every element needed to produce a sleek, branded, and appealing social media presence is at your fingertips. With a quick search online, hundreds of tools are available for free which can elevate your brand without the need for expensive courses or designers, and when you do need a professional, sites like Fiverr can connect you to a freelancer to take over the process.

With all these services available, it’s become a breeze to maintain a consistent and engaging social media feed.


4. Use data to dictate your strategy

Our latest wave of research showed that only 25% of the public remember seeing or hearing anything about a charity in the media lately. While the adverts of yesteryear could rely on reaching a single monolithic audience on TV or radio, media has become so fragmented that these mediums are no longer seen as effective or viewed positively by the public.

As a result, using social media to restore brand awareness now requires reaching an exceptionally wide audience and can seem insurmountable using only your organic reach, rather than paying to be promoted. It’s therefore vital that you make the most of your analytics. Keeping tabs on which posts get shared, which drive traffic to your site, and which generate the most conversation should be a core element to your strategy. Experiment with different types of posts, then let the data you generate guide your social media philosophy.


We at nfpResearch have been thinking recently about how we can help charities to maximise the impact of their media, a topic we spoke on in our recent webinar. If you’re interested in learning more about the media modelling research we discussed, feel free to get in touch with insight@nfpresearch.com.

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