Dance First, Listen Later

The first bit of advice you probably received when your organization embarked on the social media journey was to “listen to your audience.” You searched key terms in Twitter and Facebook, and set up Google Alerts. If you are a small organization, you may not have heard a thing and got discouraged.

Don’t.

Your target audience didn’t join Twitter and Facebook to talk up your brand. They did it to interact with their family and friends. So stop being a social media wall flower, get out there and start dancing. But first, make a social media plan. Without having plan how will you know what your goals are? Without goals how will you know if your plan was successful? Start with figuring out how you will engage your target audience. Some ideas:

  • Post images. The new Facebook format shows images larger than ever before. Incorporate an interesting image of a health walk, fundraiser or new facility. Your audience can comment or like your images.
  • Highlight site features. Can you pay a bill online? Do you have an interactive map? Post a fun message linking to these features since they benefit your audience.
  • Ask a question. Inquire about what your audience’s favorite part of fall is or ask a question related to your brand. Either way, this will encourage a conversation.
  • Always be polite. Include someone’s Twitter handle or link their name on Facebook if someone deserves a “thank you” from your organization. This shows gratitude and acknowledges their participation. And on Facebook, your “thank you” will appear on the feeds of that person’s friends.
  • Provide promotions. If available, share discounts available to the fitness center, gift shop, or anywhere else that relates to your organization.
  • Don’t forget the basics. News updates may seem dry, but they are still important. Post links to press releases and other information that would be relevant to your followers.

By providing valuable content, your audience will stay engaged and keep the conversation going. Maintain a consistent posting schedule and a strategic mix of posts. Then take a second to listen to what is happening. Listening will only get you so far – so get out there and bust a move!

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Nicole Knoll

About Nicole Knoll

AdWords Certified Professional. Social media expert (@nverhey). Market researcher. Nicole wears many hats in her role as digital marketing strategist. A valuable support person for the business development team, she is always ready to bring new ideas to the table and lends her expertise in emerging media to marketing campaigns. She also coordinates Geonetric’s social media accounts, webinars, and tradeshow events. Nicole received her BA in English from the University of Iowa with a minor in business administration. She is a three-time American Advertising Award winner and a devoted volunteer for Dance Marathon and Operation Overnight.

One thought on “Dance First, Listen Later

  1. That dancing analogy is excellent and made me laugh actually out loud (I’m NOT putting LOL – so imby!)

    But you’re right. Too many people join social media and then sit back and wait for everything to come flooding in. But you have to work at it – interact, post, comment… all things that take time and effort.

    Maybe that’s why it doesn’t work for them? They aren’t prepared for the effort part.

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