By Nicola Paris
Lots of small organisations and non-profits can be really stretched when it comes to creating quality online content – it can often be the task of volunteers or part-time staff who have to be excellent all-rounders. An issue for all of us is that we often spend the majority of the time creating the content, but no time on making sure its distributed and lands as well as it could. Here are some tips for smaller grassroots groups to get better at this.
Content Distribution Checklist
In the content development phase of your project you should have considered these questions, and they will play into your content distribution:
- Who is the target audience? Is there a primary and a secondary target audience? Ie, would a quick final slide change a video, with a different call to action, that could work better for some audiences?
- Grassroots organisations also need to think about how content will date – sure that might be a quick turn around video, but are you un-necessarily limiting the contents usefulness by having a date that will pass quickly, a smaller sub issue of your campaign that will have a limited appeal, or could the content be used for more than a quick call to action on a particular day?
- What is the tone and voice of the content? This will obviously impact where you spend effort in distributing it.
Network mapping and preparation
Small organisations often don’t have large networks or promotional budgets. Your best resources are your people. But have you found out what they bring with them? Do you know all their skills and networks? If you haven’t then you should map your organisations skills and networks.
- Are there skill sets like video production, editing, graphic design, copy writing, proofing, editing, familiarity with certain campaign content or issues you are working on – within your group?
- What physical networks are they part of in real life – do any of them have relevance to your work? Or might they be interested? Social and community groups, sporting groups, parenting groups, book clubs, issue focused groups. What about rotary, toast-masters, and particularly any networks that might be “out of the bubble”?
- Can your core supporters be “seeders” or “signal boosters” … ie, you could set up a Facebook group of your core inner circle (these can now be linked to pages) and biggest supporters and always post content there for them to share. Try and aim for a time that gets good sharing (check your analytics) and get people to go for it. If you have a small budget for Facebook advertising and boosting content, then you can set this to kick in after some organic reach has already happened.
- Have a look at who are people that regularly share or boost your content on any platform – maybe you want to reach out to them and ask them to be involved in a way that makes them feel included, and motivated?
- Monitor similar sized organisations for ideas, responses, trends
- Ensure you are able to be online, where possible, particularly when posting content you hope to generate interactivity and response – so you can reply to people. Particularly on Facebook, even if it feels repetitive, try and respond in different ways to people commenting.
- Always check your in box of Twitter, Facebook, your direct messages on Instagram etc
- Have you written a brief and succinct email asking key stakeholders to share?
- To your inner organisational email list/group/platform
- What email lists are you on? List which org person is one which lists and have an edit all document for people to tick off once they have shared. (Cryptpad.fr is a good multi edit tool if you’d like to reduce your google use-age)
- Are you sending this to your main organisational list? Ensure its scheduled for the best time of day.
- Have you checked for any recent news that may interact with your content?
- Is there any phrasing or hot button issues you need to ensure not to cross over or accidentally get stung by?
- Have you messaged some allies directly asking them to share?
- Include tags for your campaign, but also any others that may be relevant, like #auspol, or #Springst
- Retweet over a couple hours using different language formats if people post feedback, say thanks and reply
- Keep a watch on opponents or stakeholders Twitter, respond as needed and tweet at media or MP’s who may be interested
- General posting guidelines
- 6-10 times daily for Twitter – or as much as you can manage
- 1-2 times daily for Facebook
- 1-3 times daily for Instagram
- Update Instagram Story
- Are there any influencers or leaders in the space you could reach out to, or remind to post if you have already approached. Look after these relationships well and always share and boost their voices as well
- Make sure you have tagged and filed content, or kept a back up of footage and ditched drafts and un-used photos and scripts. Cull as you go.
- Monitor response, check analytics and adjust as needed
Are you using simple free tools to monitor the reach of your content?
- A google alert set up for your organisational name, or key campaign phrases, plus your key spokespeople
- Are you checking under the hood of Facebook? The Facebook analytics can provide very useful insights. You will often find that your typical audience could be close in demographic to the people that post content. Like attracts like. Try not to use cultural or musical references that could be alienating or not resonate with your target audience – reviewing what works and who your demographic is, and whether its what you want it to be – will allow you to improve in future
- Tweetdeck and Twitter have some inbuilt analytics but you can also check out other free and paid tools for Twitter monitoring. Remember, and engaged and interactive audience can sometimes be better than just reaching lots of people. Really critique what you are aiming to achieve.
- Are you graphically challenged? Then Canva is your best friend. Not only does it help with numerous content templates, and you can get access to an extra selection of free resources with a non-profit account… But in addition their newer feature allows you to auto optimise graphic content for different platforms. They have the default dimensions for Facebook events, covers, pages, tweets, Instagram posts etc – and will auto change your content lay out for these platforms. You sometimes need to tweak a little but it helps a lot.
- Who has the keys to all the accounts? Ensure you keep a list of people who have access to various social accounts and regularly change the password. Keep passwords in a password manager. Make sure no one person has sole access as you need to have emergency back ups.
- Social media dates quickly – get a subscription to a widely read industry email like Mashable, or a list focused on non-profits, or join a Facebook group of people that share tips and tricks. People in small orgs who have social media as just one of their many tasks often don’t have time to monitor trends – get the people that are paid full time for this stuff, to let you know! This checklist was specifically designed as a simple one for grassroots organisations – we haven’t even included Instagram or snapchat – but you should definitely be looking into these and other platforms, if they are relevant to your target audience. If you want to engage young people, for example, they aren’t on Facebook, they are on Insta. Remember though, its probably better to do your research, see where “your” people are, and focus on 1-2 platforms well if you don’t have the resources, than do lots badly.
- Google Ad words – are you eligible – if you are you can apply for free website and key word advertising.
This is a an early edition of this document – let us know anything you’d like to add or see more of: [email protected]
Download a PDF of the checklist below.
- Social media
- Social media - Facebook
- Social media - Instagram
- Social media - Twitter