Over the past several years we’ve been contributing to our social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. We have felt compelled to increase our social media efforts with a belief that they will help to improve our SEO and that some of our clients might like to interact with us online. Although some of our efforts have been fruitful, we are still figuring out how more consumer social media apps like Facebook can be used effectively in business-to-business relationships.
But for schools and nonprofits, where online relationship-building is often with an individual versus another business, social media is an important part of a marketing and communications strategy. And many of our clients are using these apps to connect with their community, members, and supporters. Still, far too many of these organizations are grappling with how to manage all this information, let alone be responsive enough to develop these online relationships.
A critical tool for our social media management is HootSuite. HootSuite offers a single interface for managing Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Although this tool is not new to social media managers, there are many organizations that are still new to managing social media, and HootSuite offers a free service that is easy to navigate and helpful with scheduling. Here is an example of what your social media management could look like:
- Dedicate a few hours to “social media marketing” on Monday (or early in the week) – respond to comments and engage with your new likes, new followers, “favorited” tweets and “mentions.”
- Research articles that will bring value to your audience – browse your favorite client and partner blogs, see what people are talking about on your news feeds.
- Create your witty and thoughtful media blurbs.
- Schedule to be dispersed throughout the week.
- Forget about it until next Monday!
Again, the ability to schedule posts is an extremely useful. Let’s say you want to make an announcement of a new grant awarded to your organization. The press release is scheduled to go out on Monday morning and you want to be able to send something out to all of your donors, supporters, employees, etc. You can create a draft, go through your internal approval process, and have that post scheduled to go out long before the press release goes public. More and more, schools are finding ways to integrate social media into their interactions and communications, and HootSuite can be a great tool for managing this. For example, you could use HootSuite to schedule one (or many) notifications to go out to all of your social media outlets regarding an upcoming school fundraiser.
HootSuite is a great tool that is fairly easy to manage. If you aren’t using it today, give it a try.