Makenna Sturgeon, Associate Consultant (Email)
On a scale of always to never, how often does your organization post to social media? If you’re intimidated just by the thought of it, it might be never. If you’re a big fan of communication, it might be always. Every public agency should be using social media regularly and it doesn’t need to be hard.
Most agencies already know that having a presence on social media is an essential way to connect with their community, and the data bears this out: according to Pew Research Center, 72% of the US population was using some type of social media in 2021. That number has only grown in the last couple of years and will continue to with a new generation who has always been using social media as they enter adulthood.
Having a social media presence is the easy part. Using it effectively is the challenge – but doing so will not only help you advance your goals, but will ensure you are using your resources wisely.
Typically, there’s one thing standing in the way of a great social media presence: good content. What should you post? The thought of coming up with engaging content every day is certainly daunting, but it’s not impossible, and it begins with knowing your audience.
Before you can build a successful content calendar, you need to answer two questions: who is in your audience and what do they care about? These two questions will inform every content decision you make—from what platforms you’re on to what type of content you post.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
Understanding who is in your audience can help you determine how to word your posts so they’re accessible to all, meaning, everyone understands you regardless of education level, age, or other factors.
Understanding your audience’s lived experience can help you determine how to frame your messages and content in a way that will resonate and matter to them. Once you have a solid sense of the answers to these two questions, consider these next two.
Picking the right platform will ensure you reach your audience.
Click here to read more about picking the right platform.
It’s not enough to consistently post. You must consistently comment, too. Social media is not a broadcast tool, it’s a conversation, and time and time again, we see agencies leave comments unanswered. Responding to those comments ensures your customers or constituents feel heard and are engaged in the conversation.
Keep in mind that you’re not just posting to inform and engage with your audience, you’re building trust by being there. Ignoring their questions and concerns is counterproductive to this.
If you’re concerned or confused about which comments to interact with, check out this chart to help make the decision.Download Response Guide
Social media is an essential way to connect with audiences, but coming up with content week after week can be a challenge. It doesn’t have to be. Thinking through who your audience is, what content you need to share, and how that lines up with what your audience wants on those topics will help you conquer the content conundrum.