Small Steps, Big Results: Inspiration from the 2017 Annual Conference
By Kimberly Dorris
I took one last scroll through my Twitter feed on my way to the MCSMN Conference and Social Media Residency, and a spot-on quote from the Center for Coping (@centerforcoping) caught my eye: “Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure out everything all at once. Breathe. You’re strong. You got this. Take it day by day.”
As the only full-time employee at a nonprofit organization, I usually have a large number of plates spinning in the air, and social media is just one tiny saucer. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. But I don’t have to figure out everything at once. Following are a few tips I picked up from the Conference and Residency that can help boost our engagement without breaking the budget or letting any of my other plates come crashing to the ground.
Re-post top performing tweets. With the average shelf life of a tweet clocking in at just 28 minutes, only a small fraction of my community will see a given post – so this is a quick, free way to engage additional community members!
Make use of “Moments”. This feature will be a great way to weave together shared stories to better connect our Twitter followers.
Pair less-watched YouTube videos with more popular ones in YouTube playlists.
Use Preferred audiences and audience restriction for Facebook posts. These are free options that can provide a boost in reach! And speaking of “Boost”, I learned that Facebook’s “Boost Post” option is actually a “lightweight ad interface”; instead, small dollar spending on targeted ads can generate better results.
Figure out when my community is online. I generally post on weekdays, but plan to do some testing by scheduling evening, late night, and weekend posts.
Understand each channel’s preferred posting format. Facebook prefers you use an article’s preset image, rather than uploading your own photo. For Twitter, it’s the opposite!
Ask staff to boost reach. Although I’m the only full-time employee, members of our Board of Directors and Physician Advisory Board could help share content.
Some of my other takeaways will need longer-term fixes, for example, captioning our video content, because 80% of content is now watched with the sound off!
But…breathe. Take it day by day. I’ve got this.
Kimberly Dorris is the Executive Director and CEO of the Graves' Disease and Thyroid Foundation. She organizes patient education events, manages the Foundation's social media sites, produces newsletters, and provides support for patients via phone, e-mail, and an online support forum. She also leads a monthly patient support group meeting in Phoenix, AZ.