This morning I was invited by Yarra Ranges Council to conduct social media training with a practical focus, guiding participants through the tools and platforms.
A particular focus was on Facebook, given that over half of Australia’s population has a Facebook account and the high number of community organisations that have created a Facebook Page. I guided participants through the functionality of Facebook, exploring the role of Facebook pages and the timeline layout. There are a number of opportunities to extend reach through Facebook, including the use of a Cover Photo that articulates the aims of the organisation and using multimedia content to encourage engagement.
Facebook favours content from pages that are regularly updated, giving these items greater prominence and reach. As a result, there is a direct benefit in ensuring regularly updated content on Facebook. There is also a need to encourage sharing of content, by asking people that like a page to resend items through their own networks. Facebook should be used as a platform to maintain connections with existing stakeholders and to extend the organisation’s reach.
We also covered Twitter looking at the role of the tool in comparison to Facebook, particularly in regard to events and campaigns through the use of hashtags. Twitter is designed for quick, instantaneous updates where there is a need to capture the attention of your followers. Facebook, by comparison, fosters a greater sense of community through people being able to view content on a page and maintain ongoing dialogue.
One of the challenges with social media is the need to generate ongoing content. As a result, we discussed Hootsuite as a tool that enables the scheduling of content and the ability to post on a number of platforms simultaneously. Scheduling content enables organisations to share ownership, as well as providing the ability to review items prior to publishing.
Feedback was extremely positive and attendees each received an advance copy of our Online Marketing eBook. We will be launching a series of eBooks in early 2014, providing the ability to share our knowledge on marketing, membership and social media.