Before you begin, have some social media goals in mind. Here are some examples of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals that other groups are working toward.
Promote your events.
By the end of this year, increase attendance at our events by 10% by building a following on Facebook and promoting our events there.
Connect students with employers.
Help student chapter members connect with potential local employers by building a LinkedIn group where they can get tips for improving their LinkedIn profile and resume, and connect with local recruiters. Get at least 50 students and 3 recruiters participating by the end of the year.
Raise awareness about infrastructure deficiencies in your area.
Advocate for improved infrastructure in our local area by using Twitter to connect with local lawmakers and concerned citizens. Post 10 updates per week highlighting infrastructure deficiencies, and get 250 people to sign an online petition to get more funding for important projects. Accomplish all of this by the end of the year.
Finding and sharing valuable content
Finding valuable content can be simpler than it sounds. Start by setting up a Google Alert for your local area. You’ll get updates when new news items are indexed by Google. Simply go to google.com/alerts and type in your keywords. Share engineering-related news from your local area, promote events, highlight member achievements, post photos and videos, or share content from the ASCE’s national accounts. Ultimately, the kind of content you share will depend on the goals and initiatives of your section or branch.
Keep in mind that social media is a balancing act. Engaging your audience with interesting content is just as important as promoting your product or event. A simple rule of thumb is the 4-1-1 rule. For every one piece of promotional content, you should post 4 pieces of valuable content from other reputable media sources that will grab your audience’s attention, and you should reply to one conversation.
For quick tips about social media writing, accounts to follow, and hashtags to use, refer to ASCE’s social media cheat sheet. If you need additional information or resources regarding your content strategy, reach out to the social media team: [email protected].
The key to social media success is building and engaging robust following. Anytime you start a new social media site or blog, you are starting from zero. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a significant following. Be patient, consistent, and reach out to the ASCE social media team for assistance if necessary.
COMMON SENSE TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR FOLLOWERS
There’s no magic switch, but here are some good ways to let people know what you’re doing so that they can follow you.
- Register your site with the ASCE social media team. Follows, likes, a favorites from ASCE’s accounts can boost your social media footprint.
- Link to your social media site on your website homepage.
- Include a link to your social media site in emails to your member groups.
- Recruit a small group of dedicated volunteers to help you recruit the right audience and maintain an active site.
- Use your personal social media to promote your ASCE accounts. By acting as a passionate ambassador for ASCE through your personal social media, you will increase awareness amongst different audience.
- On Twitter, follow people who you want to follow you back.
- Tag relevant accounts and use relevant hashtags. For example, if you are participating in an outreach event with a local school, be sure to tag that school in your post.
- On Facebook and LinkedIn, invite your colleagues who you are personally connected to you to like your page or join your group.
- Maintain a balance of promotional and valuable content to make it easy for users to want to connect with your group on social media.
- Analyze your efforts. Did a Facebook post get a lot of likes, or a tweet a lot of clicks? Try to figure out what resonates with your audience and do more of it to help organically grow your followers.
Monitoring and Responding
Social media is a two-way street. You won’t just be posting content—you’ll also be reading and interacting with posts from the people who find and follow your social media site. Be prepared to see a wide variety of comments, including requests for information, technical questions, kudos and thanks, and even occasional negative comments.
HANDLING NEGATIVE COMMENTS
Negative posts are part of the social media experience. As long as a post does not violate the ASCE Guidelines for Social Media Creation, Moderating, Posting & Commenting, it’s ok. Take a deep breath and take the time to thoughtfully consider the comment. Is it a legitimate complaint? Is it something that can be fixed easily? Or is it something that will force you to rethink how you do things? Negative comments are an opportunity to show that your section, branch, younger member group, or student chapter is listening and that you care what your members think.