As of April 2014, NLOWE has officially been active on social media for two years. We first rolled out our Social Media campaign by setting up accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Today, we have over 1,200 followers on Twitter, 830 fans on Facebook, and 120 followers on LinkedIn, as well as 110 blog posts on WordPress, and 33 videos on YouTube.
Before NLOWE joined the world of Social Media, we made a plan to ensure that we had as much control over our online efforts as possible. That plan remains at the forefront of our efforts today, as we are constantly planning and evaluating our strategy to make sure our followers are educated, informed and inspired by what we are posting. We aim to be the champion source for women in business in Newfoundland and Labrador, and that goal is what keeps us going from week to week.
You may be wondering: how exactly does NLOWE make Social Media work? Well, let’s take a look.
1. The Social Media Committee
Being in charge of NLOWE’s social media efforts would be a big task for just one person on the NLOWE staff. To share the responsibilities and to foster creativity, we created a committee of 6 staffers to take care of NLOWE’s social media channels: Kristy Martell, Lindsay Mercer, Paula Flood, Julieanne Reddy, Ashton Lane, and Melissa Wheeler.
The committee shares social media responsibilities, working on a 6-week rotating schedule. When it is your week, you are in charge of producing at least three tweets and at least one Facebook post a day. Our blog also produces two blog posts a week (Monday and Wednesday on www.aroundandaboutwithnlowe.com), most of the time from NLOWE members, but you can also expect to see staff-written blog posts, and even posts from some of our partner organizations.
We are able to schedule posts in advance thanks to Hootsuite (for Twitter) and the scheduling option on Facebook. This is great for the committee because we can take time to schedule our posts for the week in advance, instead of constantly scrambling to come up with material on the day of. We use our online presence to primarily promote NLOWE events and member success stories, and we also aim to keep our followers engaged, so we share inspirational quotes and informational links.
2. Planning Meetings
To give our online content some direction, our committee meets every 3-4 months to discuss what our plans are for the upcoming quarter. We plan a theme for every month, and we choose our themes with ideas relating to our organization, our clients, or life as an entrepreneur in general. One of our most successful theme months we have had was last February, to which we attributed the theme of ‘For the Love of Business.’ To convey this theme on our blog, we specifically chose NLOWE members that we thought would be able to write insightful posts on loving your life inside and outside of your business. Our most viewed blog posting during the month came from Jennifer Trask – “How to Add More Passion to Your Life, Today!”
On Facebook, we asked questions with the word ‘love’ in them on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Also on Facebook, we started a series of ‘Fan Love Friday’ posts, where we took a word related to love and highlighted one of our followers for each corresponding letter.
Our biggest success from the For the Love of Business month came from a video we, the NLOWE staff, created: “Why We Love Working with Women Entrepreneurs!” The video was a great success for us because it gave our followers an opportunity to see first-hand the collection of personalities we house at NLOWE as well as why we enjoy our jobs so much. The video helped to personalized the NLOWE brand, which in turn helped us build a stronger connection with our followers.
3. Review, Revise and Evolve
As entrepreneurs, you have likely created a strategic plan at some point– whether it was as complicated as a business plan, or as simple as a to-do list. Our Social Media Committee operates as if we too are entrepreneurs; setting goals, achieving them, and planning for more. In order to do this, we frequently take a look at our stats, insights and metrics, and see just exactly what is working for us, and what is not.
Facebook makes statistical analysis very easy with its Insights feature. The indicators that we pay the closest attention to with our Facebook posts include number of views and the level of engagement (likes, comments, and shares) for each post. When followers engage with posts, your content extends beyond your regular follower-base, and because of this, we try our best to encourage interaction on our posts. Something that has worked really well for us is fill-in-the-blank questions. Based on our experience, we have found that our followers are much more likely to interact on a question ending with a fill-in-the-blank instead of ending with a question mark. We discovered this trend by paying attention to our engagement stats.
If you’re using social media as a marketing tool, it is very important to keep track of how far your reach is extending, and to think of ways to attract new fans, while keeping your current fans satisfied. It is a good practice to engage with your followers – like their comments, respond to their questions, and answer their messages. By staying aware and engaged, you are building a positive online reputation. Here at NLOWE, we try to keep tabs on just how our online presence is being perceived, and we are constantly thinking of ways to improve. We work hard to be the furthest thing from boring on your computer screen each day.
NLOWE’s Social Media campaign would not be where it is today without the help and support from you, our followers, so we would like to thank you all very much, and remember that your interaction is what keeps us going from week to week!
Melissa Wheeler is the Business Connections Coordinator with NLOWE, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-888-NLOWE-11 ext. 233.