Regardless of what kind of goal you’re trying to reach or mission you want to accomplish, you’re going to need a strategy. The tricky part is building a strategy that best suits you and your organization
A strategy is basically your plan of action designed to help guide your way to your goal. Where would health organizations be without a strategy when making content through social media? Well, I know where their audiences would be… Lost.
Creating a Strategy
+ Who is your audience?
“If you target everyone, you get no one.”
Sound familiar? Probably does because this should always be the first step taken in strategies used to develop social media content. Is it for a certain age group? If your organization advocates improving cholesterol or blood pressure, you probably want to target older audiences therefore, tweeting daily tips probably isn’t going to reach to them and its going to create unwanted clutter in your younger audiences feeds.
+Evaluate your Goals
Make sure whatever it is you’re aiming to accomplish is reachable. Are you promoting something, whether it be a product, awareness or are you wanting donations for a fundraiser? Or is it progress your organization is focused on such as aiming to see the percentage of tobacco smokers decrease through advertisements and campaigns? Without knowing your goals, it will be hard to see any productivity on the horizon.
With that keep in mind a little slogan to help keep it real- S.M.A.R.T
Specify your goals. Know your Who, What, Where, When, Why’s and Hows. Whos your audience? What exactly is your goal? Where is your content going to promote this goal? When are the times to post so you know when your audience is most likely going to see your content? Why is this goal so important to your organization? Finally, how are you going to reach it?
Also, ask yourself: Is your organization trying to promote awareness? Or striving to change peoples attitudes and behaviors? Depending on which you chose, remember:
- If the cause is rare focus on raising awareness. You can’t attitudes/beliefs/behaviors about something that they know little to nothing about- make sense?
- If your cause is more well known (I.e lung disease, breast cancer) try promoting behavioral changes and attitude changes to get them to take the next step!
Is your goal something you want to Measure, such as a price donation or percentages? Or is it improvement you’re aiming at?
Juvenielle Diabates Research Foundation shares a message by stating their cause and asking for a simple $1 donation
So far, are these Attainable? Given current statistics and considering the level of health literacy within your audience, is your organization capable of these goals?
How Relevant are your goals? As I mentioned, health communication is a constant evolving field and health related issues change daily so make sure the goal is relevant to your needs and why what your organization is covering related to your objectives.
Timely-based goals are helpful in getting things on track and having deadlines to make sure progress is being made and standards are being met. If by the end of a set time your organization has made little progress, it might be time to up your strategy to make it a bit more strict.
+Choose your channel
Now that you are a social media expert, it should be relatively easier to decide which media channel your organization will use to get the message out. After figuring out who your audience is this can be even easier. If its to raise awareness, start big. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are where you’re most likely to reach further audiences with #hashtags, vibrant pictures and informative video clips . If your organization is able to pull some strings to create Geo-tags or even land a spot in the Discover slots, Snapchat can be a perfect place to get some attention.
If your cause is more directed towards parents and adults, Facebook and Pinterest are your best bets to be effective.
(image from iconsmind.com)
+Create a Message
Whatever channel you chose, make sure to keep the message [for the most part] short and clear. Remember that lengthy, choppy, or just dull posts are going to turn people off and especially long Facebook posts and excessive tweeting and hashtags are a skimmers worst nightmare. Including statistics and adding visuals such as Infographs or behind the scenes clips of upcoming events are especially effective plus it’s interactive.
Your organization should also make it personable. A cause is something that needs to reach out to audiences both figuratively and literally so when heart and personality is added into the message, people will feel more inclined to react to it.
*Check out JDRF’s infograph! There’s a perfect mix of matching graphics, color-coordinated numerical statistics and starts off by introducing their organization and explaining a day they chose to acknowledge their cause
Well, now you’ve mastered the art of strategy. Just follow these steps. They might be time consuming, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. So knock out the competition and start spreading the good!]