Some­thing to Tweet About: cre­at­ing great con­tent for social media

Written by
Carlos Miranda & Alissa Steinner
June 03, 2013

Book review

Something to Tweet About: How #charities & #socialenterprises can create great #socialmedia content by Carlos Miranda & Alissa Steiner from Social Media Misfits. 

Reviewed for SOFII by Marie Burnett.

Published by and available to download free from Social Misfits Media. Sponsored by Aegis Media.

Did you know that social media is the main reason people all over the world use the Internet? Yes, even more than shopping. Twenty-seven per cent of time online is spent on social media – that’s more than email, online shopping, or any other type of activity. And this isn’t just the opinion of the authors of this report, as with all the other wonderful facts and figures contained within it, it is substantiated and the source given. Doesn’t that make a wonderful change from all those sweeping statements that leave you wondering if the there is anything at all to back them up, any proof that it is anything other than opinion?

However, this report isn’t about getting your social media started – that is covered by its predecessor About that First Tweet (for a review click here) – it is about what you do next, how you embrace the power and potential of social media and integrate it, effectively, into your existing fundraising and communications.

Something to Tweet About exists:

‘To help organisations of all types and sizes, and with different budgets, to think about the kind of unique content they can create and how to share that content in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.’

It starts by getting rid of common misconceptions. Through interviews with representatives from Facebook, YouTube, Google+, JustGiving and the Dogs Trust it explains that great content is anything that inspires interaction from your audience and stakeholders.

‘Charities and social enterprises can create great content even on a shoestring budget because authenticity and storytelling are the key ingredients for engaging content, regardless of how the content is produced.’

Later on, the report shows some case studies from organisations that have been extremely successful without spending a lot on creating content and gives tips on how you can keep costs down when planning your own content strategy.

If you think that creating new content is a luxury your organisation can’t afford, then think again. Aren’t you surrounded by material, whether it’s articles on your website, volunteers in action, or the stories of the people you help? There are many ways you can adapt these for social media.

Creating a posting plan doesn’t have to be perfect from the start. Karla Geci of Facebook advises, ‘Start with intuition, then tweak your content as you go.’

Keep an eye on what works with your audience, and what doesn’t, and go from there.

Another myth that is laid to resist: if it doesn’t go viral it hasn’t been successful. Apparently this is one of the biggest misconceptions about content and it isn’t true. Jessica Mason from YouTube points out, ‘You’re going to be better off with 1,000 people signing on to take action in a campaign than if you have millions of views but only 100 people that actually participate.’

Good content is not about numbers, it’s about engagement – and there’s plenty about this in this informative guide. Including how to write a great blog from AfriKids, how the highly successful Movember campaign uses social media and Breakthrough’s video campaign.

I learned a lot about social media from this great guide, report, call it what you will. I wouldn’t have called myself a sceptic before, more a raised-eyebrow-yeah, yeah, whatever, sort of naysayer. Now I think that all those highly desirable likes and re-tweets could, maybe, lead to even more pounds, dollars, or euros for our very worthy causes.

If I had to pick something to criticse I might object to the overuse of the word ‘engaged’. Whatever happened to involved, interested, inspired and stimulated? Every profession has its jargon I suppose, but I recall when being engaged meant you were soon to be be married.

I look forward to the third in the series: How that Tweet Raised Millions.

What you will find in this report

  • Four different pieces of content: a blog, videos, pictures and an app created by four very different organisations. While not all of these types of content may be appropriate for you, they do serve to illuminate what can be done and how best to think about creating content.
  • Tips – representatives from Facebook, YouTube, Google+, JustGiving and the Dogs Trust give insights and practical advice on how best to share your content in a meaningful and strategic fashion.
  • Most social impact organisations have budget constraints. This report highlights how you can create original content on a shoestring, or even no, budget.
  • Further reading on how to create original content and how best to share that content across various social media platforms.

© SOFII Foundation 2013.

About Marie Burnett

Marie Burnett is director of The White Lion Press and a trustee of SOFII.

About the author: Carlos Miranda & Alissa Steinner

Carlos Miranda & Alissa Steiner from Social Misfits Media.

Social Misfits Media helps charities and social enterprises think strategically about their digital presence. They work with clients to better engage with those critical to their success by creating dynamic social media strategies for marketing, campaigning, and fundraising.

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