Communications Specialist for Maranatha Volunteers International.
You found the perfect photo, wrote a clever caption, and are ready to click “share.” What else could this awesome post possibly need? Many social media account managers post great content, but are missing out on increased visibility from a few simple additions to their post routine. This article will help you gain increased reach, more followers, and higher engagement with your audience from a few simple practices.
1. Tag other accounts.
If your post is relevant to another entity, include them! This not only builds rapport between organizations, but increases the exposure your post may receive. Is your church participating in a conference-wide event? Tag your conference. Is your church holding a program at a community center? Tag the center. Is your school putting on a banquet at a restaurant? Tag the restaurant. Watch as those entities share your post or tag you back in their own post. This builds relationships and creates opportunities for more networking in the community.
Make sure to tag these accounts on as many platforms as you’re posting on, and take the opportunity to follow them. It may take a little extra effort to find the official account you’re tagging, but it is worth it. For most platforms, including Facebook, type “@“ and then the organization name will populate (“@NADAdventist”). However, some outdated Facebook pages may not have set up their @-name yet; in this case you may not be able to tag them.
Take advantage of the North American Division social media directory, which includes account handles for denominational entities throughout the division. This directory is a work in progress and your feedback and/or additions are welcome.
2. Use intentional hashtags.
Hashtags allow you to connect with people looking for posts on a specific topic. A person may search the “#adventist” hashtag to learn more about Adventism, or “#sabbath” to learn about Sabbath. Any posts with those hashtags will be displayed to that user. Include as many relevant hashtags as appropriate for your post to increase the chances you will be seen by people searching those hashtags. Don’t be afraid to include numerous hashtags, including slight variations (“missions”, “missiontrip”, “missiontrips”, “missionaries”, etc.).
Decide on your organization’s official branded hashtag, use it in every post, and encourage your followers and supporters to use it when they post about your organization as well. If you’re tagging another account, check their profile to see if they have a branded hashtag and use it as well.
Make sure your hashtags will actually yield results—sometimes people make up hashtags that are never searched. For example, no one is currently searching for the “#weshouldhaverentedabiggerspace” hashtag, so it’s not going to increase your reach. It is helpful to search for popular hashtags relevant to your post, and use the most-searched ones.
TIP: Hashtags aren’t used much on Facebook. The platform’s search capability isn’t polished and often some posts don’t show up when searched. It doesn’t necessarily hurt to add a couple hashtags on Facebook (besides possibly cluttering the post), but in general, take advantage of hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.
Download the Adventist Hashtag Library.
3. Add a location.
Are you on an international mission trip? At a summer camp? A conference? Give your audience more detail about your activity by adding your location for reference. This shows your organization is active outside your building and doing work in the community. If you’re at your own building, add your organization’s location; the more it is tagged, the easier your account will populate when people are searching nearby.
Incorporating these three details into your post routine may add a few minutes of your time, but the benefits are far-reaching. Make these additions a consistent step in your posts and you will gain more followers, see an increased reach of each post, and result in higher engagement with your audience.