Jamie Jean Schneider Domm
Digital Strategist, Social Media + Big Data, North American Division
No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.
Active social media partnerships are key to expanding your reach and branding. Social media is designed for community building, so create and cultivate online relationships with other ministries and organizations. Find organizations to build partnerships with either by location or topic. It is likely that you already have partnerships in place for creating events. Magnify their value by partnering for your digital communications campaign for the event. Be sure to make sure your partnerships are mutually beneficial to both parties. Don’t ask for any favors that you’re not willing to grant yourself. People will figure out quickly if it’s a one-sided relationship, and you’ll end up closing the door to future collaborations.
Who can you work with?
Most of time, events don’t happen in a silo but rather involve several partners. I have found time and time again that active social media partnerships are a key element in successfully promoting events on social media. If you reach out to 10 contacts who each have a “small” social media following of 1,000 people, your message suddenly has the potential to reach up to 10,000 people online. Reach out to more contacts, with bigger fan bases, and you can see how your reach can grow exponentially.
Communicators typically have a lot on their plates, and social media manager may be just one of many hats that they wear throughout the work week. Contacts are often willing to promote partner events through their various digital channels, but time and resources are limited. With this reality in mind, providing your partners with a “promotions packet” is an effective and easy way to equip your contacts with the resources they need to easily become social media ambassadors and share your message.
Normally, when marketers reach out to contacts to ask for promotion on their behalf, there is an assumption that the partner will write the posts and generate the content. As a result, most requests are not prioritized and do not realize their full potential. A promotions packet, on the other hand, provides recommendations, pre-made social media posts, eNewsletter blurbs, tracking links, graphics, branded hashtags, and more. The social media manager needs only to copy and paste from the Word document and schedule. They can of course modify the message for their audience if desired or necessary, but they don’t have the burden of generating content. This approach also has the added benefit of allowing you to control the quality and consistency of your brand’s message as it is distributed through your partner’s channels.
I encourage you to create your own promotions packets following best practices for creating social media posts and to develop digital partnerships to help expand your reach in future campaigns. In a world of limited budgets, this approach costs you only time and effort.
One last important note: Make sure that when you reach out for help with promoting your ministry, you are not only willing to reciprocate but also able to follow through with such agreements. Partnerships should be mutually beneficial, and trust can be built and cultivated over time when both parties follow through on their promises.