Connecting with your audience doesn’t always have to involve blog posts, video production or other long-form content creation. Instead, focus on simple content that can still engage, encourage interactions and generate sales. Of course, the type of content you will want to create depends on your organization’s or business’s goals, but below are 5 easy ways to connect with your audience without spending too much time thinking about it:
Draw attention to your brand by hosting a photo contest and asking your followers to tag you in posts of them wearing or using swag with your logo or branding on it. Or ask them to post their favourite way of relaxing (or working!) and have them tag you. The key is to have them tag your business to bring people back to your accounts. You could also create a fun hashtag to accompany the contest i.e., #vacationfunXYZ (XYZ being your organization’s name). And the winner(s) of the contest doesn’t have to win anything substantial. A $25 gift card to a local ice cream or coffee shop is enough to get most people excited and eager to participate.
Giveaways (i.e., a summer of giveaways!) can be a lot of fun and although it may require some upfront planning, the execution is fairly simple. Collaborate with local business owners whose customer base aligns with yours i.e., if your members or donors are mostly retirees, collaborate with a business they would be inclined to buy from. Once you have collaborated with items or gift cards, create simply contest giveaways. If you are a non-profit organization looking for donors, it could be a weekly random draw for anyone who donates more than $25 that week. Another idea is to ask your social media audience to answer a question and tag a friend, with the promise of a random draw to award one person a day/week a prize.
Polls are an excellent way to get people to interact with your content. Facebook allows for polls in their Stories, as does Instagram. Twitter and LinkedIn allow posts to be polls so why not ask your audience a question either about your organization i.e., “What content would you like to see more of from us?” a. blog posts, b. videos, c. podcasts. or make it about them i.e. “If you could have a free vacation to either of these places where would you go? a. Hawaii b. Europe c. Australia.
The point is for you to learn more about your audience and for your audience to learn more about your organization.
Photo caption contests are a fun way to connect with your audience . If you’re not sure what kind of photo to post, often a humourous photo of an office cat or dog with a simple “caption this” prompt will encourage followers to comment on your photo and engage with your brand.
Does your organization need a new logo or poster designed? Why not host a design contest and have your followers submit their designs? Holding a contest is a great way to have members of your audience have their say in what it could look like and the winner would have bragging rights! It’s also a great way for students to practice their design talents. (Pro tip: drive more engagement by asking your followers to vote on their favourites).
There are many ways to engage your audience other than through blog posts, article sharing, podcasts and the like, however, when using social media, it is also important to remember posting and contest rules and regulations as they pertain to each social media network. For example, Facebook explicitly states, “Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).” So, it’s always best to look up the rules and make sure your social media contest isn’t breaking any rules that could get your account shut down. You should also consider setting up a page on your website that lists the full rules and regulations of any contest. ShortStack offers a great example and template, here.
Outside of blog posts, podcasts and other long-form content, how does your organization connect with your audience?
Need help strategizing or implementing your content creation ideas? Contact us. Content creation for non-profit organizations and small businesses is what we do on a daily basis.