Here are the biggest takeaways – great reminders of best practices when executing your social media campaigns:
• The amount of staff time to successfully implement a strong social media campaign is considerable. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) employs two full-time employees to monitor their Facebook fan page. Clearly social media is a large investment and isn’t simply posting every few days and checking back periodically. Several presenters stressed that it was critical to respond to every comment and question in order to keep fans engaged.
• Simply tracking “likes” or followers as a metric for success is not enough – rather it is critical to engage with supporters so they keep coming back (especially since 90% of people who “like” a page never return.) How? By being relevant, interesting, concise, timely, responsive, and providing VALUE to your fans.
• How do you grow your base? Integrate social efforts into your website and email, replicate all events on Facebook, maintain a consistent voice, ask for input, use photos and videos, “like-gate” … where fans have to like a page to see certain content, i.e. like HSUS’ page and receive a 15% discount in the online store.
• Common mistakes? First and foremost: don’t be afraid to fail and if you do, fail fast. Try various things and if they don’t work quickly move on to the next thing. Posting too much (i.e. 5 times a day) or too little (i.e. 1 time every 6 months), not monitoring unlikes (via Facebook analytics), automating posts, ignoring comments, not sharing content (it’s imperative to include share Facebook and Twitter links in all email communications and web pages), only selling products, not maintaining interest by understanding what is popular and therefore working to keep fans engaged.
• Understanding tangential information and the background of your followers/fans is critical to mobilizing them for future action. As with major donor prospecting and telemarketing campaigns, understanding your supporters is key to fulfilling your mission.
PDFs of each of the presentations are available online – I wish I could have captured all the material we heard … so I urge you to check out the slides to get even more from this great conference.