“To be successful, your organisation needs to build relationships with financial donors and a wider range of other stakeholders – people who are respected and who play a role in different sectors in the outside world.” (Source: Who Should You Build Relationships With?)
Social media offers an important and valuable space for relationship-building with your stakeholders. But it takes time and careful planning to grow your audience and build their trust.
You can build relationships by:
- Engaging with your followers. Follow them back on Twitter, and read and respond to their posts where relevant.
- Sharing messages from partner or related organisations. This can develop a relationship of mutual sharing of content, which grows the reach of both your messages.
- Telling stories. People use social media to see stories from their friends and family. Match the medium by sharing your message through storytelling. Stories connect people to your cause on an emotional level, and they are much more likely to respond to you.
- Sharing content tailored to your audience. Pay attention to what your audience responds to, and increase that type of content in your feed.
- Posting interactive content that encourages people to engage with you. Ask questions, share a poll, ask people to caption a picture, or tell you a story.
- Curating interesting content. Don’t just talk about yourself, but curate content from a variety of sources to create a more interesting news feed. This can establish you as a valued source of information in your sector.
- Sharing your knowledge! Social media is all about sharing. Answer questions openly and share your content and knowledge without restrictions.
- Monitoring social media for mentions. Search for keywords to help you find discussions about your issues or your area of work, and not just when your organisation is mentioned or tagged. Respond, share, and/or re-tweet where appropriate.
Most importantly, you cannot build relationships online by merely broadcasting content. Social media is most valuable when it is used for mutually beneficial interactions.
Ruendree Govinder, Interiority Consulting. For more about Ruendree and her work in the sector, view her practitioner profile here.