Have you wondered how you can control the positivity of your social media posts? Create a goal of delivering good content that helps the common good. It is an opportunity to showcase your human values of connecting and conversing through social media.
Social media has the power to bring people together, but it also has the power to be divisive and harmful (here’s looking at you, election cycles in the United States!). Here are three ways you can use social media to reach and engage your audience in a positive way.
1. Use hashtags thoughtfully. Adding hashtags to a social media post is almost always a good idea. They can be used to drive engagement on your posts, as well as allowing new followers to interact with your content. However, when a person or a brand uses a hashtag without doing a bit of research first, they may find themselves getting unwelcomed mentions and retweets if that hashtag has been previously used in a negative way. There’s an easy way to ensure that the hashtag you want to use will yield the results you want: simply search for it. You can hashtag a phrase directly into Google or you can search for the hashtag through the social platform you want to publish content on. This will give you a sense of who’s used it in the past, or who hasn’t used it at all (which will allow your brand to own it). If the hashtag you want to use has already been taken, and the social content associated with it is less than favorable, you’ll know not to use it. If you want to support a movement through hashtags, you’ll get a sense of how others are using it through searches, too.
2. Tag accounts that you want to highlight. This is, essentially, why influencer marketing works so well. In order to get on the radar of a brand or influencer that you admire, in addition to sliding into their DM’s, tag them in your content that aligns with their brand. If you’re using your following to highlight brands you think are worthy of a mention or follow by your existing audience, make sure you’re tagging the correct handle in your tweets, and tag the photo as well as mentioning them in the caption of your Instagram photo. This allows your followers to interact with them directly, and it lets that brand know that they’re getting social media to reach outside of their own postings.
3. Use creative design tools to aesthetically fit your mission. Messaging and creative elements should tie directly to the mission and values of your organization. Canva is one of the go-to tools for many freelancers and agencies alike. A recent example of the power of this digital tool can be found in the templates and suggested uses for imagery in social justice movements like Black Lives Matter or Pride celebration. Adobe Spark (available with the Adobe suite) is another great option for designing social media images that connect with your cause.
The use of hashtags, tagging others, and intentional creativity foster relationships that drive social media forward in a meaningful way. A simple, thoughtful approach to the work we do can help us to see ways to improve and elevate. Let’s continue to support the voices and causes that can change the world.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to effectively use social media, we welcome you to join the Social Media Strategist community.
Authors: Patricia Diaz, SMS and Dr. Melissa Goodson, SMS
Patricia Diaz has over twelve years of B2B and B2C marketing experience and is currently the Senior Demand Generation Manager at Credly. Dr. Melissa Goodson is an Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing at The College of St. Scholastica with extensive experience in online teaching and learning.
“Melissa and I were in a board meeting last month where the topic of using social media to be a positive advocate came up. We both jumped at the chance to write something that covers how to use social media to make a positive impact on one’s following. This blog really was a true collaboration.” – Patricia