Spreading Your Message through Social Media

[#WhatsYourMessage Day 15]

“Evergreen”

The challenge for this chapter is how to share information that does not become outdated. As we know, social media platforms trend really fast and sometimes that trend goes down — and worse, become obsolete. As in the case of forerunners friendster and multiply. (Yes, I lived through that era)

Also, algorithms change, that means what might have worked early on in the platform (like we used to get good mileage in facebook pages, even without boosting), may not anymore be the case.

So, I’ll be sharing some principles which are applicable through changing times and technologies. In other words, the advice that you’ll get in this section are “evergreen.”

Principle #1: Establish a Home Base. Own your domain and hosting to store all your content

With the unpredictable policies that these social media platforms might have in the future, it is always better to have a Main Head Quarters or Home Base for all your content. In my blog site, kirbyllaban.com, it is where I put all of my content. So, in case something really bad happens to a social media platform, my content is safe.

Treat social media as venues to blast your Home Base content. Facebook, instagram and the rest are satellite bases that echo your message from your personal website.

Principle #2: Do not post the same content on all social media platforms

I used to do this: Create one post, and blast it to facebook, instagram, linked in, and twitter. What I failed to understand was that people go to these platforms for different reasons. Facebook is for friends and family (like milestones in life and vacations), linked in for business, instagram for pictures, lifestyle and art, twitter for news, and youtube are for long form videos (people who go there are ready to digest information for education, while in facebook they want to see videos to be entertained). In general these are the inclinations of the people inside each, but as always, there are things that work beyond these categories. What you might want to do is to repurpose your main content (for example a blog post) to suit each platform. You might want to tweak the “packaging” of your message to match the expectations of the varying audiences, like creating memes or pictures with quotes (specially in instagram), to make it more appealing.

Principle #3: Target your audience through groups

You have to speak your message in the appropriate platform so that they are welcomed; and it is the expected information that the audience is looking for. That is why facebook groups are popular (In the earlier years, yahoogroups dominated this form of communication). “Groups” gather people with common interests and share their ideas there.

Either you join a group where your message is heard, or you create one. Groups are powerful because unlike Pages (as in facebook pages), your members get notified directly and so you get better engagements. It is also a venue where people help people.

Principle #4: Go beyond your “friends.”

If you really want to get your message out in the world, you have to really invest in ads. It’s called boosting in facebook, while in google it’s google adwords. All platforms have their way of “boosting.”  The algorithms all lead to this. You can probably reach as many as 2,500 people through your organic network (and less than 1/8 are really interested in what you have to say), but it is really through putting some money in that you can reach people by the thousands, fast.

At first, I didn’t want to believe this. So, I tried to just post within my network in facebook. I just got really few sign ups for the free speaker’s course that I was offering (like about 50). Later, I tried boosting it (meaning I put some cash to reach more people), I got a whopping 900 sign ups in 3 days!  This method is particularly good if you are promoting an online business, but the same principle applies even when you are doing an advocacy or when you are trying to spread your message for your Church.

Let these 4 principles guide you as you build your message online!

Next, learn about the power of testimonies to help spread your message!

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