Digital engagement can help to grow your charity’s reach. Learn more about leading digital engagement in your organisation
Leadership is all about influence. Larger than life leaders have an outsized online presence. Every social media update has the potential to influence decision-making. While charity leaders don’t sway markets, they can exercise a great deal of influence online. Being a charity digital engagement leader means thinking about who, what, where, when, and how media posts are going up.
A digital engagement leader can really empower a charity’s cause. This means that audiences can connect with the charity on a different level. Business Insider says that there are four things any CEO can do to build digital engagement. These include publishing an online biography; developing a plan for social media; becoming active on a social media; and connecting with audiences. When digital leaders go online, charity audiences can connect with a live person.
For up-and-coming digital engagement leaders, building a social media presence is key. To increase reach, charity leaders should tailor content to each platform.
Charities with established brands have the advantage of already being known in the digital world. Having a digital engagement leader doesn’t take away from that. A digital engagement leader is in many ways, a complement to the progress you’ve already built. They can be ambassadors for your brand. A digital engagement leader can build on your charity’s existing image and engage audiences on a more personal level.
Polly Neate, Shelter’s CEO is a great example of a charity digital engagement leader. She is actively involved with Shelter’s cause and makes it well known to her followers.
On Twitter, she has a strong following of over 17,000, and taps into related causes she cares about. She consistently shares and promotes Shelter’s work, and includes her charity’s website in her profile. Dovetailing with Shelter’s actual Twitter account, Polly shares and retweets its posts.
Instagram shows Polly’s other side. Posting a combination of personal photos and content on homelessness, her account shows what she’s like when she’s not CEO. Polly includes photos of her daughter, family and other media she finds amusing.
Looking at both platforms together, Polly’s digital engagement is strong. She posts frequently, lets audiences into her life, and also stays on cause. Polly helps audiences connect not only with Shelter’s causes, but with a real person.
Taking a page from Polly’s online presence, our top tips for building personal engagement are:
1. Keep your digital image and engagement consistent
Make sure that your profiles across social media platforms are consistent. Ensure your personality comes across by sharing similar posts, links and commentary across social media.
2. Engage regularly with audiences
Replying to audiences helps grow engagement. This means regularly checking into the platform, replying to posts, and giving commentary. Remember, every time you gain a follower, thank them for their compliment.
3. Post diverse content, and do it frequently
Keep things fresh by changing content often. Use video, text, and images to keep audiences interested.
4. Monitor your engagement
Finally, remember to keep track of your own profile statistics. Track your engagement and see what posts or media work best. Start to refine your digital engagement strategy.
When building your digital engagement presence, it is key to use different social media platforms for different purposes. Each social media platform has pluses and minuses:
Predominately used by adults between the ages of 25 to 34, Facebook boasts 1.57 billion daily active users. Digital engagement leaders can start learning the ropes here. Facebook doesn’t ‘move’ as quickly as other platforms, so post less frequently. In terms of content, posts can be text or video, as both show up in feeds and profile pages. For digital engagement leaders, it is important to use Facebook to build engagement with Millennials.
The ideal platform for pictures and short video clips, Instagram is great for building a personal connection. Getting the best out of Instagram means showing audiences about charity causes on a personal level. The social media platform is very much ‘in the moment’. For powerful posts, digital engagement leader should publish when the action happens.
Many charity leaders already use this social media platform to promote professional agendas. The Twittersphere helps digital engagement leaders connect with like-minded people and groups. Remember that Twitter is fast-paced. For charity digital leaders thinking of making Twitter their primary social media tool, this means frequent updates. Don’t be too worried – we’ve reviewed simple Twitter hacks for those getting started.
Aimed at the professional audience, digital engagement here is more formal. For many leaders, LinkedIn is used as a networking site for job hunting or direct messages. To build leadership presence, LinkedIn can help showcase charity corporate developments.
For more adventurous digital leaders, Tumblr is a microblogging site. Digital leaders can share all types of content. Thematically, Tumblr attracts more artistic users. For leaders looking for more of a unique presence, Tumblr is a good option.