By Bryce Kelly
Standing out from the crowd can be difficult. In the age of social distancing, it can be even more complicated, as so many daily activities have moved online. Using social media to promote your organization has become one of the most important strategies and skills an entrepreneur can have. We’ve assembled some of the best tips and tricks from our YLAI Network alumni and experts to show how they are effectively using Facebook, YouTube, and more to establish a unique online presence.
Creating a community
Entrepreneur David Dávila believes that the key to his coffee company’s success lies in his community of passionate customers. David explains that it is “important to integrate Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify into the marketing strategy and business priorities … because there is a need to know the client, address their needs, and communicate with them in real-time.” Despite the fact that his customers are often hundreds of miles away, David finds ways to stay engaged with them via YouTube, Spotify playlists, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and through a blog.
Rather than simply providing basic info on his website, his goal is to create “more of an experience and work on platforms where people are spending their time.” Creating a social media page isn’t simply about putting your organization’s name on a screen; it’s about creating a space for people to come together and interact over their common interests. In creating a following, David turned his coffee from a product into an experience and community, where consumers could learn about culture, bond with others over a shared passion, learn the story of what they were drinking and where it came from, and more.
Mentorship and coaching
When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, YLAI Fellow Janese Henderson moved her organization, Jan’s Empowerment Institute, completely online. Instead of limiting her activity, however, this move expanded the possibilities. “Our activities were exclusively in Antigua and Barbuda. However, since the pandemic, our reach is worldwide. We have made greater use of technology, especially social media, to reach a global audience,” she says.
Janese’s mission wasn’t to just increase her audience, but to build stronger individual bonds. “Through Facebook Live, we are able to connect with individuals worldwide and have greater visibility. We are currently developing online courses to cater to this new global market,” she says. Using live streaming, videoconferencing, digital content, and messaging technologies, she is able to interact directly with the people seeking to be a part of her institute. The lesson? Not only can social media get the word out, but it can also be used to interact directly with your clients, partners, and more.
Brevity and accessibility
Attention spans are short on social media, and YLAI Fellow Rosario Diaz Garavito is constantly thinking of this when building a marketing strategy for her volunteer organization, The Millennials Movement. “You need to consider the time you need to allocate for these chores,” she once advised, “and be creative with your ads in case you are using social media since you would need to get people’s attention in less than five seconds.”
Competition for attention is fierce online, so it’s important that your social media post can grab someone’s attention and deliver its message quickly and effectively. The longer it takes to read your posts, the more likely it is that users might move on to the next thing.
Working with social media can make it difficult to distinguish work from leisure. When your work is “not a 9-to-5, you can get stretched thin,” says YLAI Fellow and founder of TransWave Jamaica Neish McLean.
Neish warns that if you “invest in the movement, into the work, into the community, but don’t invest as much in yourself,” both you and your organization will suffer. Social media is a handy tool, but it is almost impossible to know when to stop. Set limits for yourself, and find a good balance between quality and quantity in your activity.
Read on for more #YLAIBrandBetter resources to learn how to use social media to benefit your business!