Module 4: Covering community activities in the media –> 4. How to use social networks to promote your activities
After capturing your story you should think about sharing it with your own community, identified partners and their campaigns that address your issue. You may also share it with decision-makers (your local MPs) asking for positive change. It’s important to put as much thought and energy into getting the story out there.
Hand-in-hand with getting your story out is repackaging and rewriting – telling different versions of your story for different mediums, platforms and goals. There are plenty of mediums you can use to repackage and distribute your story:
- Print: Annual reports, Fundraising letters, Media releases, Case studies
- Face-to-Face: Presentations, Speeches, Meetings, Press conferences, Media pitches, Special events, Exhibits
- Online and Digital: Website, Reports, Newsletter, E-mails, Blog posts, Podcast, Video, Photo captions, Social media: X (Twitter), LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc.
In the nonprofit world, communications have become more digital over time. Local communities, charities and even big international organizations like UNDP can benefit from using digital storytelling. Watch this UNDP video on how to craft an effective story by balancing content with visual elements and tailoring it to the audience and platform. (An overview of Digital storytelling).
Determining the right digital technology can take some time. So, ask yourself first: who your target audience is, consider what platforms are most accessible, safe, and familiar to them. Then identify what digital platforms you are most comfortable with, as a user as well as a digital content creator.
Visual storytelling through Social Media
As a storyteller you can use your stories to build online communities and network with others to bring change. As a publisher you can get your visual storytelling (images or videos) out into the world through social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. According to Capacity Canada: Despite the rapidly growing influence of social media, many nonprofits still don’t have a meaningful presence and communication strategy on social media.
Social media is the broad term for websites and applications that help people create and share content, such as text or photo stories, or network with others online. A social media post is the content that you physically put on the Internet. It could be a photo, a few words, a blog or a vlog.
Review the article written by Jade Nguyen from SocialPilot to go deeper into the topic and learn more about how to use social media to tell effective stories (Social Media Storytelling – How To Do It Right?).
Your voice on Social media
Using different online platforms will give you a different audience and share your voice with different people.
If you are seeking to captivate your audience through detailed paragraphs, consider a text-based platform such as Facebook or a blogging website. If you would like your story to focus on images and visual inspiration, consider a visually focused platform such as Instagram. Developing and sharing stories through Instagram Live can cost significantly less and sometimes nothing at all. If you would like to tell your story in video format, consider interactive platforms like YouTube or TikTok.
The key to using social media is to ask yourself:
- Who do I want to connect with and why?
- Which social media platform can help me achieve this purpose?
- Have I kept the people in my story (in words, photographs and videos) safe online?
Remember: The more you develop your story, learn about your target audience, and practice using different digital technologies, the easier it will become to choose the right digital technology for your story.
It’s your turn
After reviewing the content in this section discussing digital platforms and social media sharing, we encourage you to share your thoughts on sharing your stories through social media in the discussion forum below:
- Who is you target audience?
- What platforms are most comfortable and accessible for your community?
- What platforms have been most effective for you so far?