Taking a task-focused approach to social media

Be creative in your social media channels and be a good 'friend' so your followers find your content interesting, useful and relevant ... not annoying!

Social media—a love-hate relationship

Social media can be intrusive, a distraction, a time waster and, like reality tv, annoyingly addictive. 

How can organisations make their social media activity useful and relevant ... and not annoying? Can a focus on user TASKs help you meet the needs of your key audiences?

Why do individuals use social media?

Key TASKs for people using social media are to:

  • be entertained and inspired
  • see ourselves in the 'story'
  • feel connected, especially with friends and family
  • be creative and expressive, and get 'hits' of validation eg, for our tastes and ideas

So in this environment of entertainment, narcissism, connection and self expression, how does an organisation's message cut through?

Why do organisations use social media?

Organisations find social media alluring because the platforms make it easy to connect and communicate with a large amount of people.

However the effectiveness, strength and endurance of the connections depends on your 'real life' activity and how relevant your social media content is.

Can there be a happy place where the goals of an organisation can marry up with the key tasks of individuals?

Highlight interesting stories

This is easier said than done I know! In amongst your day-to-day activity it may not be a priority to be on the look out for a good social media story. But if you start to think about, and have fun with it, you may surprise yourself.

There may be funny and/or inspiring stories related to your organisation that you can share. Or inspiring 'characters' (eg, staff member, client, customer, volunteer or supporter) you can profile.

Create engaging visual content

Beautiful, high quality imagery and clear, focused video content is very effective at capturing attention. 

Invest in a good smart phone so your photo and video content is high quality and it's easy to post to social media channels. 

Learn the principles of good photography and video production eg, focus in on the subject, choose an interesting perspective and have the light source behind you.

But above all else, be a good 'friend'

Good friends:

  • celebrate success and come to your parties
  • inspire and make you laugh
  • provide support
  • give you space.

If you relate this to your social media activity then you would post only when you have:

  • reached a milestone or received recognition
  • an event to promote (before and/or after) — include photos and tag your 'friends' (ask permission first)
  • an inspiring or funny story/photo/video
  • information that is interesting, useful and relevant to your 'followers'.

If people find your posts relatable, enjoyable and useful, and even see themselves (or someone they know) in them, they are more likely to engage by 'liking' and 'sharing'. 

And don't post too often as this will lead to friend loss :)