Amplify: Rethinking Your Social Strategy
The world of social media is ever changing. Things seem to be moving at an increasingly fast pace and it seems like we are living in the "here and now" more and more often. Snapchat and Instagram Stories have seemingly replaced Twitter and Facebook, although a few will still tell you they are Twitter regulars.
This summer I noticed a shift in how student leaders engaged with us on social media during summer leadership workshops. Students seemed to be moving to Instagram, where there was higher engagement and impressions on posts and rarely published tweets with our dedicated hashtag.
This got me thinking, do we need to change how we approach social media? Instead of focusing on Twitter AND Instagram AND Snapchat, do we need to focus on one in particular? What do we do with Facebook?
This is a good place for a disclaimer: by no means am I an expert, I'm just making observations and connecting them with simple things schools, student councils and other youth focused organizations can use.
So, here's a hot take: if we want to reach the students in our schools and organizations, we need to put more focus on centering our efforts on Instagram.
And here's why: Instagram can automatically share to Facebook without more work. Instagram can share to Twitter, both as a native photo with IFTTT and as an Instagram link (more on that later). PLUS, you can use Instagram Stories (hereafter called IG Story) a lot like Snapchat, but with more control.
Instagram Stories (IG Stories)
Probably one of my favorite "new" features on Instagram (or any social media lately) is the new IG Stories. Albeit very similar to Snapchat, IG Stories are incredibly easy to use, controllable and just beautiful.
It functions just like a Snapchat Story. You post a photo and it is visible to your followers for 24 hours. But you can also upload to your story, giving you more control and usability for your marketing efforts. Plus as long as you are logged into to your student council account, you have the ability to post to the IG Story.
One very very cool feature is the annotation tools. Not only are there different options, but there is also something in the code that makes your doodles look way more artistic than they probably are (I'm speaking from my experience here). Take a look at some of the IG Stories that I posted while at CADA Camps this summer.
There are some seriously talented people working with IG Stories and I often find myself following accounts solely to see what they post to their story.
I also discovered that certain hashtags can have their own IG Stories. When you search for a hashtag, the Stories ring will pop up and indicate that there are multiple story posts that have tagged that hashtag. Same with locations.
Instagram + Everything Else
What is awesome about Instagram is that you can automatically share to the other major social networks. Instagram allows you to connect your Facebook and Twitter (and Tumblr) accounts in order to quickly share over your posts. This is a great way to consistently post on Facebook, which will help your content show up in the Feed more (cc: the algorithm, or something).
When you create and connect an If This Then That (IFTTT) account, you can search for Instagram and then create an applet to automatically share your Instagram posts as native photos (that means no link to the Instagram photo AND it shows up in the tweet). Click HERE to go to that applet and start using it.
Instagram Business Profile
A relatively new feature for Instagram is the option to switch your account to a business profile. After you have created a Facebook page for your student council and connect it to Instagram, you can change from a "personal" to a "business" profile. This gives you access to way more insight into your followers, impressions and statistics about your efforts.