Episode 18:  Need Ideas for Posts? Here They Are.

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In today’s episode, we’re talking about something that’s going to save you a lot of time and energy and make your life a lot easier!

We’re talking about reworking and recycling just a few ideas to help you plan out NEW social media posts for weeks - or even months if you feel like reaching for the stars.

First, let’s just say it - there might be times when you feel like you’ve said the same message over and over again, right?  You feel like you don’t have anything new to say and you constantly want to “freshen things up” and find a “new way” to say things, because you’re completely saturated with the message.

Here’s the thing though – your audience, the people who are outside of your nonprofit organization, the people in your community that you aim to reach and serve – they aren’t so close to your message.

You feel like you and your message are roommates and you get tired of each other.

But your audience is not living with you and your message. Your audience doesn’t even live on the same STREET as you and your message. Your audience might be SO FAR removed from you and your message, they might not even be living in the same ZIP CODE.

So remember, just because YOU might be tired of your message because you see it all the time, doesn’t mean your audience feels that way about your message.

Years ago, I was a freelance writer and I used to cover big horse shows for equestrian magazines. I remember there was one show that was a month long in Oklahoma City. I wrote stories about the results of the horse show and at night, IN MY SLEEP, I would just keep repeating the horses’ show names over and over again in my dreams. I’d be in this hazy dreamy sleep saying their hilarious registered show names like “Photons All Around” and “Rooooooo Star” … I felt SO TIRED of talking about these same horses all the time.

BUT to the people who were on the OUTSIDE, the audience, they weren’t being constantly saturated and exposed to every little thing that happened every second of the day.  They’d only catch bits and pieces of what was happening at the horse show - just a small percentage of the coverage that I was supplying about those horses.

It’s the same principle in radio…When I was a full-time on-air personality at a radio station, I’d get SO TIRED of saying the radio station name ALL THE TIME, but again, the average listener is only tuning in a FEW MINUTES of the day.

So, it was important to keep repeating that station name over and over again so that listener hears it maybe once – the audience is only hearing it a fraction of the time you’re saying it.

So yes, here’s your validation. It’s OK to be tired of the message you are trying to get out to people!

Now, what can we do to use this to your advantage?

Well, we’re going to make it EASIER for you to get that message out to people by helping you take less effort to relay your message. You can spend LESS time thinking about it if you can streamline the whole process of getting your message out to people.

How do we do that? Well first, you have to know what your message IS.

Back in Episode 4 we talked about branding...if you haven’t listened to that episode yet, do it asap!  There’s a downloadable questionnaire that will help you develop your brand AND you’ll discover 5 topics that will be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

After you have your brand and your message identified, you’re going to use those 5 topics and write them down on a calendar. Remember – you only need to be posting on Facebook and Instagram 2 to 3 times per week.

So, you can write in your planner one of these topics for each day you need a post. You only need one topic for a post. So if you come up with 5 topics and spread them out over two weeks, then you have two and a half weeks of posting totally planned out!

Here’s an example…

Pretend your nonprofit organization is a community center. What would be the 5 things you want people to know about your community center?

  1. You have event space that people can rent for a variety of different things like conferences, weddings, concerts, business conventions.
  2. You have affordable prices for renting your facilities
  3. You have lots of amenities that make it easy for people to host events like a chef’s kitchen, lighting options, a PA, a business center
  4. You offer a space that’s in a desirable location
  5. You host events and fundraisers of your own

There are your 5 topics to post about!

You can illustrate these 5 ideas by sharing pictures of the different spaces, testimonials from people who have had events there, highlighting different attractions that are near your community center in that desirable area, and of course, promoting your own events that you host.

Now, if you take all of those ideas and use one of them each time you need a post, you have 2 and a half weeks of posts planned out right there!

Now, what happens when you get to the end of those 2 and a half weeks?

You start the cycle over again. Remember, your audience is not spending as much time thinking or being saturated with these ideas as you are. You want to keep repeating your message to them over and over, so it becomes ingrained in their minds!

As an added bonus to doing this, you’ll find it’s easier to post consistently because you can always pull from one of these 5 ideas to use for a new post!

OK so how do we take these ideas and rework or recycle them into something that isn’t just a blatant copy of the original post?

Here’s how!

  1. Change the picture. If you’re using the formula that works best – a picture, a caption and a call to action, change the picture first.
  2. Change up the caption. All you need to do is tweak those 1, 2 or 3 sentences of text that go with your picture. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel, just re-write a little bit. Ask a question and then answer it or use a different word that you think your audience would respond to. You’re just changing a couple words, not the idea.
  3. You can leave your call to action the same if you’re still driving people to your website or giving them a phone number to call if it still applies to your message.

Use this strategy to plan out your next two months of posts. Write them in your planner, rework and repeat on those 5 ideas and then schedule them!

You are going to feel like THE MOST productive person IN THE WORLD!

Here is an extra tip if you have a board to report to or donors and supporters who ask questions about marketing for your nonprofit… 

  • Write down those 2 and a half weeks of post ideas on a calendar for the month and pass it out to people in your meeting. That calendar will showcase your plan and your strategy.
  • Explain the 5 principle ideas you want people in your community to know about your organization.
  • Describe the active, consistent presence on social media.

Having an answer for your board before they ask builds confidence for your board and donors or supporters that you are

      A)  Someone who knows what they’re doing

      B)  Someone who is organized and has a plan

and are

      C)  A confident person who has something of value to share

If you tell someone about this plan that you have in place, it will grow their confidence IN YOU. And it will grow your confidence in yourself! 

If you REALLY want to go the extra mile, you can provide your board with your actual statistics and analytics from your Facebook and Instagram posts. If you have positive numbers to share, you can really wow them by telling them how many people have seen your posts or taken action from your posts.

We talked all about statistics and analytics on Facebook and Instagram posts in Episode 12. You can listen to it at NonprofitPotential.com/12

Here’s a story for you…I used to have a standup meeting every week at a radio station where I worked, and we’d have to go around the room to report on what we’d accomplished that week. It felt like a plea not to get voted off the island sometimes. 

If you have to go into that kind of meeting or situation of reporting to someone, take your plan for social media marketing and the positive numbers of the people you reached on Facebook and Instagram.  Then, not only are you NOT getting voted off the island, you might even win employee of the month!

Remember, having a plan helps you understand and remember your strategy.

You don’t have to re-invent the wheel – find a type of post that works best to reach the people you want to serve, and clearly explains what your organization is about, and then keep repeating it with a “fresh coat of paint.”

Here’s the question of the week…

Paige asked… Lauren, what is the website with the free, good quality photos you talked about in an old podcast?

Thanks for asking Paige, and thank you so much for listening! The website I mentioned that has free, good quality photos is called Unsplash.com. It has one of the BEST collections of free high-quality photos. It really is a great resource if you need a nice photo to use for your nonprofit… I’m glad Paige wrote in and asked about it so now you know about it too!

If you have a question for me – ask away! Send me a message on Facebook or Instagram or send me an email through NonprofitPotential.com and your question just might make it to the show!

Remember to download the free guide that breaks down into easy-to-understand steps how and what to do for REALLY GOOD Facebook and Instagram posts – and it’s yours to keep forever.

Get access to that guide now and other great tools at NonprofitPotential.com

And remember - Keep going my friend! You got this!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Episode 4: NonprofitPotential.com/4

Episode 12: NonprofitPotential.com/12

Free Guide for Facebook and Instagram posts

Unsplash.com


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