There I was, almost exactly two years ago. I had just gotten the position of Head of Communications at Sub-Saharan International Model United Nations, a completely new youth-run organization. And of course in this day and age, part of the work of anyone working in communications is handling social media platforms that the company or organization runs.
We were on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with all completely new accounts, but by the time I came on, we had reached 500 likes on Facebook. Right now, we’re just past the 12,000 like mark. I would have never guessed it would happen in such a short time, considering the social media numbers of similar MUNs in Kenya.
Here are a few special things we did (I wasn’t the only one contributing to this milestone) in order to clock 12,000 likes on Facebook (well…a bit past that now).
NB: I'm usually big on facts, however, this post is all about my personal experience.
Don’t only talk about the stuff you’re all about, branch out!
So how that panned out for us is, we run an annual conference and therefore our usual posts are about encouraging people to register and letting them know about different conference details such as venue, dates and accommodation options.
However, that’s not all we posted about! It would get boring, fast. And so we knew we had to shake things up.
We already knew our audience was mostly between 18 and 30 years old so we decided to share opportunities for jobs, scholarships grants for research and other conferences taking place around the world.
This proved to form a lot of buzz as some of our followers would end up tagging their friends on those posts, in order to alert them to the opportunity we were sharing. But, more importantly, the person tagged would also be brought in contact with our page. If their friend thinks they would like whatever opportunity we were sharing, then high chances are that they would like what we ourselves had to offer. TADA! New followers!
Partner with similar organizations or companies for marketing purposes.
There are A LOT of model united nations world-wide. A lot. And we took advantage of that. We struck several partnerships with some of them solely for the purpose of sharing each other’s page and conference details on each other’s pages.
And it helped! How do we know this? For one, we saw non-Kenyan followers increasing, and also, we got a good number of internationals coming for the conference.
The partnerships were time-bound and ended after each of our conferences ended. So it was non-binding and if we didn’t want to have the partnership again, we weren’t obligated to do so. This short-term commitment meant we got a whole new audience and though the returns from this marketing strategy where probably lower than other methods, they helped us break into a totally new audience which we previously had no access to.
Being extremely responsive to your followers
Somewhere on the right side of your Facebook page, you’ll see some grey script displaying a percentage rating on your response rate. We aimed to increase it to as high as we could.
For our page, we noticed that most people prefer to engage with us not within comments of our posts, but directly into our inbox. So the editors and admins of the page (myself included) aim to respond to people’s questions as soon as they ask them. How does this help gain more followers, you ask?
Well, it’s simple. Being super responsive to your followers makes them like you more. So there’s a higher chance that they will share some of your posts. This might not seem like a big deal, but with Facebook it is. It means our page gets a whole new audience in the form of that person’s friends list. That’s a big deal! It’s all about organic reach, people.
Now, just to be clear, this is not all we did. We used the conventional methods of boosting posts and creating very visual posts by using well-crafted images in form of photos or graphics. However, the ones I chose to list are some of the ones not mentioned much and are maybe not valued as much as the conventional methods.
At the end of the day, there’s no hard and fast rule about social media growth. It’s all about trial and error. Find what works for you.
NB: I would like to do a post on 'The Seven Deadly Sins of Design'. Is that something you would be interested in? If so, please leave a comment down below :)