Hello Medium and “hallo” Rotterdam! Here is a list of examples I’m giving in my “Sustainable Social Media” presentation at Social Media Week in Rotterdam.
Since nearly every issue on the UN agenda can be tied to the cross-cutting and ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, why should social media be any exception? Read on for 17 tips I’ve learned for making social media sustainable.
Goal 1: Don’t be content “poor.”
Have a plan even if you have to change it every month, every week, every or even every hour. Fill it up with evergreen content that can be “bumped” as needed and re-shared — especially if it is popular.
Because we only share “public information,” you can see our content planning calendar online. We use Trello but link to other tools like DropBox and Google Drive.
Goal 2: Feed your audience’s “hunger”
What do people want to see online? It’s often visual content which can take a long time to create. Here’s one of our more popular videos.
But that’s not always the case. Spontaneous videos mobile phone videos can be extremely popular, too!
Goals 3: Each platform needs it’s own “health” tune up
Platforms are not dumping grounds for all your content. Content has to be created for and optimised for specific platforms — by people who use those platforms. Case in point — Instagram — where you have to post visually appealling images and the captions can be longer than you.
Goal 4: “Educate” everyone
Everyone has a phone. Everyone can be a content creator. Case in post — Instagram. Follow the UN at “united-nations.”
Goal 5: Gender Equality
This is literal. Show the world you want to see in your posts. Don’t post photos of “manels” if you don’t want to see them yourself.
Goal 6: Don’t sanitize content
Good content is important, useful and relevant. It doesn’t have to be “fun” or “funny.” World Toilet Day is just one example.
Goal 7: “Energize” your content
If you only post heavy and serious content, try to work in some lighter posts from time to time — only when the timing is right.
Goal 8: Be real about “growth”
We can’t all be Kardashians — nor should we aspire to be! It usually only makes sense to benchmark against yourself. Pick a few key metrics and measure them once a month. Then, share it with senior managers. Be able to tell your senior managers how many “retweets” is a good amount.
Goal 9: Put your “infrastructure” in place
Innovation requires having all the pieces in place and an industrious outlook to forge ahead when people say “no.” If you can’t always be spontaneous on social media, find ways to plan your spontaneity.
Goal 10: Make the languages “equal”
At the UN we have a mandate to put out content in six official langauges, so it’s key for us to build up capacity for creating posts in languages spoken worldwide.
Goal 11: Talk to your “community”
If you’re posting online, you have to read the comments. If a question has an answer, answer it.
Goal 12: Be “responsible”
Prepare for the worst. If you have a global staff, create a global team. Have someone who can access your accounts at all times. And have content pre-drafted that you can adapt in case your accounts get hacked or someone posts errant content on an official account.
Goal 13: What’s the online “climate?”
Do you need challenge negative online narratives? Create unique content that addresses online misconceptions. You CAN bust myths with facts.
Goal 14: Don’t go “under water”
Your fans and followers are already drowning online from information overload. Make sure anything you post adds value to the conversation. Simplicity is key. Sometimes black and white text and a drawing can be more powerful than a photo.
Goal 15: Make use of the “land”
Posting online is not enough. Use printed materials, signs and screens to tell people how to join your online conversations.
Goals 16: Strengthen your “institution”
Our “Social Media Guidelines” aimed at UN communicators. Use your intranet to publicize guidelines, polices and procedures and share draft content staff can use on their own social media platform.
Goal 17: Partnerships
You can do more when you work with others. Partnerships help the UN reach new audiences and find new, and often more creative, ways of showcasing our materials.