Five Steps to Building Your Club’s Social Media Presence
The digital world is becoming more important than ever. These tips will help you effectively share your club’s accomplishments from your platform of choice.
By Bethany Bogacki, Student Programs Content Producer
Sure, we’re not living in Spider-Man’s world, but this superhero saying definitely applies to the world of social media: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
As an Operation Smile student volunteer managing your club’s social media accounts, you are basically Spider-Man: You have great power, because you’re representing a global nonprofit on global platforms. You have great responsibility, because everything you post reflects on Operation Smile.
With that in mind, here are five steps to building your Operation Smile club’s social media presence:
1.) Choose your platform. We recommend starting with one platform that you know your audience uses. So, if your classmates are your audience because you want them to join your club or take part in your events, create an account on the platform you know all your classmates use.
2.) Consult Operation Smile’s Brand Room. As an official digital ambassador for Operation Smile, we trust you to be a good steward of our brand. Do your homework by visiting brand.operationsmile.org; there, you’ll find everything from our official logo to the social media guidelines our official accounts follow. Study these guidelines and always ensure your content is protecting the dignity of our patients and their families – this is most important of all!
Our official fonts and colors are also listed in the Brand Room, so we ask that you make sure to use those in any social graphics you make!
For everything your club makes – fliers, T-shirts, so on – you should use the Operation Smile Student Programs logo.
3.) Build your profile. This makes it all official! For your club’s profile photo, you should use our globe. Your profile name should be @os_(schoolname). So, if we made an account for a club at a nearby high school – Princess Anne High School – it’d be @os_princessanne. Next, you’ll want to start following relevant accounts. Follow your clubmates. Follow your school, if it’s got an account, and follow any other like-minded clubs. Find other Operation Smile club accounts and follow them, too, for some extra inspiration. And be sure to follow @operationsmile and @osstudpro, of course!
4.) Create your content (and POST CONSISTENTLY!) We cannot stress this enough! You must have solid content to post. You must post solid content consistently. Let’s face it: When you’re not consistent, you lose followers. It’s really that simple (and it’s a real bummer).
We recommend setting a content calendar for your club to ensure your consistency. Take a baby-steps approach: Pick one day a week to post on a given theme. For example, try “Smile Saturday,” where every Saturday you post a patient story you loved from Operation Smile’s blog. Plan those out for months in advance, so as your content gets published, you can keep adding more so you don’t run out. Any extra content you’re able to post is just the cherry on top of the proverbial cake.
What’s also important is that you pick a good time of day to post. Try to scout a time of day when your audience is online most. To continue our earlier example, if your classmates are our audience, think about when your friends and peers are on social, and try to post within that window. Would you want to post at 3 a.m.? Probably not! No one’s awake to enjoy your lovely work. And while people might see it when they wake up, you’ve lost hours to build up likes and comments, which algorithms use to decide how often your content lands in newsfeeds.
And, remember, you cannot use any copyrighted images or music in any of your posts!
5.) Set goals. We always like to say social media is a tool, not the goal. So what goal are you going to use this tool to accomplish? Awareness? Fundraising? Engagement? Be sure to think this through and set your goals accordingly!
BONUS! Build out a social media campaign. To accomplish your goals, you might want to consider putting together a social media campaign. We put together what we like to call the 4Cs of an effective social media campaign: Content, Coordination, Collaboration, Crusade. Learn more and check out our 4Cs worksheet.
Bethany is the content producer for Operation Smile Student Programs. That’s really just a fancy way of saying she’s in charge of all the words you see here on this site and our @osstudpro social media channels. She’s a lifelong journalist who honed her social media-management chops during her recent stint at a regional media group, where she managed channels for multiple publications. She’s more than happy to to help you with your club’s social media goals!