Drive Results With a Strategic Engagement Strategy

Four tactics to consider for your engagement strategy.

Humans communicate through stories. We relay our failures, reveal our successes and share our memories through stories. These stories—whether they are ours alone or shared—create communities of universal understanding. That’s why social networks have played a prolific role in modern storytelling—they have become our digital word of mouth, allowing us to enjoy stories from people we know and share them with broader communities.

Even if your organization is already on every social platform, it’s important to identify the platforms where your audience is interested in building community and to invest your time there. People will organically congregate in spaces where they feel most comfortable—and it is your job as storyteller to find or create those communities and then help them thrive. Encourage those in your community to get to know each other and to share their thoughts, ideas and aspirations for your mission and your organization. Below are several tips for building a community through social platforms.

Four Tactics for Your Engagement Strategy

Here’s how to make sure you’ve covered all your bases in creating a successful community.

1. Setting Tone and Voice

Determining the voice and tone of both your stories and the platforms where you share them helps your audience feel a consistent connection with your organization and its cause. Voice is your style and point of view. Ultimately, voice encompasses your organization’s personality. Tone, on the other hand, is specific to your messaging. It encompasses the words you choose, their order, rhythm and pacing. Tone can adapt to different situations, while voice remains consistent. See this article on tone and voice for more info on how to craft tone and voice for your organization.

2. Identifying and Nurturing Influencers

It’s a good practice to identify and promote influencers who can be ambassadors for your cause. Identify people who have a regular presence and voice in your community. For each person you identify, create an opportunity for him or her to directly contribute to your storytelling efforts, perhaps by sharing a photo, a story or feedback about the community.

3. Growing Your Community

Once you have your storytelling strategy in place, you can shift focus to growing your community. Developing this focus means ensuring that your community knows where to find you online. If you’ve taken steps to build a community organically, you may also find success in advertising. If you have a small budget, take advantage of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits, which offer a monthly stipend of free keyword advertising. For organizations with a larger budget, consider investing in ads on other social media platforms to attract and grow an engaged audience. Finally, make sure your community has a place where people can go to engage in discussions with others who have similar interests and share a common cause. By having a presence on Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform that your audience uses, you can speak with your audiences in their preferred medium and foster discussion. This tactic will also better help you understand how your audiences react to new information or stories.

4. Responding in Real Time

There may be times when a story can be so compelling it moves beyond your supporters and gains traction with the general public. In the best cases, it happens because your story inspires action from people who may not normally know or support your organization. Sometimes, however, your story may also spark controversy. When either situation happens, it is important to plan how your organization will respond.