We’re celebrating the release of our Hootsuite integration – a brand new tool to help creative teams accelerate their social media workflows. Now, social media managers can move even faster to seize the power of a moment.
And if you’re ready to jumpstart your social media strategy for 2021, you need not only the right tools, but also the right #inspo.
We asked three innovative social pros to share examples of how they seized the moment in 2020, and how those moments are helping them design a strategy for 2021. Watch the video to hear from three engagement experts:
- Kelsey Doherty, Senior Manager of Marketing, Boston Red Sox
- Sarah Gardner, Manager, Audience Development, National Geographic
- Nick Wilson, Social Media Manager, Texas A&M University
7 Social Media Engagement Tips from the Pros
Watch the video to see our experts’ full roundtable discussion, and scroll through seven of their top takeaways below!
1. Create opportunities for your audience to join the conversation.
Sarah Gardner explained how she and her team focused on engagement during National Geographic’s campaign, Reimagining Dinosaurs. Rather than encouraging their audience just to look at the content, they focused on creating opportunities where the audience could participate, including quizzes using Twitter’s poll feature and live Q&As and experiences with scientists.
Think about how your team can invite your audience to become active participants in the conversation on social media.
Related content: 21+ Social Media Tips for 2021 from the Pros
2. Get out of the way.
“One thing that we’ve found at National Geographic on the social team is that some of the best, most genuine connections we can make with our audience, is when we let someone else do the talking,” says Sarah.
She and her team handed the mic over to writers, artists, photographers and even individual National Geographic team members so they could engage directly with followers on social media. Check out this live Q&A example, where paleontologists came together to talk dinosaurs in an accessible, personal conversation.
Her tip: get out of the way, and share your platform with new, interesting voices in your community.
3. Create your own moment.
In a time when events are canceled and schedules are unpredictable, creative teams have to think outside the box about their content calendars. Sarah and our other panelists agree – you have to create your own moments.
4. Experiment and take risks.
When Nick Wilson and his team at Texas A&M found out graduation was canceled, they started brainstorming about how they could create their own moment – and decided to take a risk.
At a student intern’s suggestion, they went live on social media for seven straight hours, streaming each graduating student’s name on the big screen at Kyle Field. The risk paid off – more than half a million people tuned in, and thousands watched for hours on end.
Nick told the audience to experiment and take risks – but also mentioned he hopes not to do another seven hour livestream any time soon.
Related content: The Strategy Behind Texas A&M’s Photography and Social Media
5. Give your followers a moment of their own.
The real magic of Texas A&M’s livestream was in its ripple effect. Students watching at home took screenshots of their name up on the billboard, and had a chance to celebrate.
“It gave them that Instagram moment or that tweetable moment,” says Nick.
As you and your team think about how to create moments for your brand, take it a step further, and think about how you can help your followers create moments of their own.
6. Don’t just broadcast – create 1:1 engagement.
During the sports hiatus, Kelsey Doherty and her team at the Red Sox created Wallpaper Wednesdays, inviting fans to submit requests for custom wallpapers. They expected a few hundred replies – and got thousands. Every week, the Red Sox designers would create custom wallpapers for individual fans. The project led to even more Photoshop fun with the thread below, where Red Sox designers spent a full day making off-beat graphics for fans.
Our designers are back and ready to fulfill all your wildest photoshop dreams! The weirder the better.
Drop your requests here 👇 pic.twitter.com/5BhBtgJ5BJ
— Red Sox (@RedSox) March 19, 2020
Think about how your team can interact individually with fans, creating a direct, personal connection that makes them feel special.
7. Don’t get too bogged down with new tools and platforms.
Fleets, TikTok, Reels, oh my. Our panelists commiserated about the constant barrage of new social media features and platforms and all agreed: take your time. They recommend testing out a platform, asking how it helps you reach a new audience in a new way (if you’re sharing the same content to the same audience in a different place, it’s probably not worth your time), and giving new platforms time to develop their own culture before you decide how you’ll join the conversation.
Want to learn more? Check out more conversations around social media and creative strategy in our on-demand summit, 20/21 Vision.