The team at Momenta has created the following list of top tips and suggestions to capitalize on this communications opportunity, avoid common pitfalls, and improve the positive effects you are trying to achieve.
Create live-Tweeting goals for the day // Think about what you would like to say throughout the stream. Are you giving a play-by-play? Are you providing a behind-the-scenes look? As the day progresses, try to stick to that planned narrative. Cohesive narratives will keep followers engaged and help avoid over-saturation or boredom.
Additionally, if you have a communications team in place with different roles for the event, be sure to agree on goals and hashtags ahead of time. This will help you maximize coverage for the event, prevent repetition across more than one Twitter feed and increase the success of your agreed-upon hashtags.
Add to the story // Taking the above suggestion into consideration, with every image ask yourself: What is this photograph saying? Did I just post a similar one? Live-Tweeting images can help you round our the social media experience if you are adding to the conversation. On the other hand, if you are bombarding your audience with the same perspective multiple times, reconsider your selection.
Photograph in the best light available // If you are in a room with windows, find action near the window light, and photograph with your back to the window. If you are in a room without windows, scope out the best-lit places and find photographs there. In general, unless you are photographing a silhouette, try to avoid photographing into the light with your mobile device. This reduces the quality of the file, especially if you allow your phone to determine the exposure.
Keep your horizons straight // Tilted horizons are a visual device and can sometimes be useful if you are going for a more conceptual/artistic look. If you choose to tilt your horizons, be aware of this, and do not overdo it or let it become a crutch. A series of tilted photos can both confuse viewers and distract from what you are trying to convey. Keeping straight horizons also keeps your feed looking consistent from top to bottom.
Consider using an app to tone your images // Sometimes images can pop more if you play around with filters or with exposure/shadows/highlights/contrast settings in post-production. Though, if you decide to use a filter, try not to overdo it. Also, it is better to stick with one “look” or filter for the duration of the event.
Post flattering photographs of your attendees // Have you ever been tagged in a photo on social media and cringed when you saw it? While we can all be our worst critics, try to keep this idea in the back of your mind throughout the event. Remember your attendees may see these photographs of themselves.
Avoid posting photographs of people eating // This goes back to the above tip. Few people photograph well when they are eating. Chewing, whether with your mouth open or closed, is not attractive or flattering to photograph. If you would like to include the food portion of the event, try to photograph the buffet while attendees are serving themselves. If you do not have a buffet, try to photograph a beautiful platter of ors d’oeuvres instead.
Remember visual variety // Visual variety, in the most basic sense, means you have varied your distance from the subject. See how far away you can get from the scene, and photograph it. See how close you can get to the scene, and photograph it. Move around the scene, and see what it looks like from one corner versus the other. See what it looks like from above. Mixing up your perspective and remembering visual variety will help give your audience a more rounded out idea of what is happening.
Check the corners and background of your frame // Always remember to check the corners and background of your frame before posting. Did you accidentally stick your pinky into the bottom left corner? Is your boss scratching their nose in the back right corner?
Moments, moments, moments! // You will hear this from the best of the best: Good moments usually make a photograph.
Consider having a photographer do your live-Tweeting for you // Just because everyone in the corporate world does not participate in social media does not mean it is not one of the most important marketing tools available to you. Your sponsors, donors, and advertisers can tell if someone from your office is using their iPhone or if you have put in the effort and funds to hire a polished professional. Because of their training and experience, photographers are equipped with the visual communication skills to take your event and turn it into a story, one live-Tweeted image at a time. In turn, your photographs will truly shine, and your event will be more memorable with your viewers online.
Log out of the company account when you are done // This suggestion, though basic, stems from many a cautionary tale. Be sure to log out of the company account before you accidentally live-Tweet from your night out with friends…or worse.
Would you like help creating a social media strategy, setting live-Tweeting goals or hiring a photographer for your event? Reach out to the team at Momenta Creative to see how we can help!
Strong communications have never been more important for nonprofits. To entice donors and create awareness for their mission, organizations must learn to “tell their story” in the most effective way. This series of digital communications seminars will provide a platform for nonprofits to begin thinking creatively about strategies and solutions.
Topics covered in the lectures include successful and not-so-successful campaign strategies, movement building and brand ambassadors, creating call-to-action campaigns, social media for the greatest impact, budgeting and grant writing for communications, building your team with volunteers, interns, contractors and staff and much more.
Founded in 1956, the Foundation Center is regarded as one of the leading sources of information on philanthropy in the United States and worldwide. Additionally, it maintains the most comprehensive database of grant makers and their grants, creating an impressive and accessible bank of knowledge for the nonprofit sector. As part of its mission, the Foundation Center also provides education and training aimed at advancing the knowledge of philanthropy at every level.
Jamie Rose, holds a M.S. in Visual Interactive Communications from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a B.A. from American University. Before joining Momenta, Jamie worked as an international photojournalist in Washington, covering politics for newspapers and humanitarian issues for nonprofits. She is considered an expert in nonprofit communications and business development.
Please find further event information below.
Telling Your Story: Creative Nonprofit Communications, Washington DC
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 // 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST
The Foundation Center, Washington DC // 1627 K Street NW, Third Floor, Washington, DC 20006
Telling Your Story: Creative Nonprofit Communications, San Francisco
Thursday, March 19, 2015 // 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. PST
The Foundation Center, San Francisco // 312 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Develop Your Content Strategy
What do you intend to post about on each account?
Will posts/content be different depending on the account?
Remember that you have different audiences on different accounts, and posting the same content across all platforms, though efficient, is not always the most effective strategy in terms of follower engagement and satisfaction.
How often will you post content on each account?
What time will you post to each account?
Consider that each social media platform has hours where users are more engaged. It is important to choose a posting schedule that is proven to be most effective for promotion. This also depends on your target demographic(s). As you move forward with your strategy, test out posting content at different times of day and gauge engagement and reach for maximum potential.
Who will create the content?
How much time can you devote to social media?
How will you engage with followers beyond your posts?
Be honest with yourself. Having a strategy is only half the battle. If you do not have the personnel or skills in place to undertake said strategy, you cannot move forward.
Determine How You Will Track Progress
As you move forward with your new strategy, you will need to able to see what is working and what is not working. This will inform your strategy moving forward. Make certain you have the functional analytics in place to reassess your social media.
Whether you are planning for next year, developing a messaging platform, or simply pondering how to make a strategy around the questions above, do not hesitate to reach out to us to start a conversation about your business. You may call, email or complete our contact form to begin learning how Momenta Creative can help your team.
Analyze Your Current Status
What social media platforms do you have right now?
How engaged are your followers?
How often do you post on each account? Note the “last activity date.”
Once you have assessed your current status, think about the questions below.
What needs to change about the way you participate in social media?
What can stay the same about the way you participate?
Which feeds would you like to keep?
Would you like to remove any feeds?
Which feeds could you consider adding?
If you do decide to add new feeds, assess what value they will have to your social media presence. Are you simply incorporating additional accounts to have them, or do you have a specific goal in mind for each? Also, remember that increased platforms could mean more hours budgeted for maintenance. Is that acceptable to your company?
After you have evaluated your current accounts and considered the questions above, you are ready to move on. Check back with us for Step 3: Develop Your Content Strategy & Step 4: Determine How You Will Track Progress.
At Momenta, we work with our clients to build social media strategies and messaging platforms. Though the process is much more comprehensive than what you will find below, we are happy to provide you with four simple steps to inform your process.
Clarify Your Goals
As you reassess your social media engagement and brand strategy through strategic planning for the new year, it is essential to know your company’s goals for the future of your social media outreach.
How is social media important to your company?
How does social media relate to your overall goals and voice as a brand?
Next, you will need to decide whether your goal is to create brand awareness, acquire new customers or create more loyalty within your preexisting customer base. This will aid you in assessing how effective your social media efforts are in the future.
Are you creating brand awareness? Product awareness?
Are you converting followers into sales?
What are your goals for loyalty and retention?
Do your calls to action effectively translate these goals to action?
Sit down with your team, and really dig into the reasons your organization values social media and your overall goals for the coming year. Once you have answered the questions above, you are ready to move forward with your strategy document. Check back with us for Step 2: Analyze Your Current Status.