How to Make Your Message Spread on Social Media
The success of the Women’s March on January 21, 2017, which is estimated to have drawn between 3 and 5 million participants in the U.S., is not something that can be bottled. It was the culmination of circumstances unique to its moment in history. But there’s still room to admire and replicate the inspired coordination of the event, which relied heavily on social media. The idea for the march first emerged as a handful of disparate Facebook event pages. A flood of interest led the organizers of those pages to consolidate their efforts, eventually resulting in the Women’s March website. The website became the nerve center for the movement where potential participants could read about the mission and founders of the fledgling movement, find logistics of local marches, and download graphics for use on social media or in the streets. It inspired and empowered anyone to take specific actions.
For organizations and individuals looking to spread the word about their cause, event, or mission and harness the potential of social media, there are valuable lessons to be gleaned from the Women’s March: take some of the guesswork out for would-be participants and provide them clear tactics, talking points, and graphics for evangelizing your cause online. There’s more than just anecdotal evidence to suggest that this is effective: In Derek Thompson’s book Hit Makers: How Things Become Popular, he argues that content spreads through “broadcast diffusion,” which is the combination of sharing by multiple broadcasters (influencers or traditional media) as well as by individuals. He also says that content that appears viral or attributed to word-of-mouth is far more likely to be initially distributed by “dark broadcasters,” who get content out there all at once in order to increase the likelihood that word-of-mouth sharing by individuals takes off. One of the best ways to get your network of supporters to share your message is to give them all the tools to do so in one, easy-to-share social media toolkit, simple web pages that act as hubs for your messages.
As online activism has taken a foothold, we’ve seen these social media toolkits cross our feeds with more regularity and some are turning to Spark Page to make it happen at the speed of social. Take March of Science’s kit that equips fundraising volunteers with everything they need to further the cause.
The best social media toolkits are one-stop shops for action items, messaging, and logistics. Think of them as media kits for the masses or your network of most avid supporters. Here’s how to create a highly shareable one yourself, as well as savvy examples made with Adobe Spark aimed at mobilizing the masses.
The basic ingredients of any good social media toolkit are the same.
- A brief overview of the organization, event, or cause. The main objective of the web page is to get people to take action, so you need to get to your action items quickly to hold the attention of the person who knows they want to participate and are looking for guidance on how. But say someone lands on this page and they’re undecided. They’re a little interested, but they’re not sold yet. The first part of the page needs to get them to care. How do you appeal to both groups? Video! Video is simply the most economical way to make people feel something. In addition to your video, make sure you include 1-2 descriptive sentences about the contents of the video. This will help your discoverability (Local SEO) and will help inspire people to watch.
- A line or two about the objectives of social media participation. Why should people take the action you’re asking them to? What will be the benefit if they do and what are the consequences if they don’t? Use Spark Page‘s text header options to lend hierarchy to your messages.
- A list of all relevant social handles, URLs, and hashtags. Use Spark Page’s built-in list features so it’s easy to read. It’s as simple as clicking or tapping the format you want.
- Sample posts and graphics, ideally sized for each platform. You want people to do something? You have to make it easy. Be clear on what you’re asking of readers and give them everything they need to be successful—copy and messaging, images, and branded hashtags. If you think making graphics for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Instagram Stories sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it once was. But no more. Spark Post allows you to resize the same creative for each platform with just one tap. You don’t even need to look up the dimensions; we’ve done that already.
Effective Spark-Made Examples
One of our favorite toolkits was in support of World Food Day, October 16, to raise awareness about global hunger. The theme for 2016 was climate change, and this toolkit featured downloadable themed graphics with relevant statistics and talking points sized for each social media platform.
Another standout example is this one, intended to raise awareness about the Financial Inclusion Forum and Financial Inclusion Practitioners Day on December 1 and 2 (respectively) of 2016. The language is perhaps geared toward spreading the word among industry insiders a bit more than it is toward recruiting laypeople, but we like the overall organization. The embedded video gives a nice overview of why the cause is important, and the example posts, in addition to being tailored to specific platforms, are broken down by theme. Pro-tip: Make sure to format the images as “inline” within the Page editor. This allows readers to save the image themselves and ensures that none of the text on the image will appear cropped on various devices.
Once you’ve created your toolkit and all the assets in it, the work isn’t over. Now it’s time to distribute. There are a couple tactics you could take with this—and you might try a variety in various parts of your campaign. If you’re trying to get the campaign off the ground, using the “broadcast diffusion” method that we touched on earlier, you might send this link to your most avid supporters asking them to share with their networks. Then as the content garners more attention, you could share the toolkit with a wider audience. Here are some ideas on how to get your Page into as many hands as possible:
- Upload the video about your cause to social media to grab attention and then link to the Page for people to learn more.
- Post the images you created to social media with the link and a CTA to share. On Instagram, use your bio’s link to drive to your toolkit.
- Leverage Facebook and Twitter ads to get your content seen by more people. Use audience targeting by interest so that your content is reaching people most likely to take action.
- Blast your social media toolkit to your network via email. Email is still the most effective way to reach people.
- Reach out to influencers or people with large followings and ask them to share the Page. You might target celebrities or well known activists who have taken an interest in your issue before. If you aren’t connected to them personally, use Twitter to @-message them and make sure you use your most compelling imagery and copy.
- Ask like-minded or complementary groups to help you spread the word.
- If you don’t have them already, set up social media accounts for your cause.
Why Use Adobe Spark
- Spark Post allows you to make highly designed social media graphics for every platform instantly and easily.
- Spark Video puts powerful video communication in anyone’s pocket.
- Spark Page allows you to consolidate all of the creative elements of your campaign in one link—no web development necessary.
- All assets will look great across every device.
- With the right SEO strategy, which should be in your social media messaging, your toolkit will be discoverable by interested participants.
Have you created a movement online? We want to hear about it! Share your Sparks with #AdobeSpark.