The 3 Tips You Need to Create Good Online & Social Media Content

Recently the Engage Alumni blog asked what question you would most want answered about using social media to engage alumni. The clear winner was the question “what makes for good online/social media content?” So, below are three tips to help you develop great content that will encourage alumni to “like” your Facebook page, follow your Twitter account, subscribe to your blog, and bookmark your website.

1  Keep it short: This is rule #1 for all content production. The more concise you can make a blog post, video, or any other online update, the better. Attention spans are at an all-time low, especially among the heavy online users who are (or should be) your primary social media audience. Think about it this way: if you’re perusing the web and come across a couple videos, which are you more likely to watch: the 2-minute or 5-minute video? Most online video players, YouTube included, contain a clock feature which shows viewers the length of the video before they hit play. Don’t make excessive duration a reason why your constituents aren’t viewing the content you put time and effort into producing.

Spelman College uses Facebook to promote individual stories about successful students and alumni.

2  Use images! Pictures, videos, infographics …this is especially important for institutions of higher education, because images create nostalgia. Most people want to remember their days on campus. When an alumnus is sitting at their desk, in a relatively drab cubicle or office, few things are more valuable than a post from their alma mater that brings them back to a sunny Saturday afternoon at a football game, hanging out with friends on the weekend, or soaking up the sun on the first warm day of the spring semester. For a great example of how one small liberal arts college used their holiday thank-you video to create nostalgia, click here.

3  Include real people: Internet users spend time on social networks because they want to find out what’s new with their friends and family. They’re looking for news about people. So produce content about people on campus like students, alumni, popular faculty, and campus leadership. The more real faces and stories you post, the better. Have a look at Spelman College’s Facebook page. It’s a small school that routinely gets dozens, if not hundreds, of likes and comments on the content posted from the page, which – as of late July 2012 – primarily features stories about individual alumni and students.

As you implement these 3 tips, let us know how they impact your alumni engagement. Or write to us with your tried and true tips for good content.

For more on how online and social media can impact constituent relations, visit BWF.com.

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