Social media for grown ups. Moving from toy to tool. Part 4

So, to all my marketing savvy nonprofit leaders out there who are becoming EXPERTS in the realm of social media marketing, we are in the home stretch – Part 4.  Today, we are going to discuss a huge part of successful social media marketing – Content!

Last time we shared some tips on how to be interesting and engaging – how to make your community personal, inviting and connected.  Content is the key.  Now that you know the “how” let’s talk about the “what”.

For engaging content, one word says it all:  “V.I.T.A.L.”

Video, Image, Text, Audio & Links.  Remember this terms if you are ever struggling for content.  V.I.T.A.L. content are great supports for your Facebook status updates, your blog topics and your tweets.  Here’s how to use them:

Video:  Have you seen a hilarious, controversial, emotionally charged YouTube video lately?  Link it to your Facebook or tweet about it.  Did you make a video on your cell phone of your last fund raiser or did you record the embarrassing hijinx of overworked board members?  Put it out there for all to see.  Don’t have a YouTube account yet? (For shame!) Get one.  It takes like 5 seconds and it’ll host all your vids.

Text:  Here’s where the writing comes in.  This is the hard part because this comes from you.  Your blog posts, your original, clever Facebook posts or tweets.  This takes some time to plan out.  A quick tip for successful “text” supports on your social media platforms:  plan ahead!  Sit down on a Saturday and crank out 10 blog posts (short and sweet unless you are providing “how-to’s” or instructional content like this one).  Or, you can always highlight someone else’s blog that you love.  This is perfectly acceptable.  Just be sure to give the proper shout outs to the original authors.

Audio:  Same as video.  You won’t use this as much audio content because, these days, if there’s audio there’s video.  But keep your eyes (or ears) open for audio recordings.  Maybe a song you heard today is something that really depicts you or your organization’s vision – post it to your social media platforms and blog about it. Make sure to link the original source though.  You knows, your favorite song might be mine.

Links:  Have you heard the word “perma-links”?  If now, then you should read this blog more lol.  Really though, perma-links are great because they are links that never go away (hence “perma”).  When you read a blog entry and you want to tweet about it, but 140 characters won’t all you enough room for the super long URL address – go to and “shorten” the link.  Then take that shortened link, tweet it (with a descriptive comment about it), Facebook it and blog about it.  You can also perma-link your own blog entries.  Perma-linking is also great for google analytics – but we’ll get to that later.

For now, keep your eyes and ears attuned to the V.I.T.A.L. content that is ALL around you.  Now that you know what it is, you’ll notice it everywhere.  The content is there – now go capture it!