I created social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for my English honor society Sigma Tau Delta in the fall of 2015. No previous social media accounts for our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta existed, so I faced with the challenges of determining the objectives of these social media accounts, figuring out who Sigma Tau’s audience was, and building an audience.
First I had to determine what the objectives of these social media accounts were. I decided that I wanted to use social media as an avenue to promote our Sigma Tau’s activities on campus as well as foster appreciation for literature and writing by curating and posting content that related to our English honor society’s goals and interests.
My audience then was mainly students at my college, especially members of Sigma Tau and students who were not members of Sigma Tau but might be interested in our activities and membership.
To reach this audience, I first built up a social media presence of a few posts that gave potential followers an idea of the type of content Sigma Tau would be posting.
Then I invited several of my Facebook friends to like the Facebook page and followed several Sigma Tau members and other Concordia students on Twitter and Instagram. By inviting and following them, I simply let them know our organization was on a social media platform they were using and let them decide if they were interested in our content since I am well aware that my generation is easily turned off by overly aggressive marketing and social media accounts.
I have built up an audience 54 followers on Twitter and 41 likes on Facebook since September 2015 as well as 70 followers on Instagram since November 2015.
After building an audience, I continued—and still continue—to curate and post content that promotes Sigma Tau’s activities and celebrates literature and writing. On average, I post original content once a day on Facebook and Twitter and post an Instagram photo four to five times a week. I have published over 315 tweets since Sept. 27, 2015; over 200 Facebook posts since Oct. 1, 2015; and over 120 Instagram posts since late November 2015.
I use Facebook’s insights and Twitter’s analytics feature to see what type of content gets the most views, what time of day people view the posts, and how hashtags or tagging people in posts improves the views and likes on posts. For example, I realized that our school has a screen in the student center that displays any posts on Instagram with the hashtag #snapcune. I used this to my advantage and tag posts with #snapcune if they’re about upcoming events or members of Sigma Tau so that more people see the photos and hopefully follow us on social media. I also browse this hashtag feed regularly to find and follow students at Concordia who may be interested in literature and writing but unaware of Sigma Tau.
With this information in mind, I schedule my posts on Facebook and save them as drafts on Twitter, which is more efficient than coming up with a post each day. I find interesting articles and English-related things from publishing houses, writers, and news sources that I follow on social media and then schedule them with an intentional variety so that I do not post longer reads or content on the same subject two days in a row. I also vary the content between lighter pieces like a post about finals week for an English major with heavier content like articles about publishing industry trends.
I plan and save photos to post on the Instagram. Since I am studying abroad in Europe this semester, I post photos of neat bookstores or places of literary importance that I encounter on my travels to give my audience a taste of literature and writing in other cultures and countries.
I occasionally create graphics to use on social media, such as this poster and image to promote our second semester movie nights.
I create events on Facebook through Sigma Tau’s page to promote our activities, such as movie night or the submissions deadline for our creative writing journal. Creating events allows me to promote the events on a new platform other than putting posters around school, announcing it in the weekly school newsletter, and spreading the news via word of mouth.
I began a unique series of posts for Sigma Tau’s Facebook and Twitter: #styleguidesaturday. I wanted to bring content about style guides to students to get them thinking about how they will implement what they are learning about English in their real-world jobs, especially if they work in publishing (which several members of Sigma Tau desire to do).
I also started a short winter break series of Instagram posts under the hashtag #twelvedaysofchildrenschristmasbooks as a fun way to look at some of the books my audience may have read as children and promote the Christmas spirit through Sigma Tau’s book-centric point of view.