Getting heard above the noise: making effective use of social media

23rd-25th June

On 23rd June, we hosted a three-day social media workshop that sought to give patient groups the experience, confidence and skills needed to fully utilise the power of social media.

Knowing that patient groups are already on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we wanted to help expand their knowledge of these platforms (and others) so that they could get the most out of their social media messaging, campaigns and goals. With help from our four fabulous speakers, we got to grips with social media and learned how to get heard above the noise!

Overview

Our three-day workshop kicked off with Philip Saich, Managing Director of Postscript, and Jack Stevens, a Videographer & Photographer at Cookie Cut Media, who walked us through what social media is and which platforms are used to raise awareness by organisations. We learned which social platforms appeal to what audience, and examined some new, emerging platforms, such as TikTok, that are garnering interest and attention.

On day two, we went a step further and learned how to craft an engaging, emotional message on social media. Andy Milligan, Co-founder of the Caffeine Partnership, demonstrated the benefits of delivering one clear, consistent message on social media and stressed the power of storytelling to build up an emotional relationship with your brand. His presentation proved that emotive messages get remembered, shared and motivate people to take action; all of which are crucial to amplifying a message.

Sue Keogh, Director of Sookio, closed the show on day three. Sue taught us how to plan and run an effective social media campaign, putting everything that we learned throughout the workshop into practice. She eloquently defined what a social campaign was and discussed when you should look to run one. Sue took the time to highlight the three core components of a social campaign and demonstrated how to tailor a campaign to a target audience. She addressed how to set and define your campaign goals and shared her talent for effectively measuring the success of campaigns with quantifiable metrics from Google Analytics and platform insights/analytics, such as reach, engagement and number of new followers.

Although we couldn’t be physically together for this workshop, we got to collaborate with our peers through Zoom, interactive polls, discussions and virtual breakout sessions. Our speakers did an amazing job educating and empowering us during this workshop, so we thank you and them for making this event such a massive success!

Philip Saich - Managing Director, Postscript & Jack Stevens - Videographer & Photographer, Cookie Cut Media

Industry experts, Philip and Jack, kicked off our three-day social media workshop by helping us get to grips with social media. Philip and Jack began the day by walking us through not only the benefits and drawbacks of social media, but also the benefits of each social platform. It was clear from the start that understanding the role social media plays in an organisation was just the tip of the iceberg, so we quickly delved into the heart of the matter to discover more!

Once we received a high-level overview of the pros and cons of social media, Philip and Jack introduced us to the different social media platforms. We discussed the unique selling points (USPs), rules, target demographic, format and media types found on popular platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram, and even touched on the best times to post on each. Jack and Philip didn’t allow us to stop there either, as they further encouraged us to harness the power of Snapchat and TikTok; the latter of which is a relatively new platform that’s demanding attention.

To close the session, Jack and Philip reviewed the dos and don’ts of social media and discussed proper social media etiquette, including how to handle negative comments and conflict. We even learned how to utilize Canva to make our very own graphics for social media, which are professional, engaging and unique! We couldn’t appreciate Philip and Jack’s contribution more, so thank you both for making day one a huge success!

Andy Milligan - Co-founder, Caffeine Partnership

Day two was brought to us by one of Findacure’s talented trustees, Andy, who built upon Philip and Jack’s previous social media insights. Andy showed us how to craft strategic content on our social media platforms so that we can build a strong, unified brand.

Andy understands that the charity sector is extremely emotional, powerful and multi-faceted, which is why his presentation focused on the benefits of delivering one clear, moving and consistent message on social media. Brands want people to say consistent things about them when they aren’t in the room, so he encouraged us to identify three values that we’d like people to associate with our patient group when we aren’t present. Andy stated that strong stories which build up an emotional relationship with a brand is key, because that emotional tie is what motivates people to take action; whether that be to donate, subscribe or drive research.

Andy also mentioned that there should be a connection between what you say and what you do. He encouraged us to identify the simple story we want to tell clearly and consistently, and urged us to never lose sight of our original purpose or mission along the way. He was adamant that we kept our sense of urgency and passion in our communications, because that is what will create a powerful, emotive brand, giving people purpose and opening the door to conversation.

Arguably two of the biggest takeaways from his session was The Rule of Three (people tend to remember things in threes) and The Rule of Five (slogan or taglines should be five words or fewer). In the end, Andy said it best: the message is the money. Get the message right and the money will follow!

Sue Keogh - Director, Sookio

On Day three, the brilliant Sue Keogh joined us to help tie together everything that we learned so far during the workshop. Sue’s presentation focused on the art of planning and running a successful, engaging social media campaign, and included many topical examples to highlight her insightful points.

Before diving in, we first had to define what a social media campaign was and identify the appropriate time to run one. From there, we determined the three core components of a successful social media campaign (visuals, text and a call-to-action), and discussed how best to set and define goals for said campaign.

Once we determined what our campaign goals were (awareness, consideration and/or conversions), we quickly discussed the best ways to quantifiably measure them using social media insights/analytics and Google Analytics data. By measuring engagement, reach, number of signups and other key metrics, we learned how to gauge whether or not a social media campaign was successful.

Not only did we learn the benefits of targeting the right audience, but we also learned how to effectively reach that desired audience through a social campaign; either through organic social media posts, targeted, paid social ads or a mix of both. We discovered the effectiveness of paid advertising, and reviewed a wide range of time-saving social media scheduling platforms, which are design to help run campaigns smoothly.

All in all, it was a fantastic day and we can’t thank Sue or our speakers enough. It was a spectacular social media workshop and we’re so happy so that so many of you could attend!

With thanks to