Gary Vaynerchuk has lots of great marketing advice, but one of my favorite bits is “Document, Don’t Create.” (Spoiler alert: Go to the end of this post to see how I just did this on Instagram!)
Gary says that the hunger to create perfect content cripples you, and yet in order to get the most from social media, you have to share content consistently. Nonprofits understand this struggle more than most, I think.
The desire to get things right, to avoid mistakes, and to please everyone all the time (all unrealistic goals of perfectionists and/or risk-averse nonprofit leaders) leads nonprofit communicators to focus on creating well-considered and vetted content. That takes a lot of work, and time, and leaves your social media feeds lacking frequent, authentic content.
But if you take a look at the rise of Stories, the fastest growing type of content on social media regardless of platform, you’ll see it’s mostly content created relatively quickly. It’s full of in-the-moment, behind-the-scenes posts.
This doesn’t mean that you have to go totally overboard and Facebook Live your entire day. Instead, think of the “documenting, not creating” as a form of microcontent, little slices of life in your work. It’s all about taking people along on the journey and not worrying about the destination.
Need a little boost to get started? Here are three really easy ways to move forward with documenting, not creating, even if you are sitting in a boring office environment and think you have nothing to photograph. You could do these as super quick live streams on your favorite social platform, as a Story, or even as a regular
- What Question Did You Answer for Someone Today? Or What Question Did You Ask and What Answer Did You Get? Do a quick post with the question and the answer. People LOOOOVE Q & A content.
- Quirky Personal Details: Introduce some of your staff or volunteers by asking a quirky question that tells us a bit more about them as people — What’s their favorite workout song at the moment? What did they want to be when they grew up? Or use the question we include in our Mentoring Program intros: Tell us something about you that you doubt anyone else in the group could say about themselves.
- I’m Procrastinating by . . . Yes, go off topic and let people know what’s really capturing your attention
inthe moment. You won’t be alone, I promise!
Listen, I know this isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially for introverts. When I look back on my days, I always think, “Oh, I could have documented this or that!” But as a busy introvert, I just don’t think about it so often
In fact, to show you just how easy this is, I’m going to finish this post by going live on Instagram three times, demonstrating each of these suggestions right now. I’ll share them as Stories. I’ll also save the Stories as Highlights so they’ll stick around a bit longer, in case you aren’t reading this right away. Check them out on our Nonprofit Marketing Guide Instagram (we are @npmktgd)
— remember, look at the Stories, not the posts — and follow us while you are there!
Want more social media strategy advice? I am teaching two webinars on Social Media Strategies for Nonprofits That Won’t Waste Your Time next week.