What I Learnt Running Social Media For GDISF

From May 2015 to June 2016, I volunteered as the Social Media Director of GDISF – the San Francisco sister chapter of the Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development.

I helped create their Facebook, Instagram and Medium accounts and run these platforms together with Twitter for over a year.

Here are some learnings and takeaways:

Posting and Scheduling Content

There are a lot of studies out there on when is the best time to post content to get more impressions, and it varies for different platform.

The conventional wisdom for the best time to post are:
morning ( 8am – 9am )
people reading tweets when they wake up and on their way to work

noon ( 12-1 pm )
during lunch break

evening ( 5 – 7pm )
people checking their phone on their way home from work

Engagement increases later in the week from Thursday onwards, peaking around Saturday afternoons. It is good practice to reserve the best content for or rebroadcast them on Friday and Saturdays.

Scheduling Tools

To post the content at the optimal time above, use scheduling tools to schedule tweets in advance.

Buffer is a very commonly used and simple tool for scheduling content.

I like to use my company’s tool Voicestorm to import a meetup event once, and schedule it multiple times throughout the weeks leading up to the event.

Content Marketing

The GDI social media handbook provides general guidelines on what to tweet:

– hyping up a class an event/class the weeks before, the day before, posting pictures and retweeting @mentions during the class, and thanking the venue, sponsor, instructor, TAs etc afterwards

– scheduling more tweets to draw attention to events coming up that have low sign ups

However, there may be periods of time when there are not much events happening after a season finishes. In addition, a feed that comprises solely of marketing material about the organization can be quite dull.

Hence, it is a good idea to intersperse marketing tweets with third party content that may be relevant or interesting to followers and to gain more followers.

Content from Sister Chapters and Partner Organizations

The GDI Voicestorm I created is a great platform to monitor what the main chapter and other sister chapters are sharing.

Retweeting a content piece is a great way to share content and help promote and help raise awareness of other sister chapters and their causes.

In addition, other organizations with similar goals and audience also often share and even create relevant content that are nice to share.

Monitor the social media feed of companies like Women Who Code, Women Techmakers, Skill Crush, Hackbright Academy, General Assembly, and Hack Reactor for ideas of good content pieces.

Similarly, you can use tools like Tweetdeck to make a ‘listening’ list or Voicestorm to create a specific news feed.

There are also other listening tools like Round Team that can automates the re-sharing of relevant content based on specific hashtags and people.

Gaining followers

One good way to gain followers on twitter is to follow people that you think would be interested in you. Crowdfire is a good tool that can provide you with list of people with specific hashtags at a specific location.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 9.15.39 PM
Example of Crowdfire Keyword search for women in tech based in SF

A great time to find followers is after a major women related event in the local area,such as International Women’s Day 2016 in Mountain View.

You can sieving through twitter feed of event hashtags to find people who will either interested in attending future GDI events, or are willing to advocate and share class information with their friends who might be interested.

Thematic Content

Here are some ideas of useful hashtags you can use for contents through the week which can help you get new followers who are reading the feed of these trending hashtags:

Weekly re-occuring hashtags

Trending hashtags and special occasions

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 8.56.53 AM.png

Trending hashtags and especially women related celebrations and holidays ( Grace Hopper Day, International Women’s Day etc) are another great way to promote your content and attract the right target audience.

Marketing Assets

By default, twitter will just show the GDI logo associated with the meetup event in the feed.

I recommend using marketing assets with a consistent color theme to pop up the content piece and draw out important details, as well as help build up the overall brand.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 8.53.25 AM.png

Although Facebook and Twitter now provide .gif support, there’s no evidence that content posts with gifs have higher engagement and reactions.

Gifs seem to be better suited as reactions to posts in comment threads.

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