As many of you know, in addition to running my business, I’m a mother of three kids. I’ve always found there to be overlaps between running a household and running a business, which is great, because the things you learn in one area of your life can be applied in the other.
With three kids in school, I often get asked to provide volunteer support to classrooms and parent organizations. So, after quite a few years of this, I have landed on the perfect role for me: social media volunteer. I am now on my second social media volunteer job, and I’ve found it to be the best fit for my skill set, schedule and mental health.
Here’s what I’ve learned from being a social media volunteer.
- Streamline your efforts. With a free Hootsuite account, you can link up to three social media platforms to the same account. So if your organization has Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you can post in one place and it goes to all three platforms. I did this for our Elementary PTA and High School PTSO and it worked wonderfully. There’s also a free app, so you can update while it on the go. (Update: Hootsuite Free is going away on March 31, 2023. Meta Business Suite allows you to update Facebook and Instagram together, but unfortunately that’s it. I will continue to research alternatives and post them here!)
- Schedule posts in advance. Hootsuite also allows to to pre-schedule posts, up to 30 per month with a free account. So for things you know in advance, like events, fundraisers, etc. you can create your posts all at once rather than having to keep up with a schedule or reminding yourself to post something the week of the event.
- Use the Events feature in Facebook. When you’re promoting an event on your page, use the events feature as opposed to a regular post. That allows people to indicate if they are interested, RSVP and get more information. It also shows people that your page is active and regularly updated. For other platforms like Twitter and Instagram, a regular post with “who, what, when, where and why” and a compelling picture will do the trick.
- Share pictures after the event. People usually love to see pictures of themselves and their families, so don’t forget to share pictures of your event after the fact. For Facebook, I recommend setting them up in albums to keep your page organized. For Twitter and Instagram, pick the best two or three and attach them to one post.
- Collaborate with your fellow volunteers. They can be your biggest source of information, content, pictures, news and ideas. Ask them for help, and let them know how you can help.
Let’s face it: my work schedule means that I usually can’t be the one setting up chairs for the PTA meeting or assembling prize baskets for the raffle. But I can play an equally valuable role by telling people about that meeting or the upcoming raffle.
Being a social media volunteer is not only fun and satisfying, but it helps me with a bigger goal: for my kids to know that I am involved, and that I’m doing my part to support them. What better reason is there?