Your strategy is laid out for social impact. You finally start your plan. Things are set into motion.
One of the most important parts of any business venture is monitoring the venture’s performance. That’s why social impact isn’t something you do and then ignore for the rest of its existence. You check in on it.
Monitoring your solution gives you multiple advantages:
- Gives you data for impact measurement.
- Provides information for data storytelling.
- Informs you and your team on any pivots your initiative needs to make.
Stakeholders and issues can evolve, meaning your social impact solution will need to evolve as well. You can have open communication with your stakeholders to stay on top of what’s happening with the solution and the concern. In today’s world, one of the best and easiest ways to stay in contact with people is through social media.
Social media allows you to collect different types of feedback that reflect a solution’s impact and what stakeholders think of the impact.
What are ways to collect feedback?
Stakeholders are your MVP.
Disclaimer: the Most Valuable Player(s) kind of MVP, not the Minimal Viable Product kind of MVP.
Well, of course they are. Stakeholders are the entire reason you built the solution in the first place.
Now the question becomes: How can you get people to open up?
First, it helps to create a sense of community. Initiatives want to build rapport with the stakeholders since people tend to have more honest conversations with people they trust. Not only are the conversations more honest, but they also tend to be more collaborative.
Second, it helps to give an audience more than one way to connect. Luckily, social media has a few ways for you to gather feedback.
A classic poll brings out specific answers to a question. Polls allow you to narrow down the focus to an exact question, so it’s best for when your team wants information on a certain topic. An audience may also find it fun to see how many other people have the same vote. You can use polls on platforms like on Instagram Stories or YouTube’s Community Tab.
Hashtags are flexible since you can create your own and watch it evolve over time. For instance, you can run a 2-week campaign to create urgency around submissions and then check what posts people shared during that time. Another option is to have your team check the hashtags periodically, maybe monthly, to see what stakeholders posted recently. Social media is practically based on what hashtags you use, so almost any platform will work here.
Short-form Videos (Instastory, TikTok, YouTube Shorts)
Short-form videos are not only great for sharing information, they help you create prompts for people to respond to. When you create short form videos, you can share context around a topic and finish the video with a prompt. Your audience and stakeholders will create new videos in response which serve as detailed feedback from individual perspectives. It’s almost like conducting an informal study about your social impact solution.
You can try to share a survey link when you need more formal information. Survey links are different from polls. A poll is one question at a time and a survey link takes people to a third party platform (like Survey Money) to fill out a questionnaire. For places like YouTube or Instagram, you can add a link in places that are very easy for the audience to get to. A link on YouTube can be in the description. A link on Instagram can be shared in an Instastory or placed in a profile bio.
Using your comments section for feedback can be an advantage, especially if you find a way to organize how participants respond. You could look through all responses related to your initiative and solution, or you can give specific instructions about how to respond. For example, you can:
Ask an either/or question:
Do you like dogs or cats?
Do you think the park has enough trash cans, yes or no?
Ask people for a certain response:
Reply with “garden” if you want a new community garden in the neighborhood.
Drop a “🎨” if you think art and music programs helped you in school.
How to keep track of social media?
Social media has many tools to help you monitor metrics on your social media, but you still may need a human touch. Have you thought of having a team? It may be a great idea for social enterprises to build social media moderator teams.
Having a team dedicated to monitoring social media can help initiatives gather feedback in a more dynamic way compared to one person doing it alone. The size of the team and the strategy depends on the size of the initiative and other factors like how many platforms need monitoring.
When it comes to getting feedback from your audience on social media, you want a team to:
- Monitor what the audience says directly to your initiative .
- Be aware of conversations happening in relation to your initiative.
- Analyze how the audience’s perception and experience of your initiative influences the way they interact with your brand and service/product.
How to Manage Social Media: A Resource List
Understandably, monitoring and measuring isn’t everyone’s best skill. Good news being that since it’s a skill it can be learned (or you can always ask someone with that skill for help).
Do you need more tips on building your initiative’s social media?
You’ll find tips, connections, strategies, and mindsets in this curated list of blog posts all about using social media marketing for social impact.
- Build an Authentic Audience through Social Media Using these 8 Principles
- Build a Community that Involves Audience through Social Media
- What Social Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Marketing Impact Businesses on Social Media
- The Ultimate List of Creative Marketing Agencies Specifically for Social Impact
- 3 Key Methods to Visually Present a Social Impact Concern