How To Do Social Media Well – And Save Time! 

12 January 2016  
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Some Questions:

If you nod yes to any of the following questions, then you might be in need of a little help on fine-tuning your social media strategy:

  • Are you publishing all of your content on every platform?
  • Not sure what your objectives are?  Measuring likes, or other vanity metrics?
  • Bamboozle your audience with content when you’ve got big events on?  Leave things go quiet at other times of the year?

This was the case with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland in 2015, when we started to work with them.  Read on to discover how we realigned their social media activities and positioned them to be world class, with less effort…

The Social Entrepreneurs Team Are All Heroes …

They work tirelessly all year round to identify and support social entrepreneurs, and to empower them to bring the kind of changes that makes differences every day to people’s lives.

Worthy work.

And because there were so many things going on at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, it was easy for them to fill up their social media channels. They never had a shortage of content, or things to say.  

But they didn’t really have a plan or a strategy as to to who they were talking to, where, in what style, and how much.


What We Did:

1. Strategy

The first thing we did was engage with the team on the various types of people who SEI needs to communicate with.

    • We ran a strategy workshop where the characteristics of the main types of people who engage with SEI were teased out. Preparation for this included a global look at the sector to see what way other social entrepreneurial organisations engage with their audiences. Some were good. Others not so much.
    • Output of the strategy workshop included

A plan for Facebook

Facebook is a place for telling stories, for sharing the good news about awardees and their achievements, people’s opinions.

Key learning: how to craft the posts using less text, and telling the story with more pics. Use of tags, links and micro summaries. 

A plan for Twitter

As a much more factual place, Twitter is great for sharing links to interesting research, reports on the sector, and to educate the audience as to what social entrepreneurship is, and why get involved.

Key learning: SEI was guilty of mainly sharing other people’s content, or tweeting about sectoral events they were attending.  A focus on posting original links and engaging with all followers, not just social organisations very quickly helped them to become a much more engaging Twitter handle in the social entrepreneurial space.

2.  Email Marketing- not to be overlooked

In many sectors, email retains an important position as a communications tool. SEI had worked hard over the years to build an impressive and significant number of permissions. What needed to happen here was the the communications needed to be streamlined and the software used to manage it all updated.  We recommended on some good marketing automation software.

3.  Content – we did it!

For one month, we took over SEI’s content production responsibilities producing daily posts for Facebook and Twitter, engaging on both platforms, and generally taking a lot of care to test the best days and times for the org to engage on Facebook and Twitter. We learned a good deal about how the users frequent and engage, and once again we confirmed NOT to rely on Facebook’s whale diagram (Insights/Posts/When Your Fans Are Online)

4.  Content – they did it!

Following some direction from us, SEI was able to take over the management of the content calendar to publish stories for Facebook and articles on Twitter that really engaged with the relevant audiences.

  • The gender split on Twitter which had been skewed towards male, was hitting a more balanced 51%: 49% by the end of the first month.
  • Top performing tweets tended to be about SEI talking to people (not organisations) and of course anything to do with events.  People love SEI events, and now that they were using hashtags and tagging really well, this gave the tweets legs.
  • Instead of just publishing a link to an article, they switched a comment on the article, with key people tagged, and relevant hashtags used.

5. Social Media Process

We distilled the learnings into a clearly written instruction manual on how to sustain this.  This social media process document was broken into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that need to be done, how long they take, and could therefore be used to address how they might be resourced.

It’s not enough to simply publish content.  There must always be the background activity going on to make it all look easy: Twitter lists need to be maintained, followers cleaned, reporting done.  It’s a good idea to test different ad formats. And of course reporting:   don’t do anything without knowing what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, and always try to do something a little better.

Where are they now?

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has a well thought out strategy on how to engage with every social media platform in which they have a presence: they know what kind of content to be posting where, how to promote, and how to measure it.

Emails have been streamlined; from a multiplicity of lists and email messaging tools, to a single sign up on the site that feeds directly into the master list.

They have a social media plan that is broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks; they know how long each one takes to complete, so the communications can be managed by one or two people, or shared amongst the team as a collective effort.


Maryrose and her team worked with us over a period of 3 months to develop and implement an efficient way to manage our social media strategy. Maryrose has an energy and passion for social media that is evident from the moment you meet her. Bringing our entire team together in an interactive workshop, she gathered all the key information about the type of messaging we need to communicate across all sides of our work. She then developed persona profiles of our typical audience and created our social media strategy document.

Over the course of the implementation, Brightspark introduced us to new tools and ways of developing our content for all of our target platforms. Maryrose goes above and beyond and was always on hand to answer questions and helps us to rollout the strategy in the early stages.

Darren Ryan, CEO, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Sometimes you can be ‘doing social’ but you’re not really doing it as well as you might. In just a few short months, Brightspark was able to work with SEI to identify their social strategy, test it, and embed it in the organisation with process documents that guide them in how to do it.

If you are the person in your organisation who has been tasked to ‘deliver social’, and it’s all feeling a bit overwhelming, then contact us today and find out how we can help you spend less time on social media, but get more results from it.




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