Get Off Your Soapbox Already

Red and blue arrow signs surrounded by trees.

One of the biggest problems with social media? The temptation to use tools like Facebook and Instagram—and yes, they really can be tools—as one-way platforms. Many organizations use them as a soapbox to talk to their audiences, not with them.

It’s easy to take to your social media outreach and use it as a place to throw down your soapbox and preach to the people instead of leveraging these systems to start conversations.

But what if there were another way?

Sure, social is a great place to get your message out there. But you can build on the momentum you create by pivoting away from being a talking billboard and toward a two-way connection.

Build new relationships and engage with your followers—and followers of your followers! Have actual conversations with people.

Begin slowly at first by replying to others’ posts, or comments within groups. Use the same hashtags your community does to broaden your reach.

Start following those hashes and individuals who help spread the word about your organization, then make sure you are starting authentic conversations with others who are passionate about your mission.

Here’s an action item to get you started: Go back to the last 5 people who followed your account and ask them an authentic question. See how that can spark a conversation and strengthen that budding relationship.

Because when you just spew your message online without engagement, you can lose impact and followers. (If you have ever been in a one-way relationship you know how weird it can be.)

Don’t let your social accounts fall into that trap.