I began volunteering as a Social Media Officer for an NGO called Chrysalis Community Drug Project at the end of February 2021. Chrysalis is an organisation that helps and supports people who are trying to overcome addictions of any kind. Chrysalis believes
“…that everyone living with problem substance use should be empowered to fulfil their full potential & have access to the same opportunities & rights as others.”Quote taken from Chrysalis Community Drugs Website : https://chrysalisproject.ie/
I began volunteering for two reasons. The first reason is that I love volunteering and I have done quite a lot of it over the years. Secondly, I wanted to get some experience working as a Social Media Officer. Since late February 2021, I have posted updates every weekday on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Chrysalis already had a social media presence on both Facebook and Twitter however without a dedicated person who was posting content daily since October 2020, there hadn’t been much engagement or many new followers. Also, they hadn’t created an Instagram account at that time, so this was done on February 19th. Here is a run down of what happened since then.
On February 19th Chrysalis Community Drug Project’s had the following:
- Twitter: 430 followers.
- Facebook: 930 followers
- Instagram: 178 followers on the first day of its launch before I posted anything.
Each Monday after that, I checked in with a member of staff from Chrysalis to discuss what topic I would cover that week on Social Media. We decided to firstly focus on different types of of drugs e.g. Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, Cannabis, Heroin, and Alcohol etc…. After that I covered topics like ‘Dual Diagnosis‘, ‘Mental Illness‘, ‘Gambling‘ and other subjects. For February, March and most of April, I dedicated an hour and a half each week day to researching articles, finding appropriate photos and learning to use Canva. This level of work and dedication was reflected in the increase in the followers, and engagement. Also, I suggested the uploading of video content for ‘International Woman’s Day‘. This worked extremely well and increased followers and engagement massively. Additionally, I engaged a lot with followers, by replying directly to them when they posted comments and engaging with their pages also. This worked particularly well for Instagram. Unfortunately, towards the end of April and the first two weeks of May, life became quite stressful and I did not have the time to dedicate 1.5 hours daily to Social Media. This was certainly reflected in the analytics. While the all three platforms continued to gain followers, unfortunately, profile visits decreased on twitter, some people unfollowed the profile on Instagram , which seems like an extreme thing to do to an NGO. On Facebook, while overall reach increased, engagement dropped. On May 9th Chrysalis Community Drug Project’s has the following:
- Twitter: 505 followers. Up by 75 followers.
- Facebook: 993 followers. Up by 63 followers.
- Instagram: 335 followers. Up by 157 followers.
The results can be seen in the Infographic. These analytics were taken in the 40 days – from the middle of April to May 9th. The “moral of the story” is that if you are trying to attract and grow your followers on any platform, you absolutely have to put time and effort into it. The more you put in, the more followers you attract and the more engagement happens. What you post doesn’t have to be groundbreaking research or anything like that but it must be something that your target audience will want to look at and engage with. The shorter, catchier and more aesthetically appealing the better. Remember, we all scroll fast on social media so you have to capture your audience before they move on.
P.S. Video works AMAZINGLY well. People love watching video. They just do. 15 to 20 seconds max. Otherwise, like you and me, they lose interest. We all have incredibly short attention spans these days.