We met and interviewed Sam Carty, EU Project Specialist of Momentum Consulting and winner of Social EU Award for Best Editorial Plan.
WeRin project wins the #SocialEuAward for the Best Editorial Plan. Do you use tools to have monitored and have control over the contents and posts on social media?
We plan our posting content one month in advance, but have a longer term overview of the timing of the release of our resources. We use both Indesign and the graphic design tool Canva to create attractive templates for our social media posts on Facebook and Twitter. With it, we can create different formats with high quality designed and branded images, videos, infographics, and multi-image carousel posts. In addition to partner photos we use many sources of free stock photos and videos online to boost our visual content. Brand consistency if very important to us.
In terms of tracking, we keep a simple rolling record of the type of posts we are creating so we can vary our posts but also track the reach performance of what has been posted previously – what have our followers most engaged with. We normally post twice a week and actively engage with the WeRin project partners and supporters on the remaining days while monitoring the WeRin hashtag.
You decided to disseminate your project on LinkedIn and Twitter. How do your organization and the whole partnership choose which social network to use to disseminate your project?
We chose to promote the WeRin project on LinkedIn and Twitter by focusing on the benefits of each channel. For Twitter we wanted to have continual conversation and create individual connections with our target audience in a quick and easy way. For LinkedIn it is to connect strategically and network on a professional level to build key relationships and engage our target audience and networks e.g. HEIs, female entrepreneurship networks. Being on both platforms helps drive traffic to our project website: We R In (werinproject.eu), share our content easily and stay up to date with news relevant to WeRin.
One of the merits of winning this award was thanks to the constant posting and always respecting the visual identity of the project. Do you think that post using your visual identity adds value to the profile?
Visual identity is very important for WeRin. Having a distinctive logo and brand guidelines to work from has ensured that we have consistent brand usage across our social posts. At the very beginning we created a brand manual and trained partners in the consistent use of the brand, the colour palette and fonts used and we created a set of templates for consisteney. These designed templates have been well received by our target audience. With only minor changes we tend to stick with these formats to create instantly recognisable posts that have a familiar look and feel. Statistics show that posts and tweets with images and videos receive more engagement than text only posts, so we try to use eye catching images, videos, or gifs to catch readers’ attention.
Talking about posting on social media, how do you manage the project editorial plan? Do you think it is important to control statistics to adjust the editorial plan to have better results?
It is important to know what resonates with your target audience and track the engagement on your posts. At first, we had to grow our audience from scratch and present the WeRin project on LinkedIn and Twitter in such a way that the audience had the chance to get to know WeRin and learn about the project overall. Once we created that awareness and started to grow our followers and their knowledge, we could engage with them on a deeper level. We presented some of the key elements of the WeRin project such as planned activities and the individual project partners – tagging them into our posts and sharing their Twitter and LinkedIn handles. This in turn generated more retweets and shares which we can track with usage data on both social channels to see what posts work better than others and factor this into our posting schedule.
Can you give some tips to other Project Managers on how to choose the right social media for project dissemination and how to set up a feasible editorial plan?
To firstly understand, which channel is most used by your target audience, what are the nuances of each social media channel and then choose the right social media channels. Allign the channel with the project aims are and who the target audience are. It is vital to understand and know your target audience inside out. This allows you to take a precise, tailored approach with your marketing efforts and chose the social media platforms that best suit their demographic profile. Do less channels and do them well. It is also important to keep in mind your resources and whether you will have enough time to create different content for multiple channels. Creating a social media kit from the outset with your social media strategy, guidelines and plans will enable all partners to take part in the sharing and promoting of the project. They will have a greater understanding of the importance of liking, sharing, using hashtags, tagging, and including photographs with their content to support their dissemination activities. Finally, it might seem like a contradiction, but it is necessary to find a balance between being creative and consistent with the type of content that you post to establish your project’s brand personality.