If you’re trying to use social media to promote your organization, you’ve no doubt found mountains full of information about measuring and monitoring social media.
You’ve also found almost as many articles about creating “engaging” content.
All this information makes you feel confident, but also a little bit divided.
Monitoring and measuring social media seem easy. After all, it’s a science where data is crunched and jumbled to get a final answer.
But content creation freaks you out because the last time you got praise for being creative was when you gave your mom a clay ashtray you made in first grade.
So is it an art or is it a science?
The short answer here is that every component within a social media strategy both is a science and a art.
Social Media is a Science
Social media is a science for several reasons:
- You can measure the heck out of it. You have the ability to track and measure every single aspect of an online campaign.
- You have access to a huge body of research. Both Razoo and Blackbaud have collected a tremendous amount of data on online fundraising trends. There’s also the Millennial Donor Survey and the Social Media Decision Guide.
- You can read the books. Books like Social Media ROI, Social Media Metrics and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.
So if you’re the scientific type, you’ll find an almost unlimited amount of resources. But these resources can’t tell how to find the opportunities in your data, or how tweak your strategy. You’ll have to rely on your own creativity for that.
Social Media is an Art
If social media was a canvas, people skills would be the paint.
- You create the ideas. YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are just paint brushes. How you tell the story of your cause determines the brush stroke.
- You choose the tools. Knowing how these tools work (both technically and culturally), and knowing which one will tell your story best requires creativity.
- You create the content. You have to know what makes a good blog post, how to do that whole SEO thing, how to create and edit videos.
- You work with constraints. You have to do all this with little or no money!
So if you’re the artist type, you have the keys to a studio Picasso would die for.
But posting and publishing works of art is a waste if no one comes to the exhibit. Knowing so means monitoring mentions and shares, which is kind of a science.