Wednesday, July 22, 2015

6 Facebook and Twitter tips for your Mpowerment: The Q Austin

or "how The Q Austin added 324 Facebook fans and 73 Twitter followers in two months" by Taylor Stockett @cstockett05 Prevention Promotions Specialist at The Q Austin, Mpowerment Austin, Texas. The Q Austin is a Program of AIDS Services of Austin.

Building a social media presence for your Mpowerment (MP) takes time. Here are several strategies from the Q Austin. These strategies were instrumental to their success as they received awards for "Most New Fans on Facebook" (2015) and "Most New Followers on Twitter (2015)."


In order to truly connect with people online, prioritize your audience (or the audience you are looking to attract) by creating a publishing schedule that features subject matter relevant to their daily lives. Ask yourself, "What would an individual in my target audience appreciate?" For example, The Q Austin's publishing schedule is packed full of promotional messaging for events and HIV testing that are aligned with pop culture, current events, catchy phrasing, and internet memes. They seek out hashtags that are trending and may be relevant to their audience. 

Pro-Tip: Include your Core Group in the planning process; get their feedback and ensure relevancy!

RELATED: The Q Austin: Statesman Social Media Awards (2014) video

Steven, Justin, Marcus and Omar (Clockwise).  The Q Austin | Mpowerment Austin Texas


In addition to using a publishing schedule, carefully curate content. Before many people will grant your project a coveted "like" or "follow" they want to look over your recent posts and make sure your page is worth their on-going attention. Profiles need to be regularly updated (absolute minimum of 1x per week) and topical to the mission of your MP. When you re-share or re-tweet another source, make sure it is not old, out dated content.  The Q Austin has found it especially useful to schedule posts for late night, early morning, and over the weekend. The Q has found it easiest to schedule some posts like for HIV testing awareness and upcoming events for the month and then supplementing them with links to favorite blog articles or trending news. 

The Q-unicorn
Never be shy about asking for the "Like" or "Follow." Everyone you know can go to your MP  fan page on Facebook and invite their friends to like the page. Simply visit a fan page, click the symbol on the lower right of the page banner image, and then click "invite friends" to choose from your friend list whomever you want to send "Like" invites. This method is extremely effective if most of your friends support your project's mission and/or your personal endeavors. If you have already exhausted this option you can solicit a larger following by asking event attendees in person or on an event page for the Like/Follow. 

RELATED: 7 easy ways to increase 'likes' on your Mpowerment Project Fan Page
The Q recently hosted a movie night (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and played a QYoutube produced video prior to the movie, asking for attendees to Like and Follow their page for future event info.  They  then followed up on the event page the next day and reminded participants to do so again. Be sure to, place your Facebook and Twitter info on swag you give participants.  Also, just don’t give your swag away, ask for a follow or like to receive MP swag.


By far the quickest way to see traction is to pay these sites to bring you fans and subscribers. Facebook has made it easy to start a “Like” campaign from your fan page. A nice aspect of the paid ad is you can choose your own price point and start as small as $5 when boosting a post or starting a “Like” campaign. This method of growing your online reach is not organic, but extremely effective for gaining the attention of new people you might not otherwise reach in person. However, you must ensure to narrow the audience by location and interest for best campaign results. Earlier this summer, the Q was able to gain about 150 unique “Likes” via a recent paid Facebook campaign.

Home Sweet Home | The Q Austin


One of the more long term successes you can start working on is building up a group that will continue to engage with your content and share with their own audiences. By doing this, you are able to drastically impact more people than you would have on your own. For example, at The Q Austin there is a group of guys that have started to embrace drag and The Q was instrumental in encouraging them to build   Facebook and Twitter accounts. Now that they have learned how to use these profiles, while in character, they have started building their own audiences and regularly engage with The Q online, sharing   content and creating   buzz online about Q events, testing, and resources.   The Q also regularly engages with other community health partners via Facebook and Twitter and in return has received greater engagement on posts and campaigns.

@GrandmaSteve | @TheAnitaMoment | @jezebel_lee  via @q_austin


You will begin to see that managing your Mpowerment’s content strategy online requires some trial and error. The way to learn from what has and hasn’t worked with your particular audience is to track your reach, and track often. Facebook and Twitter both give you several tracking options. On Facebook it is called “Insights” and on Twitter “Twitter Analytics.” Explore both of these. At The Q, tracking is done daily. However, you may find that an Excel document, regularly updated, works better for you. Do what works for you. The important thing is that you begin tracking now.  Listen to your population. Discover what your audience is indicating should be planned, created, and curated content for your profiles. In the example below, The Q was able to identify that it’s audience is interested in content regarding LGBT history. Because of this, The Q is now planning a series of Gay History events.

Give yourself time to plan, create, and track your publishing schedule, and don’t be shy about asking for audience engagement to build your online community  . If you have a few extra dollars in your budget explore a $5-$20 “Like” or “Follow” campaign and see if that brings you any valuable engagement. Don’t be afraid of failure or low engagement, but learn from it! Success online happens with practice. This list of tips is in no way exhaustive and you can easily do more search engine research. 

Now that we've showed you what we've got - share whatever best practices or strategies have worked for your Mpowerment in the comments below.  I'd love to hear your ideas. - Taylor

Be sure to follow the adventures of The Q Austin on Facebook,  Twitter and YouTube.

The Mpowerment Project is a Project of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at the University California San Francisco (UCSF). 

We are here for you:  Contact us.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to the 2016 Mpowerment Social Media Awards! We're already planning our strategy!