Through social media, members of the chapter see events and memories of their chapter experience, members of the community see how members have spent their time, potential members get a glimpse into sisterhood and others learn about what is most important to the chapter. With so many users scrolling through social media content, it’s important to consistently evaluate your social media platforms through the lens of others.
Evaluating Your Instagram
For example, look at your chapter’s Instagram account. View the 12 most recent posts in the grid. When looking at these photos, what story do these photos tell about your chapter? If an outsider viewed this account, what would they say your chapter values most? Next, click on a few of the photos and view the captions. Do these captions represent who your chapter is? Does the caption point to your chapter and organizational values?
NPC recommends auditing your online presence yearly at a minimum. However, you can do this activity as often as you’d like to. This activity allows space to step back and view the impact of social media from another perspective. If you’re looking to take it a step further, consider asking your new members in an anonymous survey what they thought of your chapter when viewing your chapter’s social media pages before they joined.
You also don’t only have to use this activity on Instagram. Look at your chapter’s Facebook or Twitter pages. Do your posts and captions reflect your values? What is someone learning about the sorority experience and your chapter from your last 10-12 posts? Also, keep in mind that your members or potential members might not be as active on Facebook, but parents are caregivers are. We know caregivers are helping potential members decide to join a sorority or not and we need to be sharing content in places they are on social as well.
Elevating Your Social Strategy
After you’ve evaluated your social media, the next step is to elevate it. The key is to make sure you are always posting with a purpose. Each post should be posted with a specific goal in mind, and not posted just to post something. In thinking of your observations about the values and stories portrayed through social media, what are the areas that need more emphasizing? Does your chapter need to highlight members studying more? Does your chapter need more posts related to philanthropy and service? Consider the suggestions below to elevate your social media to proudly promote your chapter’s purpose.
- Create templates for members to tag other sisters.
- Prompt ideas might be: tag a sister who always supports you or tag a sister who upholds our values. Instagram stories is a great way to encourage this kind of engagement.
- Share stories for a variety of members.
- Include unique and diverse stories of sisters. Think about your sisters who might be joining a sorority later in their college experience (transfers, etc.), who work to pay for college/chapter dues, who might be first-generation college students and alumnae who are finding success after graduation. These are all relatable stories that potential members might connect with and it helps to myth bust stereotypes about sorority women.
- Get behind-the-scenes footage.
- Get footage of members doing the hard work of preparing for a philanthropic fundraiser, organizing supplies for a donation drive, hosting a committee meeting or studying together. Taking action footage allows for an authentic feeling in your social media. It also allows potential members and their caregivers to learn what the sorority experience truly looks like rather than only posting posed photos.
- Avoid solo shots that don’t correlate with your chapter or chapter values.
- While our members may have found a really great spot for a photoshoot, solo shots with no connection to your chapter does little to share what is most important to your chapter. This doesn’t mean to never post solo shots, just make sure they have a clear purpose. Can these photos be an opportunity to recognize a sister for her achievements? Has this member been recognized with an award, internship, outstanding grades, etc.?
- Add in quotes from sisters.
- Think of these quotes as testimonials and reviews. When you are purchasing a product, aren’t you more likely to buy a product with a lot of good reviews than no reviews? These quotes allow others looking at your social media an inside view of what members experience and why they are enjoying their membership. Consider asking members why they joined a sorority, what they have gained from being a member, how sorority membership has improved their life or academics, etc.
- Pay attention to the caption.
- The caption should match the image’s message. For example, if you’re posting good luck on finals, find photos that have members studying together. This allows for consistency in messaging and imagery.
- Ask for stories from recent graduates.
- Have alumnae share the benefits of membership from their perspective. They can talk about the lifelong sorority experience as well as share their success after graduation. Continue to highlight alumnae to show others looking at your social media that sorority membership is a benefit that carries over after graduation and can help you find success.
- Use your headquarter or executive office accounts.
- Gather ideas on posts or reshare their original content to your page. This is also a great way to consider what messages you should be sharing as well.
Gather your marketing team and share your evaluation of the social media accounts. Begin to discuss strategies to elevate your social media content and make a plan to implement your new ideas. You can discover more ideas like how to build a content calendar and design resources by reviewing the National Panhellenic Conference’s College Panhellenic Marketing Toolkit.