11 years ago, I founded a nonprofit that provides free quality education to children in Tanzania. While I enjoy writing, I didn’t feel equipped to run any social accounts for Toa Tumaini Foundation for a couple of reasons. First, creating graphics for my posts was challenging for me. I didn’t know how to capture or choose a good picture and I had no knowledge of design tips or tricks. Second, while I knew why our mission was important, I didn’t quite know how to translate that to my audience, especially on an ongoing basis.
If you do a deep dive into Toa Tumaini’s Instagram and Facebook histories, our Instagram is slightly less embarrassing because we didn’t join that platform until 2016. I’ve been reflecting lately on the ways our social media strategy and posts have evolved over the years and I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am for the free resources from the Stratos website. I can honestly say that I’ve been devouring Stratos’ freebies (repeatedly) as they have each been made available.
What I mean by repeatedly is that I will download and use them for one month and find myself re-downloading and referencing them again just a few months later.
If you’re anything like me, creating social media content for your business can be hard. I am honestly baffled by the fact that I can sit down and write 15 posts for a client in a day but then find myself staring at a blank content calendar when it comes to my own business. Maybe it’s because we are too close to our businesses that we don’t know what people want to know. Maybe it’s because our brains are already at max capacity with our other responsibilities. Maybe it’s just because our brains don’t think that way. Whatever the reason, I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be that stressful.
Here’s how these free tools have helped me to DIY my social strategy in a way that works for my nonprofit.
I used to write my posts daily. Or worse yet, I had no plan and would just hop on and post whenever I had a free second. This “strategy” (or lack thereof) only led to stress and posts that were mediocre at best. Stratos has taught me to batch my content. Whether I can plan it out one month at a time, which is my goal, or even just two weeks, it saves me time and stress. Sometimes I just batch my evergreen content and leave space to post at the moment when it’s helpful, like when we have a new student or we want to share photos of recent happenings at our school.
Reels vs. Carousels vs. Single Images
I think if I hadn’t encountered Stratos’ resources and guidance, I’d still just be posting single images with captions today. And not that I couldn’t do that. But I’ve learned about the importance of reels and carousel posts and tips for how to make these work for Toa Tumaini’s content. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to keep up with the changes in social media. And utilizing new post options can be overwhelming. I’ve been thankful that Stratos gives tips and shared trending audio for my reels (so I don’t have to sift through the countless reels myself).
Hashtags and Keywords
Eleven years ago, I was barely using hashtags, using them without any sort of strategy, and I didn’t even know what keywords were. Through Stratos Creative Marketing’s resources, I’ve learned more about hashtags and hashtag strategy. I give the words I use more thought and take time to research new hashtags, too.
Topics and Wording
Because I’ve been running my nonprofit for eleven years, I often feel way too close to it to create good content. On one hand, I know our programs and services really well. But on the other hand, I’m often unsure what my audience wants to see. And sometimes I feel like I’m always writing the same things. I often look at Stratos’ 101 Social Media Prompts for inspiration in creating a post or just choosing a topic.
The more I use Stratos’ free resources, the more I want to invest in my social media and website because I’ve seen the difference it can make. I’ve also felt it. I’m already less stressed and more confident when it comes to creating content for my nonprofit. And do you know what else? I’m proud when I see how far our social posts have come because of the things I’ve learned and the resources I’ve been able to use. But as an INFJ and Enneagram 1… I also still see lots of room for improvement (and less stress) and that’s why I’m so excited to join Stratosphere.