Tips to boost your audience engagement!

Stormwater outreach can easily get set to the backburner and lost in between the operational day to day tasks. It can be difficult to plan and implement a well-rounded and informative stormwater pollution prevention campaign. Capital Strategic Solutions is well versed in all things stormwater and can assist in crafting a social media strategy that will expand your online outreach. Our experience in the field can shed some light on useful tips for a successful stormwater pollution prevention outreach that reaches a wide array of community members.

Covering the Basics

First things first, any social media campaign should have a steady flow of new content to push. Even if the information of your campaign remains unchanged, formatting it in new and creative ways ensures that your information will reach a wider audience. Your base of information may seem limited, but the practice of creating a content creation schedule will force you to examine different niches of your messaging and discover new ways to engage a wider audience. It may at first seem more efficient to only post content that has compiled all the relevant facts you want to disseminate. While this practice can serve as a useful master document to refer to, effective outreach needs to be rigorous and evolving, expanding on established content. For example, a large portion of stormwater education for residents pertains to managing the water runoff generated from their home. It may seem faster to have all your content put into a fact sheet that is then posted and re-posted as many times as necessary. However, sharing the same thing over and over isn’t going to expand your outreach. Instead of only re-sharing a compiled fact sheet, break the information up into themes and topics, like lawn and garden care, or home improvement. From there you should create content regularly that focuses on the individual tips like rain gardens, rain barrels, home sprinkler systems, and redirecting downspouts. Managing your information in this way will make it much easier to build a steady stream of new content and keep your outreach fresh and interesting.

Once you have a system for creating new content, the next step is what that content should look like to be effective. At a baseline level, your outreach content should be clear, accurate, and visually interesting to grab the attention of your audience. In this instance your content refers to two parts, the graphic posts, and its accompanying written text often put in the description below or above. Written text should be clear, precise, and brief, avoid using long wordy paragraphs. As far as graphics go, they should either be a picture of the topic, or an illustrated graphic that demonstrates a complex system. When using text and graphics, different social media platforms each have different strengths. Twitter, due to its character limit, should be used for short quick tips that don’t require complex explanations. The balance of attention between graphics and the tweet itself for twitter is much more even than it is for Instagram. Text posted in the description of an Instagram post is usually automatically minimized or abbreviated unless the user taps the description to read more. Therefore, content posted to Instagram should lean more heavily on clear graphics that integrate necessary text content. Lastly, Facebook is well designed for text heavy content, as it has no character limit, and the text is often presented above its accompanying

Image of stormwater social media outreach

Using the Algorithm to your Advantage

With any outreach that uses social media, leveraging the algorithm to your advantage is key to cultivate meaningful engagement. Along with well-crafted and fresh content, other tips can assist with making sure your content reaches your intended audience. With a topic as specific as stormwater pollution, the goal is to try and bring this niche topic to a broader audience. One tool which can assist with this is the use of hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to let social media platforms know how your content should be categorized and distributed. Stormwater outreach should use hashtags that relate to stormwater, so the core of the messaging is clear, but your messaging should also use broad scoped hashtags to draw people in. Some content should be posted with hashtags like #GardenTips, #Autumn, #ConserveWater, and #HomeRepair so that users who follow those broader topics will be more likely to see stormwater content in their feed. These hashtags can also play to seasonal trends like snowstorms, autumn leaf season, and spring gardening.

Another tip, similar to building a stream of new content, is to use a variety of tones. If all stormwater content is very dry and informative, then it will miss portions of the population who respond better to information that is in a light tone. Likewise, if all your stormwater content is lighthearted, then people looking for serious advice might miss it. New content should use a variety of tones so that it can resonate with the greatest amount of people, and certain stormwater topics play well to different tones. #ScoopthePoop campaigns can target lighthearted spaces online for pet-owners, while Septic Tank information can be more straightforward for homeowners looking for genuine advice. Making a conscious effort to tailor the tone of messaging will ensure that different niches of your internet audience will be more likely to respond to your content.

Image of Searching Social Media on a Phone

It can seem daunting to try and jump into a persistent social media campaign on multiple platforms, that’s why understanding your tools is so important. These tips for a successful Stormwater outreach campaign can be applied to other outreach programs once they are fully understood. Starting with a plan to keep your media content fresh, seasonal, clear, and steady will create a strong base on your platforms for any future outreach campaigns.