A Word From Your Peers: Illuminate

When you work in public media, creating and maintaining a successful social media presence can be a challenge. Because many social media "best practices" articles are aimed at those working in the for-profit world, we in public media don't always find them helpful. Now enter, "A Word From Your Peers," a new series of social media posts for the system, by the system. For the first post, we reached out the the fabulous April Burcham at KLRU. Here's what she had to pass along:

By April Burcham, KLRU Communications Director

Describe social media in one word: Illuminate

Describe your role at the station:
Director of Communications in the Community Engagement Department at KLRU-TV. My role is to both create events that bring the community together around programming and to let people know about those events and programs. I also support all our locally-created programs and development events. And I occasionally get to produce content like our online arts project and our Women and Girls Lead project.

Describe your social media strategy:
Our strategy is to illuminate our fans/followers about events/programs but also our overall mission of serving the community. People may follow KLRU because of their interest in a particular program or event, but once they are receiving our updates, they can find new connections to our content.

Outside of Facebook and Twitter, what is your favorite social channel?
For work, it's Instagram because photos really do help tell our story in a creative way. Personally (and occasionally for work), it's Reddit. Funny cat pictures!!! but also a good source of news in the local subreddit.

What social media tips should every person in your role know?
  • Schedule in advance. All of us in the PBS system are doing multiple jobs. Scheduling social media early helps make sure content gets out while you have time for meetings and other projects.
  • Tailor posts to the tool you are using. Don't just post the same exact thing on all your social media channels. People are following you in multiple places and the same content doesn't work for each audience.
  • Drive people back to your website. We use social media to gain interest and our blog for all the specific details. We also have embedded video on our schedule page so that you can post a link to a preview that will also give all the times the show airs. This really helps on Twitter.
  • That being said, on Facebook you need to include posts with no links or no images sometimes. These get seen more often in people's newsfeeds.
  • Coordinate with other departments so you have resources to post (behind the scenes details or cool facts that will help people take notice).
  • Try things on Facebook. Testing different times and styles of posts helps you learn your audience so when you have something you really want people to see, you know when and how to post it.
  • Haters gonna hate. There will be negative comments on things you won't even expect to get negative comments about. Don't take it personal. Don't let it stop you from using the tool.