Anastasiya Bohomolna | Feb. 3, 2022
Receiving poor-quality service is frustrating enough. But what really hurts is feeling helpless about it. When you have no space to share your feedback, you feel like you’re invisible because it means your thoughts, desires, and needs seem as if they don’t matter–that you don’t matter. Nobody wants to associate with an organization that devalues and treats them like nothing. Therefore, it is essential to use a variety of listening practices to build trust and establish meaningful relationships with the community, and social media plays a crucial role in this process.
As the Marketing & Communications Intern at Feedback Labs in Fall 2021, I’ve learned a lot about using social media to connect people and organizations in ways that benefit both parties. I would love to share three key takeaways from my experiences that could help you implement feedback-related activities and improve the relationships with the community you serve.
- Don’t tell; communicate. The field of communications itself suggests a conversation, but in reality, it is usually a continuous monologue in which only one side has a voice. While you’re frantically researching data about your “target audiences” to find out what they’d like to read about in your posts, what they’d love to see in the images or watch in the videos you share, you fail to turn to the most simple and efficient source of information: the target audiences themselves. Your social media profiles aren’t about you but about those you serve. You can talk all you want about the great job you’re doing, but as long as you keep assuming what your audiences need, it won’t make any difference. Share a post asking them to comment on what they’d like to see on your social media profiles, create a poll, or encourage them to text you their ideas. There are so many ways to learn about your audiences’ preferences firsthand. Use it to share content that truly matters.
- Ask for feedback. Other than figuring out what your audiences want to see on your social media profiles, it’s important to constantly ask for feedback on what is mentioned in your content. For example, if you share a post about an event your nonprofit has organized, make sure to ask the community if they enjoyed it, whether or not they were able to attend it, if they would like this event to happen again, etc. Try your best to ask 1-2 questions per piece of content so that your audiences have the opportunity to communicate with you. You can also use different tools to receive feedback depending on the social media platform. For instance, the emoji slider on Instagram stories is a simple yet effective way for your audiences to share their opinion on something.
- Show your audiences that their opinions matter. When you start communicating with your audiences and asking them for feedback, getting them to talk to you can be challenging. That’s why it’s essential to make them feel like their thoughts truly mean a lot to you. At the end of the day, we work with real people and all of us want to feel significant. So, to begin with, don’t start with asking questions that are too difficult to answer. Focus on the ones that don’t require your audiences to spend a lot of time thinking and typing. When you begin receiving answers regularly, you may move on to rotating between asking a few simple questions to 1-2 difficult ones and vice versa. Secondly, never ignore your audiences’ answers, comments, reactions, messages, etc. Always reach out to those who talk to you and let them know how grateful you are that they’ve decided to share their thoughts with you. Finally, use these insights in your future content. This way you’ll show your audiences that their opinions are important and that they directly affect the work you’re doing.
It’s ironic that many nonprofits who work to create fairer and more inclusive societies don’t bother to listen to the people they serve. I believe this must and can be changed through communications, especially using social media. Hopefully, the strategies I’ve shared will help you become a part of the solution.
Anastasiya was the Fall 2021 Marketing & Communications Intern at Feedback Labs. She helped drive community engagement and assisted with communications, membership, and live and virtual events.
Prior to this role, Anastasiya was a member of AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-run organization. She has also interned at the NGO Young Agents of Change as a volunteer coordinator. Anastasiya is passionate about making the world a better place and changing people’s lives in the best possible way. She has been volunteering with the humane society and local community service committee.
Anastasiya is a sophomore at V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, studying international information and international communications. Originally from Ukraine, she has spent a year in the USA as a FLEX exchange student. In her spare time, Anastasiya enjoys reading, dancing, and traveling. She also plays the guitar and the ukulele and is fond of singing.