Tasnim Siddiqa Amin shares insider tips on how to use social media at a professional level

I am currently working at Stratford Circus Arts Centre as a Creative Learning and Marketing Intern. Early on in the internship I was asked to live-tweet an event from my personal account and put together an Instagram story for a show we were promoting. For those who are already social media savvy you might think you don’t need to read this article. But unless you’ve used social media in a professional capacity before, I do believe these tips will be useful for anyone interested in promoting an event.

Preparation

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I’d like to give you a bit of context:

In my first week at SCAC I attended a social media training workshop with my marketing team. The workshop leader sought to aid us with defining our distinctive tone of voice and then, to learn how to implement this in our marketing. Tone of voice is crucial because there aren’t many hard and fast rules in social media marketing. Every time we tried to come up with one, there was a counterexample from a popular twitter account. That’s because your marketing will hugely vary according to your organisation’s brand and audiences. What works for Greggs (sarcastic and funny) won’t be effective for a brand such as Innocent (wholesome and health conscious).

So, before you begin with a generic post for your followers, think about who you are trying to target and how your language is immediately attracting interest from one kind of audience, and whether it is alienating another. For example, the event I was trying to promote was a play called Messiah: a biographical story of the famous black panther Fred Hampton. One approach would be to paint Hampton as a victim:

“Come and bear witness to the terrible injustice inflicted upon Fred Hampton, assassinated at the tender age of twenty-one. His story deserves to be heard.”

Or I could paint Hampton as a hero.

“Come and see our play about the charismatic #BlackPanther Fred Hampton. This is a story about #blacklove at the heart of a civil rights revolution.”

The first might put off audiences who are seeking to be entertained more so than educated. While the second ticks both boxes. Also, note how the second caption is overtly political which will attract ‘woke’ audiences, whilst potentially alienating those who are unsympathetic to a positive portrayal of the Black Panther party.

Another way in which you can prepare is to take a look at previous Instagram stories by your organisation as its best to stay consistent. Wildly different styles can confuse viewers. This is also useful to give you an idea of what your manager is expecting from you. Having said that, don’t be afraid to be creative!