Crafting a Mission-Driven Social Media Strategy
You got into this work to do something big. To shake shit up. To change an industry or to create one.
You didn’t get into this work — whatever your work is — to try and decode the latest audio on TikTok or wonder what the hell Mosseri will announce this week on Instagram.
And yet… you know the power that social media has. You know the reach it can give you. And yeah, social media (when used for good) can effect massive change.
But right now, it feels like the tools you’re using are more about chasing trends and headlines rather than creating impact. It doesn’t feel like it’s about your brand or the people you want to support, but rather the platform..
Your mission-driven business is stuck playing into the social media game, and it feels like you’re just making the online space louder and louder.
That’s not very “mission-driven business” of you. The cognitive dissonance is REAL.
What’s more? You’re watching brands that have lost their heart and their human connection for the sake of the quantity-over-quality algorithm, and you don’t want that to happen to you.
The good news? I don’t want it to happen to you either.
The other good news? You can create a mission-driven social media strategy that feels aligned with your brand. Social media doesn’t have to suck the soul out of your brand… when you approach it intentionally.
Here’s what I mean ⤵️
Focus on storytelling
There is one consistent element in all marketing: Storytelling.
Stories create the connection we need – human to human — and it opens the doors that social media desperately needs to work.
If it were just about selling, we would all be spending our time doom-scrolling on eBay and e-commerce sites. We wouldn’t be enticed by the slot-machine-addiction-building that is today’s social media.
We open these apps to feel seen and to feel something. So… storytelling. That’s how we separate mission-driven brands from the herd.
Whether it’s sharing user-generated content (UGC), telling stories about client wins or other folks you may have impacted, or even just straight up explaining the need for what you do, stories sell.
How are you telling stories? Which platforms have features that help you deliver those stories in ways that make sense for you and your audience?
Remember: It’s human nature to get bored easily and our brains are literally being trained by social media designers to crave more-more-more. But your mission-driven brand is about quality over quantity, and that’s where story really shines.
You can easily parse out your storytelling and make it easily consumable by your audience (who, again, are used to this cycle of more-more-more). You can also dive deeper into your mission this way, by sharing pieces of your story more frequently.
And you can keep things “fresh”; not all storytelling is about reading literal wall-to-wall. Switch up how you tell stories — use videos, UGC, testimonials, carousels, graphics, etc. It’s all part of a “less is more” approach to your social strategy.
Stop focusing on production value
Speaking of “less is more,” let’s address one of the biggest questions I get:
“Do I need a super-polished feed to be successful on social media?” My short answer? Only if that’s part of your brand and aesthetics are an important part of your ethos.
In our experience with mission-driven brands, content trumps design. We’re also not investing in super-produced video or imagery; we’re focused on showing a more real, raw side of things.
But how do we do this? It helps to think of it in terms of our social media content pillars.
Pillar #1: Reflecting your audience’s aspirations.
Let’s take snowboarding as an example. You could show someone covered in snow, smiling after their favorite run, or a group of friends on a lift. This is getting people to see themselves in what you’re offering — and it doesn’t have to be perfectly shot or edited images, either.
Pillar #2: Showcasing the product.
In the snowboard example, we’d have pictures of the snowboards the brand offers, the gear, testimonials, etc. Even go far as to show the texture of the board or the material of the goggles. I’d recommend a little higher production value here so you can get into the details.
Pillar #3: Establishing value and credibility.
This is where that storytelling comes in. You can play the long game and show what you stand for. As a snowboard brand, for example, it’s about your mission to get everyone to feel that fresh powder on their face or how your American-made boards open new opportunities for manufacturing jobs.
This is where UGC, video, and real, raw posts shine.
With mission-driven brands, it’s more important to give people a peek behind the curtain, to showcase the humans behind the brand, and to avoid the vanity bullshit that is the social media industry.
So again, let’s focus on quality, not production.
And listen — no one, not a single person, is expecting your brand the most polished or put together. What they actually want to see are the real ins and out of why you do what you do, and to feel like they’re connected to what you’re doing.
That’s it. No ring lights or video editor required.
Drive small actions first
You’re on a mission… but how do you get people behind the mission?
Get them to take action — small action — more often.
Let’s use an example for this one. You’re a non-toxic cleaning company that sells eco-friendly cleaning products.
Rather than focusing all of your energy on trying to get people to completely cut plastic out of their lives or make every aspect of their lives devoid of any chemicals, try and drive smaller actions that fit the bigger picture.
You could do this by encouraging your audience to ditch cleaning products that have ingredients banned in the majority of the world. Or at least just products with one of those substances.
This gives your audience an action that helps them feel a part of your mission and, over time, you build up to something bigger.
Even if you’re a service-based brand or your mission is simply to bring more joy with your products, you can get people to take action that aligns. That builds trust and engagement, and that builds community.
Speaking of engagement…
Focus on engagements and conversations
A little goes a long way. Commenting back, thanking someone for sharing a post, or engaging in convos in your DMs all play a part in humanizing your brand.
While this element of a mission-driven brand’s social media strategy might require a bit more labor than others, it’s vital. This is where a community manager may come in, to help you or the brand prioritize relationship-building.
A community manager can help with comments, DMs, tags, etc. but they can also manage opportunities for reach-increasing partnerships with customers, other brands, and influencers.
This is also how your brand can separate itself from the social media “chaff,” by offering a human, 1:1 experience that other brands just can’t (or won’t) offer.
Create a social media strategy that drives results (while supporting your mission)
You don’t want to lose sight of your goal. You don’t want to just use social media to drive revenue — and you sure as hell don’t want to just play into the algorithm to pad the pockets of our “beloved” social media empires.
That’s where a really strong, mission-focused content strategy comes in. While I’ve shared a few pieces of that pie with you here (storytelling, production value, small actions, and engagement), it still comes down to what you share.
What content should you be creating and sharing to help you share your mission and get seen?
Inside the Content Strategy Accelerator, I show you how to create a custom content strategy that helps you identify the content and posts that will systematically drive increased brand awareness, sales, and loyalty.
You’ll learn how to cut through the noise to connect with your people – even in the most crowded market – on your own terms, with a message that sets your brand apart.
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