Image credit: Digital Mums – Kathryn Tyler and Nikki Cochrane, Founders of Digital Mums

Nikki Cochrane: Digital Mums

Nikki Cochrane: Digital Mums

Nikki Cochrane, Co-Founder of Digital Mums, advises Queen’s Young Leaders on making the most of social media

Digital Mums helps mums fit work around family commitments by turning them into the best social media managers on the market and matching them with organisations who need their help. Leading Change asked Digital Mums' Co-founder, Nikki Cochrane, how Queen's Young Leaders can make the most of social media.

Access the short version of this article: Social media do's and don'ts – quick tips for Queen's Young Leaders

How can social media promote good relations between an initiative and a local community?

To get the word out about an initiative in your local community on social media, you will need to do some research.

Identify who your local influencers are online. Then build relationships with them, engage with their content and try and add value to them. Once these relationships have been established and you’ve shown yourself to be a valuable member of their community, you can potentially lean on them for help in getting the word out to their followers.  

How would you vary your approach to network with different groups?

You need to think about how you can add value to each group. Partners, customers and service users all have different needs. And your customer will be a completely different audience to mine, so I can’t really speak generally about what works for each group.

Putting together a single ‘user persona’ (customer profile) that represents each group will help bring your audiences to life and make it easier for you to figure out how to target them. Once you have done this you can think about what content will resonate for them and encourage them to engage with you.

Please share some successful strategies for creating a successful social media campaign

This requires preparation. Choose a catchy hashtag – for example #queensyoungleaders – and share it with everyone involved in the project. Create a build-up. You could even do a 10-day countdown, sharing little bits of information each day.

Add the hashtag to your emails and marketing materials and let people know this is the hashtag for the event or project.

Put up a share button on your website so everyone who’s attending your event can let others in their network know. Get your audience and customers talking about you to their friends and followers.

How can you use social media to get traditional, mainstream media – press and TV – interested in your project?

Build relationships with public relations (PR) contacts before the launch of a project. Give them an exclusive on what’s happening when. Remember they have hundreds of press releases sent to them each week, so don’t depend on this to achieve your goals.

Use Reddit. It’s a bit of a forgotten social network, but it’s extremely popular. A lot of journalists look for news stories there. If you post something interesting about your project and get some interest there, you may get picked up by a journalist. Obviously you’ll need a great hook to interest the press.

However, be careful. Reddit users can be unforgiving to anybody who seems too self-promotional and spammy. Tread carefully as the backlash for not following their guidelines can be bad!

Tell us about a really good social media campaign and why it was successful?

Cancer Research UK’s #NoMakeUpSelfie was one of the most successful campaigns ever. It raised more than £8 million in less than a week and got tons of TV and press coverage.

Technically, it was successful because it had an easy, yet powerful, call-to-action, which struck a chord with women all over the world.

But the real reason why it was successful was because it was not thought up by the national charity – it was the brainchild of a teenage mother which went viral!

The lesson here is to involve your audience as much as possible in your campaigns. Too often you think about what they’d like, but sometimes asking them or involving them can be much more powerful.

Which social media platforms work best for which audiences or purposes?

Before you decide what platforms to use, there are a few important questions to think about first.

Who do you want to reach?

Think about your audience’s demographics: gender, age, income levels. You are more likely to find a younger audience on Snapchat and Instagram. Early adopters of technology can be found on Twitter and G+.

What’s your end goal?

To drive traffic to your website? Build brand awareness? Pinterest drives more online sales than any other social network and 80% of their users are female. If you are marketing to mums you would definitely have a presence on Facebook.

What type of content do you plan to share? Video content for example would sit best on YouTube, Vimeo or Vine. Image based content would sit on Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.

After figuring out who your audience is, what your objectives are and what content you want to focus on, then you choose your social media platforms accordingly.


What should you consider when choosing who to follow or friend?

This depends on your objectives. Do you want to build a relationship with this user or do you love the content they share?

If you want to build a relationship, we recommend engaging with them before following them. Do this in exactly the same you would when you meet someone in person for the first time. Be generous. Be a good listener. Add value to the conversation.

Remember social media is about engagement, not self-promotion. We wrote a blog on this very topic.

And if a user is producing great content that might add value to your feed, add them to a Twitter list and separate these users into curated content lists of influencers.

What’s your advice on social networking tools?

Tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are great time-savers if you are managing several social media accounts. Tweetdeck allows you to monitor more than one twitter account at a time. It includes an engagement filter to let you focus in on high-profile tweets and cut out the less important ones. It also allows you to monitor key word searches. We love it at Digital Mums!

Social media do's and don'ts: Quick tips for Queen's Young Leaders