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Getting Started

How can you create an engaging experience on social media? Start by sharing your story.

How and Where to Share


The first step in sharing your story on social media is to define your values. A value is something you consider important and worthwhile and can help represent who you are, what you do, and how you do it. Examples include: welcome, community-oriented, dynamic, organic, fresh, sustainable, or culturally-relevant

When defining your values, consider the following questions:

  • How would you describe your team and/or yourself in 3-5 words?
  • How would you describe what you share/offer in 3-5 words?

Then, think of the most meaningful moments in your life, accomplishments you’re proud of, and stories or people that/who inspire you. What words pop up when considering these questions? If helpful, check out the list of values offered here. Select 4-5 that feel most authentic to you.

Your values inform your tagline(s), a catchphrase or slogan that helps define what you do or how you do it. To write a tagline, you can simply list your values or begin your sentence with a verb. Let’s say you’re a community garden that sells its produce. Your tagline could go something like:

  • Fresh, community-oriented, organic from plant to produce
  • Producing with love
  • Growing with your family in mind
  • Farm-fresh from garden to table

Be sure to put this tagline in your about sections and bios of your social media platforms. You can also use it in your content!


Now that we’ve defined our values, we need to define our audience, those on the receiving end of the content you’re sharing. When considering your audience, think about the following questions: Who might be interested in your story and why? Are you speaking to direct consumers, donors, and/or the general public?

Think about what you do and who might be interested. If you’re the owner of the community garden mentioned before, you might appeal to the general public who will purchase your product, potential volunteers, and monetary sponsors. If you’re a life coach or spiritual teacher, your audience will likely be potential students. If you’re a toy store, your audience could be parents of children who play with toys.

Story of Origin

With your values and audience in mind, it’s time to tell your story. As you do, remember to be you. There’s no one out there who does what you do. Start with your story of origin. A story of origin is a narrative detailing the history or genesis of what you do. It includes critical events, influences, and circumstances that brought you to where you are today. What makes your history authentic? How did your project or offering begin? What might people not know that would appeal to them? Thinking of the community garden example, perhaps your origin story is how the garden was founded. Who founded it? Why? What gap is your garden filling in your community? Spend some time writing out your story of origin and the historical markers that are important to it.

After, write out your programs, offerings, and information about your team or self to have it readily available to share on social media. Be sure to include your values in your captions when sharing your story. Example: After living in a food desert as a child, The Community Garden’s founder wanted to provide historically excluded communities, such as her own, with access to healthy, organic produce. In 2022 she launched the garden to provide the public with fresh and sustainably-grown vegetables and hopefully impact the community’s health and wellbeing for the better.
For more on how to write your story of origin, explore this article.

Test your knowledge

What is a story of origin?

Exercise: Values and Taglines

Social Media Platforms

Social media is no longer a place to simply share your favorite photos or videos. It’s now used as a search engine in various ways. Optimizing your accounts and knowing which platforms to use and why can help you become more searchable and reach your intended audience.

When sharing your story use the same handle + profile picture across platforms (e.g. @TheCommunityGarden), and create consistent bio/language in your profiles. Your values and tagline are perfect here! Note: This course only includes what is considered “the big three,” but many of the same strategies apply to platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and X.

The benefits of Facebook

  • Business page can act as website
  • Include hours, ways to book appointments, contact info, services, ways to donate, etc. on page
  • Create a group for your community
  • Polls, Facebook live, events, photos, video, etc.
  • If you’re a nonprofit, this is a great place to launch online fundraisers!

The benefits of Instagram

  • Directly integrated with Facebook. You can post to Instagram and Facebook at the same time.
  • Instagram’s popularity far outweighs other platforms
  • Many folks use Instagram to learn about a business over Google now
  • Instagram reels (videos) offer the opportunity to showcase your personality and tell your story
  • Instagram now offers a fundraising option, too

The benefits of LinkedIn:

  • The “new” Facebook; a rising social platform
  • Can include more information about your organization than other platforms
  • Easy to engage board members + community partners if you’re a nonprofit
  • Link previews are better than most platforms
  • Can post PDFs
  • Offers a newsletter option

Test your knowledge

What are two unique benefits of Instagram?

Content Ideas

Feel stuck about what to share? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Brand awareness: Share your values, your “why,” your mission, vision, and purpose
  • Programming and offerings: Share what you offer, do, and/or sell
  • Education: Share something instructional related to your offerings; for example, the best way to grow tomatoes in your home garden
  • Story of origin: Share about your history and the events that have brought you here today
  • Testimonials: Share a review or positive statement from one of your clients, beneficiaries, or customers—aka someone who loves what you do!

How to Create and Share Content

After setting up your social media pages, it’s time to create and share your content! The breakdown of a social media post is relatively simple: Combine a piece of media (photo, graphic, or video) with a scroll-stopping caption.

How to choose the right media: What are you trying to market or sell, and why? Consider something vibrant, yet simple. Think back to the community garden. If your goal is to sell produce you grow in the garden, an appealing photo of the produce itself, or someone purchasing it from your stand, would be an ideal option for content. Or, perhaps you take a video of the garden itself, with the vegetables still planted, to show how organic and fresh (values words!) the produce really is.

To fit this media, build your caption by following a three-step process:

  1. Start with a hook, something to catch the attention of your reader or viewer. For instance:
  • Did you know…?
  • Check this out.
  • You’ll never guess…

Example: check out what we have on the produce menu this month!

  1. Include 1-2 sentences highlighting the context of your post. This is where you include the bulk of information you’d like to share.

For the community garden, you could list “what’s on the menu” and what makes it unique (or delicious!).

  1. End with a Call To Action (CTA). A CTA directs people to visit a website, attend an event, sign up for a newsletter, or some other specific action. It can also direct people to take action on a particular topic, such as advocating for a cause.

Example: Stock up sustainably. Visit The Community Garden on April 22 from 10 AM to 2 PM to purchase your fresh, organic produce.

Looking at the examples provided, a sample caption for The Community Garden could be:

You’ll never guess what’s now on the menu at The Community Garden produce stand… (HOOK)

…fingerling potatoes! Freshly picked from our garden, our fingerling potatoes would make a delicious addition to any meal. And, as always, they’re organic! Cost is $5 per bundle. (CONTEXT)

Visit the produce stand every Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM to purchase yours. We’d love to see you! (CALL TO ACTION)

Test your knowledge

What are the three parts, in order, of a social media caption?

Exercise: Anatomy of a Social Media Post


Where to find photos and graphics: Canva! Canva is your one-stop-shop for easily customizable graphics and stock photos to make your feed both vibrant and professional. You can easily add in your text on Canva’s existing templates to share and advertise your particular offering. Look for graphics with a similar style to ensure consistency across your social media feeds. If you don’t have a brand kit, choose 1-2 fonts and 3-4 colors to use on your graphics. Less is more!

Here’s more on getting started with Canva.