5 Ways to Further your Mission through Social Media
Pacific Continental Bank sponsors a series of Bankers’ Hours workshops about various nonprofit issues, and last Friday I presented on Social Media. While most nonprofits have an idea that social media can play an important role in their communications arsenal, finding ways to strategically plan, implement and measure can still be a bit of stumbling block. With this presentation I focused on using real-life examples from nonprofits to show 5 ways that nonprofits can successfully use social media....
Pacific Continental Bank sponsors a series of Bankers’ Hours workshops about various nonprofit issues, and last Friday I presented on Social Media. While most nonprofits have an idea that social media can play an important role in their communications arsenal, finding ways to strategically plan, implement and measure can still be a bit of stumbling block. With this presentation I focused on using real-life examples from nonprofits to show 5 ways that nonprofits can successfully use social media.
Take your mission with you
While this can be a rather obvious concept, it can sometimes be difficult to actually enact. If your primary motivation on joining Pinterest is “because my board member told me I should,” then you need to re-evaluate your social media goals. One good way to get started with this is the fantastic Social Media Audit, put together by Ash Shepherd, which will help your org take a more strategic approach to your social media efforts.
Tell your story
There are lots of ways to connect with your donors and volunteers these days. The frequency and immediacy of social media means you don’t have to wait until your annual report to share the successes (and failures!) of your year. Often times it is the small stories and slice-of-life updates that gather the most attention on social media.
Local nonprofit, Treehouse does a great job of celebrating small wins and stories.
An important part of any relationship is being open to both positive and negative feedback. Creating a social media page, stream, etc. opens your organization up to receiving much more feedback from your supporters and constituents. While we all hope for the positive kind of feedback, it is also important to prepare for the negative kind. Check out Socialbrite’s post about how the YMCA of Metro Chicago does just that.
There are many ways of increasing engagement on various social networks, but one of the recurring refrains is: “visuals win.” Even if your org doesn’t work to rescue baby goats, elephants and ducks, you too can find ways to include more visual content in your status updates.
For example check out this fun image recently shared by the AmeriCorps VISTA Facebook page.
Get a routine
As nonprofit professionals, social media is often just one of the many daily tasks you need to accomplish; therefore, an important part of maximizing your impact is creating a routine. Three important parts of this are:
- Curating content: My personal favorite tool for helping me find interesting and relevant content to share is through RSS and Google Reader. For more information about how your nonprofit can benefit from using this or other feedreaders, check out our blog post: 5 reasons your nonprofit should be using Google Reader.
- Creating an editorial/content calendar: Having a plan in place that takes into account upcoming events, current campaigns and integrates all your online communication channels is a great way to increase the efficiency of your social media. Shai Coggins of Vervely has a wonderful post on Content Calendar 101: Tips & Tools to serve as a guide in creating your own schedule.
- Scheduling posts: Speaking of schedules, there are many different free apps that allow you to schedule tweets. Just this spring Facebook rolled out scheduling options for all Pages. Planning out a week’s posts at a time can be a great way to reduce your overall social media time commitment.
Ways to learn more
The full slide deck for this presentation can be found over in the Knowledge Center and if you want to pick-up the handouts used, you can find those here. Thanks again to Pacific Continental Bank for this opportunity and to all the nonprofits who attended and contributed such good questions and stories. While our summer brown bag series wrapped up today, make sure to sign up for our monthly e-news to keep up to-date with all future tech training opportunities.
- Abby Nafziger