Social Media Presentation at the Volunteer Administrators Network Conference
The VISTA team was invited to present on social media at the 2012 VAN Conference on June 22 at the Lynnwood Convention Center. The theme of the conference was “Embracing Change,” a timely focus. There was a packed room for our presentation, entitled “Volunteers & Social Media: Boost Communication and Build Community.” Click through for a full re-cap and the presentation slides...
The VISTA team was invited to present on social media at the 2012 VAN Conference on June 22 at the Lynnwood Convention Center. The theme of the conference was “Embracing Change,” a timely focus. There was a packed room for our presentation, entitled “Volunteers & Social Media: Boost Communication and Build Community.”
Many organizations already know how to use Facebook and Twitter or have a basic understanding of social media, but it can be a challenge to use it strategically. The presentation was designed to provide a brief introduction for newcomers to the social media world and to provide tips and guidance for the seasoned veterans in the room. The presentation covered:
- An overview of social media, including statistics
- Strategies to select a focus for a volunteer program (community building, storytelling, or information hub)
- Tips for better engagement with volunteers using Facebook and Twitter
- Ways to measure “return on engagement”
Social media for volunteer management
Nonprofit volunteer administrators can take advantage of free tools such as Facebook and Twitter to find creative ways to engage with their organization’s volunteers. Whether seeking to attract new volunteers or acknowledging current supporters, social media channels can play an important role in boosting communication and building community with nonprofit volunteers. Here are our 6 tactics for better engagement:
- Make it easy to help.
- Ask questions and elicit responses.
- Acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge.
- Be responsive.
- Be human.
- Make or share interesting content.
Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are providing new ways to engage with a different demographic of nonprofit volunteers. Websites allow organizations to show impact and connect with constituents in visually appealing and creative ways.
The Oatmeal thanks a donor on Twitter with a hand-made cartoon
It is impossible to measure “return on engagement” for social media outreach if there aren’t strategies in place to collect information about engagement efforts. Some types of information are easier to quantify than others, such as counting the number of “likes” your organization has received from online fans or referral traffic from other websites.
Influence is harder to evaluate, and includes things like requests to re-post your content and invitations for you or your staff to write guest blog posts. Sentiment involves the general tone of user-generated content on your social media channels.
Helpful tools for measuring return on engagement for volunteer management are the sames we recommend for other forms of nonprofit outreach:
Interested in more free tech trainings?
If you didn’t make it to the social media for volunteer administrators training or would like additional information, here are some relevant training seminars we’ll be hosting in the near future:
- July 11 - Google Analytics Brown Bag
- July 18 - Search Engine Optimization
- July 25 - Social Media Intermediate Level
- August 1 - Facebook 101
If you’re looking for the slides from the VAN Conference presentation, head over to our Knowledge Center.
- Elissa Thomas