Updated 2012: So you're on social media – now what?


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A webinar held May 24, 2012 in Toronto.
For a recorded version, go to http://bit.ly/Lwtj7q.

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  • “So you’re on social media – now what?”A webinar held May 24, 2012 in Toronto.For a recorded version, go to http://www.artez.com/webinars/so_youre_on_social_media__now_what.
  • Presenter: Amy Sept >> I've been working in nonprofit marketing and public relations for more than 12 years – as staff, volunteer or consultant.Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent more time with organizations who are just getting started with social media and I’ve learned that even though the uptake in the nonprofit sector is phenomenal, there is still a lot of uncertainty about it. Some people aren't quite sure what to do with social media, while other people worry about "doing it wrong".
  • There are numerous social networks out there – some are well established, like Facebook and Twitter, but others like Pinterest and Google Plus are still emerging. The social media landscape is constantly in flux.
  • Facebook is the largest social network with more than 900 million users; it's the network that makes itself very hard to ignore.As a side note about Facebook, if your organization created a personal profile rather than a page, PLEASE look at switching over. It's a big hassle to start over, I know, but it would be an even bigger hassle if you found out one day that your profile has been deleted! According to the Facebook rules, organizations cannot use personal profiles.
  • Twitter is another casual and conversation-based network; you can share videos and photos and links, but for the most part they just show up as links.
  • LinkedIn is the big brother of social networks: Launched officially in 2003, it took a while for LinkedIn to find its groove – and it's still growing at a rate of approximately two new members per second.It's great for personal networking, but not as great for getting information out about your organization to a broad audience: Just 6% of users log on daily.
  • I feel I should mention Pinterest because if LinkedIn is the big brother then Pinterest is the super-cute little sister: It launched as a closed beta in March 2010 – and in fact it's still invite-only although it's pretty easy to find someone who can send you an invitation.
  • But you already HAVE a social media account; why am I talking about options?
  • People often ask: Does social media work?Part of using social media to help your organization reach its goals means learning how each network works – you may find another network may be a better way to connect with the people who need your help. Social networks can work in mysterious ways, but they are not magic: This isn't one of those "build it and they will come" things. It doesn't matter if 900 million people use Facebook if the people you need to connect with are, for example, too concerned about their personal information to join.
  • Which brings me to this: When you're already ON a social network, what do you do next?Take a moment to think about everything that’s going on within your organization. What can social media do to help? How does it fit? It's important to keep that big picture in mind because it will be difficult for your social media activities to have an impact if they're isolated from everything else.
  • Here are four questions for you to consider:WHO do you want to connect with?WHY do you want to connect?WHAT are you going to talk about?HOW will you move forward?
  • Some causes are pretty clear about who they want to connect with: People rally around a particular location, for example, or an individual. But what about issues like mental health or the environment that have very broad reach and will touch everyone either directly or indirectly?Even with global issues, if you try to reach everybody you'll connect with nobody.  Instead, start with a few specific people. Who are the most likely people to support your cause? Who are the most likely people to need your help?
  • Create as many profiles as you need to represent the groups of people who ARE MOST LIKELY to want to connect to your cause. Make them as familiar as you can – some people even give these profiles names.
  • For example, let's say your organization provides support for families living with dementia. This is Joan:She's looking for information – and maybe support. Right now, she just wants information.She's 47 years old, and looks after her parents who still live in the family's house across town; she's concerned about some memory lapses her mom has had recently.But Joan hasn't had a lot of time to focus on her mom because she runs her own business and has two teenagers at home.The only time she has for herself is in the evening after dinner. She uses Facebook to stay in touch with a lot of her friends and, since most of her free time happens after dark, she's turned to the Internet for more information about the memory lapses she's noticed in her mom.Do you have an idea of the type of information that might be helpful for her? A list of warning signs, for example. An after-hours information line. Maybe a link to a list of local specialists, or a list of key questions she can ask her mother's doctor at her next appointment.It's easier to help Joan – someone you know and understand – than just saying "Well, we want to connect with people who have a connection to dementia."And Joan is totally made up – but there are a lot of women just like her and even if individual details are different, the general situation and ways that an organization might be able to help her are pretty similar.
  • WHY do you want to connect with these people?
  • Another way to look at this question: How will you know whether you've been successful with social media?
  • Your goals will be specific to your organization, and while I think you should create SMART goals – goals that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely – don't get too focused on the hard numbers. Yes, numbers do count and there needs to be verifiable results to justify the resources that you're putting towards your social media efforts.But I want to try to put this in perspective, because there's a lot of talk about measurement and ROI (Return on Investment) and I don't think that always translates easily to the non-profit world.
  • Think back to the big picture – that collection of everything your organization is working on. Remember that social media can't be as effective if it's left out on its own.People who support your organization are on a continuum, and they may slide back and fourth between phases:Awareness of your causeUnderstanding what you doBelieving in what you doTaking action to support your workKeep those phases in mind as you're setting your social media goals and objectives: If you focus on raising money – an action – but ignore the first three phases, that's going to be a pretty hard ask. But if you use your social networks to share the work you do and explain why it's needed, to educate people about the cause and the accomplishments your organiation has achieved, over time the ask becomes less of a hard ask and more of an invitation to be involved.To join your movement.
  • A report last year from Blackbaud and the Hartsook Institutes for Fundraising cited that “…there is an emerging body of evidence that those individuals who do interact through two or more channels can be significantly more loyal.” I added the emphasis there: Two or more channels! Give people the opportunity to connect with you how they want to and you'll strengthen their connection to your organization. That's powerful stuff! And that's what social media can help you work towards.
  • WHAT are you going to talk about?
  • Social networks are opt in, and while there's room for sharing things that are fun or otherwise interesting, if you're not relevant to your audience they will eventually tune you out.That's why I appreciate this quote from Owen Thomas, who's the executive editor of a tech news site called VentureBeat: "You have to earn your place in your audience's minds every day.“ Figure out what you have to talk about comes back to understanding who you're talking to and what information is useful or interesting to them.
  • Cereal has a bad reputation on social media. I don't know how many times I've heard people say they're not interested in Twitter because they don't care what other people had for breakfast.Most of the time, what you had for breakfast is probably not relevant. But what if you work for an organization that promotes healthy eating? Adding flax to your bowl of Cheerios could suddenly become a great conversation starter. Sharing healthy meals isn't irrelevant if the people you're talking to are looking for inspiration.
  • Make an actual list of Content Items - or what I call Content Buckets. Using a women's shelter as an example, let's say the shelter has three main audience groups:Women who are in an abusive relationship or have left one -- or their children. This information bucket is called: "I need help"People in the community -- who may or may not have a personal connection to the shelter -- who want to get involved. "How can I help?"Then there are those who want to learn more. For example, students studying related subjects, or people who are concerned about someone they care about. "I want to learn more"
  • "I need help" topics might include:Local resourcesSafety planningFinancial planningyou could also add topics like employment resources, childcare information, settingboundaries, and upcoming social activities
  • Under "How can I help?", you could list:Recognition of sponsors, like local businessesHighlights about where the money goes and what community support has accomplishedHighlighting the need in the community through stories and statistics
  • For people who "Want to learn more" the topic list might include:Signs of abuseWhat to do if someone you care about is being abusedThe impact of abuse on adults, teenagers and childrenFor each of these buckets, I would aim to include at least half a dozen different topics.
  • It's also a great idea to write out your annual calendar.When are your: Awareness campaigns? Educational events? Fundraising activities?Take the list of ideas you just came up with and start matching them up with other things your organization has scheduled.This way you can avoid being caught off guard and use your social networks to support the other work that's going on within your organization.Coming up with a monthly topic or theme may also help guide your efforts.Anything you can do now to help spark ideas down the road is helpful! Remember: Leave room for the unexpected.
  • Generally speaking, there are two ways to generate content in social media: You can be a content curator or a content creator. In a ideal world, you will do a bit of both.A content curator is someone who scans relevant information from other sources (news, research, trends, tips, statistics) and shares it.A content creator is a person or organization that creates the information it shares – writing articles that are shared on a blog or website, for example.When trying to find new content to share, ask:What problem does our audience have and what resources exist to solve it?If none exists, is it possible for us to create something to share?What else is our organization doing, and how can social media help promote those efforts?
  • Tracking down content that already exists within your organization can be a challenge. A good place to start: How do you currently connect with your supporters?Chances are you already have a website and a newsletter, but what about brochures? Information that you've used in media kits? Flyers that have been handed out at events?Once you start creating a list, and collecting copies of all this information, you'll find that there is a lot of material available. It may not all be on your website, but that can be fixed and it's easier than starting from scratch!
  • How will you move forward?
  • If you've been working your way through these questions, you'll already have worked through some important issues:You'll know who you want to connect withYou'll know what you're aiming for -- what success looks likeand you'll have a great list of content ideas -- and hopefully a collection of stories and information -- that you can plan to share over the coming monthsNow it’s time for the nitty-gritty details!
  • Think back, again, to that big organizational picture and ask yourself these questions. Also, if you're going to have a volunteer or intern support your social media activity – over the summer, for example -- do you have a plan to keep things going when they're gone?
  • Review your progress on a regular basis. Especially when you're starting out, try not to get too upset if you miss your targets; you have to start somewhere, right? The important thing is that you're working towards something – and you know what that something is. Progress may be slow, but if you can see that you're still moving forward those mini milestones will help keep you motivated.
  • At the beginning of this webinar I said there were two hurdles I wanted to address:One is the feeling of just not knowing what to do or where to startThe second is the feeling that you're going to do something wrongWhere can you start today or tomorrow?List out somecontent ideas and start drafting posts around them.Look for new information sources, like enewsletters.Find similar organizations on the same social network and watch what they do -- what kind of information do they share? Who have they connected with?If you start out with three of each of those, you’ll have some solid information to come back to on Monday morning.As to the fear that you're going to do something wrong:Having a plan to follow doesn't just give you a starting point, it gives you some boundaries to work within.As long as you use good judgement you should be fine.Just be willing to learn as you go, and keep working towards your goals!
  • One final tip if you’re still wondering whether you’re using the right social network: Do a bit of techie research and check your web site's referral sources.Looking through web statistics with one organization, I saw we were getting a noticeable number of hits to our site via Facebook. I figured out that people were creating their own pages for one of our major fundraising events, either creating Groups to coordinate their teams or creating Facebook Events so they could invite their friends to come out on event day.So check – do you get traffic from Twitter? Facebook? YouTube? LinkedIn? Find out why you’re getting those visits and see what you can do to capitalize on it.
  • If you’re looking for more statistics and user information about social networks, here are some links to sites I referenced for this presentation.
  • And that’s it! Thanks so much for participating.
  • Updated 2012: So you're on social media – now what?

    1. 1. SO YOU’RE ONSOCIAL MEDIA NOW WHAT? Amy Sept  Nimbyist Communications Hosted by Artez Interactive
    2. 2. @amysept / @nimbyist www.nimbyist.com
    3. 3. Image used under CC Brian Solis, Jess3
    4. 4. • Casual• Conversation-based• Photos, video, links• Time sensitive• Filtered• 52% of users visit daily
    5. 5. • Casual• Conversation-based• In the moment• 175 million tweets daily• 40% don’t actually tweet
    6. 6. • Professional• Sharing of information• More focus on activities• Just 6% of users log on daily
    7. 7. • Primarily image-based• In the moment• Images can also be links• Accounts for 3.6% of referral traffic – just behind Twitter.• 97% of Pinterest users are women.
    8. 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cverdier/4321365261
    9. 9. http://www.flickr.com/photos/38565413@N03/5086611825
    10. 10. WHOdo you want to connect with? WHY do you want to connect? WHATare you going to talk about? HOW will you move forward?
    11. 11. http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewfield/2306001896/
    12. 12. WHO do you want to connect with? • Connection to organization? • Gender? • Location? • Interests? • Psychographic details (ie what stage of life are they in?) • Preferred social network?
    13. 13. WHO do you want to connect with? • Looking for information and/or support • Female, 45-50 years • Caring for aging parents, teenagers • Entrepreneur • Uses Facebook to connect with friends • Relies on the Internet for information
    14. 14. WHOdo you want to connect with? WHY do you want to connect? WHATare you going to talk about? HOW will you move forward?
    15. 15. We will knowwe’ve beensuccessfulif … http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambiodefractal/503032254
    16. 16. Set realistic targets!Remember >> S.M.A.R.T. goals! http://www.flickr.com/photos/hikingartist/4789352849
    17. 17. WHY do you want to connect? I UNDERSTAND. I BELIEVE. (understanding) (belief) I KNOW. I DO. (awareness) (action) CC: photo by foshydog on flickr
    18. 18. WHY do you want to connect? “There is an emerging body of evidence that those individuals who do interact through two or more channels can be significantly more loyal.” Blackbaud / Hartsook Institutes for Fundraising
    19. 19. WHOdo you want to connect with? WHY do you want to connect? WHATare you going to talk about? HOW will you move forward?
    20. 20. “You have to earn yourplace in your audience’s minds every day.” Owen Thomas, VentureBeat http://www.flickr.com/photos/visionello/4458183538
    21. 21. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonvoyagetohappy/5561851941
    22. 22. WHAT are you going to talk about? “I NEED HELP” “HOW CAN I HELP?” “I WANT TO LEARN MORE”
    23. 23. WHAT are you going to talk about? • Local resources “I NEED HELP” • Safety planning • Financial Planning “HOW CAN I HELP?” “I WANT TO LEARN MORE”
    24. 24. WHAT are you going to talk about? • Local resources “I NEED HELP” • Safety planning • Financial Planning • Recognition of sponsors “HOW CAN I • Accomplishments HELP?” • Highlight need (statistics) “I WANT TO LEARN MORE”
    25. 25. WHAT are you going to talk about? • Local resources “I NEED HELP” • Safety planning • Financial Planning • Recognition of sponsors “HOW CAN I • Accomplishments HELP?” • Highlight need (statistics) • Signs of abuse “I WANT TO • What to do if you suspect LEARN MORE” • Impact of abuse
    26. 26. CONTENT CURATOR CONTENT CREATOR• News • Blog posts• Research • Newsletters• Trends • Website content• Statistics • Brochures• Tips • Media coverage• What problem does our audience have and what resources exist to solve it?• If none exists, is it possible for us to create a resource to share?• What else is our organization doing, and how can social media help promote those efforts?
    27. 27. How do you currently connect? Website? Newsletter? Other?
    28. 28. WHOdo you want to connect with? WHY do you want to connect? WHATare you going to talk about? HOW will you move forward?
    29. 29. http://www.flickr.com/photos/george/3047558085
    30. 30. • Who will be responsible?• How much time do you have available?• Who is ultimately in charge?• How can you integrate social media across the organization? (Hint: Be proactive)• Can you share responsibility to get other departments involved?• How will you respond to negative comments?• How can you promote your social media accounts?
    31. 31. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphageek/233472093/in/photostream/
    32. 32. TIP: Check your web site’s referral sourceshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/gerlos/3119891607
    33. 33. Sources• Photos used under Creative Commons from Flickr.com.• LinkedIn statistics: http://press.linkedin.com/about (March 2012)• Social Media Statistics for 2012: http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/social- media-statistics-stats-2012-infographic/ (January 2012)• Pinterest User Trends: http://iquariusmedia.com/2012/02/pinterest- infographic-user-trends/ (February 2012)• Twitter stats in 2012: http://www.webanalyticsworld.net/2012/03/twitter-stats-in-2012- infographic.html (March 2012) http://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/5423474969/
    34. 34. Thank you! Amy W. Sept Nimbyist Communications www.nimbyist.com 416.619.7730 amy@nimbyist.com @amysept / @nimbyist