Social Media Best Practices for Non Profits


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Volunteering as a social media trainer during my first Seattle GiveCamp on October 2011 at the Microsoft campus.

Co-presented with Karianne Stinson & Ashay Chaudhary.


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  • Do you have?A web siteA blogA Facebook group or a Facebook pageA Twitter accountA YouTube channelPresence in other social media
  • With all of these options, it’s hard to know where to start. The most commonly used channels are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. However, that may not be where your audience is, so be sure to ask them.
  • 1.3 billion given in 2010. Nearly 8% of total donations in 2010 and growing!
  • 65% of all Internet users are use a social networking site. Do your research to know where your audience is and go there.
  • What is your mission?Awareness, action, donors, volunteering?
  • Don’t create a profile, it’s against Facebook terms of service and they could shut you down. Make a page for your orgGroups are great to help build a community between volunteers, board members, etc.Be sure to create an Facebook invite for events, about 2 months before a large event, 1 month before a smaller eventImages are king on Facebook. Photos and videos show up in more feeds and get better engagement
  • Be sure to track mentions of your org, both using the @ and shortener – since you have a limited number of characters, use to both shorten the link and keep track of how many people click throughHashtags are great for tracking campaigns and event promotionTry to keep your tweets to 120 characters or less to allow for easy retweets
  • Video doesn’t need to be produced and professional. Quick, easy, with minimal editing is fine!Be sure to share videos on your other social networks
  • Tell your story and have volunteers and donors help tell your storyShare campaign success stories to thank your donors/volunteers and let stakeholders know how your org is doingAlways have a clear call to action
  • Your website and social networks should be linked to each other and work well together. There should be a consistent message/mission across platforms, but don’t duplicate content. Audience will vary, so tone and voice should mirror the audience and the goal of the particular channel.
  • Before you get started, know what success looks like to you. What do you want to accomplish? What do you plan to measure? Have your goals and analytics in place before you start engaging.
  • The more time you can devote to social media, the more you will engage your audience. Remember, it won’t happen overnight!
  • Plan your content ahead of time. It’s best to plan 1-2 months out. Track what you are talking about so you can see which posts and topics are most successful and engaging.
  • 60% of your content should provide value to your audience THEM30% of your content can promote your org/cause US10% everything else
  • Many social networking sites and tools have analytics information built in, such as Facebook, YouTube and Use these free tools to help you measure success.
  • Use tools like Twitter search, Twitter lists and Google Alerts to listen to the conversation happening about your organization, your community and your cause.
  • A successful campaign will have content across the channels and deliver a clear, consistent message. Seattle Works ran the 21 Fun campaign where they recruited “Aces” from their most engaged community members. Each Ace recruited 10 people to donate $25 or more. They had a YouTube video, a hashtag for Twitter and an overlay for profile pictures on Facebook.
  • Offer a way for potential donors to give online. Facebook Causes is easy to add, but isn’t successful for all nonprofits. 500,000 registered causes but only 27,000 have raised $. Add a PayPal “Donate” button to your website.Don’t forget to give a way for people to mail in a donation if they are wary of donating online.
  • Waggener Edstrom partnered with Jolkona to raise $10k in 2 weeks. Any donation made would be matched by Waggener Edstrom, up to $5k. Both organizations promoted the campaign to great results.If you want to partner with a corporation, as your top volunteers, board members or other stakeholders if they’re company would be interested in partnering with your organization.
  • Wordpress – best option. You can also use Tumblr, Blogger and others. It is best if you use WordPress and host it on your own domain, then you own the content.
  • Create a Facebook event, make it a public event and encourage sharing. Even if they need to buy tickets elsewhere, like Eventbrite, create a FB event and clearly state in the event where to buy the tickets and share the link.
  • Share photos, have a hashtag, project the tweets at the event
  • Be sure to link all of your social networks from your website
  • Good way to build community and let your volunteers or donors connect. Should be secondary to your main Facebook page and for a smaller sub-group of your organization.
  • Be yourself and have a voice. You will make mistakes, it’s okay. Just acknowledge, apologize and move on.
  • Social Media Best Practices for Non Profits

    1. 1. Social Media Best Practices For Nonprofits Felice Lam Ashay Chaudhary @FeliceLam @ashay_c Social Marketing Software ConsultantCommunity Manager
    2. 2. Survey Says…
    3. 3. Online Giving
    4. 4. Define Your Goals and PrioritizeYou can do A LOT with social. What do you want to achieve? • Drive new members? • Build your audience? • Educate? • Expand your marketing message? • Connect with new orgs? • Build relationships with influencers? • Improve attendance at events? • Increase community feedback about your service? • Build relationships with news organizations? • Connect with new donors? • Improve relationship with current donors?
    5. 5. Social Channels
    6. 6. Every 20 minutes….• 1M links shared• 1.4M event invites sent• 2.7 messages sent• 1.8M status updates• 10.2M comments made*Digitalbuzz blog: • Profile • Page • Group • Events • Photos and Videos • Post 3-5 times a week
    7. 7. • Followers: people you track• Following: people tracking you• Tweet: post• Retweet / RT: forward another’s Tweet• DM: Direct Message• Tweetup: Face-to-face gathering• Hashtag: #; used to categorize • @ Replies tweets (i.e. #nonprofits, #FF/#followfriday) • Search Your Org • shortener • Hashtags • Character Limit • Post 5-10 times a week
    8. 8. • 2B videos viewed daily• 35 hours of video uploaded per minute• Broad user age: 18-54• 100M views per day on YouTube mobile • Staff Interviews • Volunteer Interviews • Donor Interviews • Photo Movies • Share on Social Networks
    9. 9. Blog• Journaling• Training• Updates• Best Practices• Testimonials• Peer Support• Solicit ideas/info• Announcements • Personal Stories • Campaign Success Stories • Clear Call to Action • Post at least once a week
    10. 10. YouTube Blog WebsiteTwitter Facebook
    11. 11. Set Realistic and Measurable Objectives What to look for: • Fan growth? • Community interaction? • Number of new donors? • Outreach to people on Twitter? • Number of blog posts about your organization on other blogs? • Number of site visits from social? • Number of messages sent per week? • Number of comments made per week? • Number of RT’s? You’ll only learn if you’re meeting your goals if you measure what you’re doing!
    12. 12. Best Practices
    13. 13. Time Required According to Beth Kanter, nonprofit social media expert • 5 hours/week to start listening • 10 hours/week to participate • 10-15 hours/week to generate buzz • 20+ hours/week to build community • (At least) 3-6 months until you see results
    14. 14. Editorial Calendar
    15. 15. 60-30-10 model Other types of messages 10% Traditional 30% Communications and Fundraising Messages 60% Sharing resources from 3rd parties, adding value (tips/tricks, news, etc.) for the community, getting insight into what they want from the brand
    16. 16. Analytics
    17. 17. Listen
    18. 18. Campaign Across Channels
    19. 19. Online Donations
    20. 20. Partner with Corporations
    21. 21. Free Blogging Sites
    22. 22. Facebook Events
    23. 23. Event Promotions
    24. 24. Social Buttons
    25. 25. Facebook Groups
    26. 26. Be Human
    27. 27. Questions?ASHAY CHAUDHARYme@ashay.me
    28. 28. Resources • Slideshare: • Connection Café blog: • Beth’s Blog: • NTEN site and blog: • Technorati: • Techsoup: • Non-profits on Facebook:!/ nonprofits?sk=info • Twitter Jumpstart: • Idealware Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide : http:// decision- guide • Google for Nonprofits: • Bitly: • PayPal: • LinkedIn for Nonprofits: • YouTube for Nonprofits: • Nonprofits on Twitter:!/nonprofitorgs • Pew Internet: