Intro to Social Media for Non-Profits


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An "Intro to Social Media" presentation I made for K3C Community Counselling Centres as their Social Media Developer.


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  • This slideshow will provide an overview of some popular platforms and give examples of non-profits using them successfully.
  • Social media is any web-based or mobile technology that turns communication into interactive dialogues. These are some of the most popular out there. For classification purposes, I tend to think of social media as falling into two broad categories: those whose purpose is to enable social networking (your profile is dominant, most users comment and interact with content to learn about each other), and those whose purpose is to enable social sharing (the content is more important than who is sharing, so video hosting or photo hosting sites). There is a lot of overlap and none of these fall purely into one category or another, but that’s one way to think about how you can best use social media.
  • Although social media is thought to be quite young and popular amongst youth, popularity is growing amongst older users. Social “networks” tend to be especially popular amongst older users – for getting back in contact with older friends. Social “sharing” and online communities tend to be more popular amongst younger users.
  • Facebook is the most popular of the social networks and its users tend to spend the most time on it. Facebook has different features for organizations/businesses vs. personal pages, which sets it apart from other social networks that do not differentiate between types of accounts and features for each.
  • Social media can be used to interact with your community – HIV/AIDS Regional Services
  • Twitter users tend to spend less time on it compared to Facebook, but Twitter is meant to be faster, for quick updates, rather than hours of browsing and interacting.
  • Social media can be used to start a conversation, update your clients, and much much more! – Sexual Health Resource Centre
  • Personal blogs tend to be stand alone websites or hosted on services such as Tumblr or Wordpress, whereas blogs for organizations tend to be embedded on their already existing websites.
  • Embedded blog on The Salvation Army’s website – note that the blog integrates other forms of social media.
  • Great example of “sharing” social media: although there’s an interactive component of Youtube (users can comment, like, favourite videos, in addition to uploading their own), Youtube’s real power is from videos embedded on other websites and other social media. Youtube is a content tool (same with Vimeo). Since Youtube is so popular, it is very possible for your video to be lost amongst other videos, especially if not tagged appropriately.
  • Social media can be used for very large scale campaigns – Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” is an example of a Youtube campaign that went viral on Facebook (in coordination with Facebook events) and Twitter
  • Flickr is another great example of “sharing” social media. Flickr basically provides the “photo album” feature that Facebook users will be familiar with, but with higher resolution photos that are searchable by tags.
  • Social media can be used to update your donors/volunteers and raise awareness of your actions – Plan Asia
  • Literally, just a social network about sharing. It combines the brevity of Twitter with the social aspect of Facebook, but much more visual. Picture Pinterest as a series of virtual pin boards where you post little notes and pictures of things you find interesting, according to themes.
  • The Humane Society of the United States has several different pin boards related to its mission, and people with varying interests can follow some or all of them. Many non-profits use Pinterest for posting not just information about their own organization, but posting recommended resources and related organizations.
  • The average LinkedIn user is much older than on other social networks, due to it’s use for recruitment and professional networking. The average monthly use of LinkedIn varies widely, and tends to vary from month-to-month for individual users depending on their recruitment/employment status and the industry they work in.
  • An example of a LinkedIn group: Autism Speaks. The organization itself can post events and articles, but users do as well. Users can be current and past employees and volunteers, or just people with an interest in the organization. You know when you post job openings in your group on LinkedIn that they are being brought to the attention of interested parties!
  • The goals that non-profits hope to accomplish with social media are really no different than the goals you would hope to accomplish with other forms of outreach.
  • Social media can help non-profits achieve these goals because social media platforms are user-friendly (I may know how to navigate Facebook but not your website) and interactive.
  • You can email or message me for a copy of the example brief if you have not received it.
  • You can email or message me for a copy of the example brief if you have not received it.
  • Please email me or post questions in the comments section! I will be happy to answer as best as I can.
  • Intro to Social Media for Non-Profits

    1. 1. K3C Community Counselling Centres
    2. 2. Average age: 39
    3. 3.  The Social Network ◦ 901 million users ◦ Average user spends 405 minutes per month Based off of student directories, “face books” Profiles and pages, also apps Average user age: 38
    4. 4.  Micro-blogging ◦ Posts are limited to 140 characters 555 million users Average user spends 89 minutes per month Average user age: 39
    5. 5.  The original Web 2.0 If you use the Internet, you have read a blog Business vs. personal: very different. Personal blogs tend to stand alone, blogs for organizations embedded
    6. 6.  In 2011, Youtube had more than 1 trillion views 500 years of Youtube video footage is watched on Facebook every day 72 hours of video updated to Youtube every minute
    7. 7.  80 million unique visitors in 2011 Over 6 billion images hosted Tiered account system: Free and Pro Harder to integrate into other social networks, easy to integrate into websites
    8. 8.  11.7 million users (but growing rapidly) Average user spends 405 minutes per month Average user age: 34 Easy to integrate into Facebook, harder to integrate into other mediums at this time
    9. 9.  A “professional” network, used primarily for recruiting and connecting to past and possible employers 150 million users Average user spends 21 minutes per month (varies greatly) Average user age: 44
    10. 10.  Sharing information Listening and gaining valuable feedback Building a community with other organizations Engaging your volunteers Increasing transparency and responsiveness Advocating Mobilizing your base to action
    11. 11.  Social media achieves this because it is: ◦ User-friendly: volunteer-friendly, donor-friendly, media-friendly ◦ Interactive and engaging: integrate pictures and video when possible ◦ Doesn’t just tell stories, but builds stories
    12. 12.  Giving up control the conversation Understanding the technology and terminology (and adjusting to changes) Balancing your organization’s identity with personal identity Balancing engagement with concerns of confidentiality Time/personnel resources for maintaining social media presence
    13. 13.  What is your goal? ◦ What form(s) of social media do you want to use? Create an identity ◦ Must stay in line with existing branding and keep consistent across platforms Invest and interact ◦ You have to regularly put time into social media
    14. 14.  Purpose – Why are you establishing a social media presence? ◦ You must discuss how the platform you are using achieves that goal. Objectives/goals – What do plan to achieve with this social medium? ◦ Goals need to be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely ◦ What would be some SMART goals for social media?
    15. 15.  Target Audience – Who will be reading and commenting on your social media? Who are you trying to engage? ◦ Related closely to the platform you choose – who uses it? ◦ Research who is there locally, related organizations Execution and maintenance ◦ See tipsheets