Intro to Social Media for Nonprofits


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Slides from a workshop held at the Humanitarian Centre on 9 Nov. 2010.

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  • Introduce self
    Introduce Net2Camb – a meetup group for people interested in using web and mobile technology for social benefit in Cambridge. Meet monthly. Beginners welcome! . Questions about the group? Ask me!
    Why I’m here – to help share some knowledge I have, to help your orgs grow.
    Feel free to interrupt and ask questions
    Let’s make this a conversation
  • My goal: to teach you about using social media strategically
    This is not a tool – focused exercise
    Help you identify the tools you need to start using SM strategically
    Social media is a tool that is fundamentally shifting the way that we work and share information. Here’s a video-
    Intros around the room
    Name, org, brief description of your personal or professional experience using social media
  • Ask: What comes to mind when you think of Social media?
    WRITE DOWN ANSWERS – be sure “strategy” and “listening” are on the list
    After having the answers, ask someone to define social media.
    Social media is broadly defined as any technology that enables social activity; social activity meaning anything that’s back and forth, conversational, networked, or otherwise allowing collaboration or exchange.
    What about email? Newsletters? News websites? – all are social media per this definition
    Social media is not about tools – don’t get shiny object syndrome just because everyone else is doing it.
  • Let’s start thinking about social media strategically. What are the benefits for orgs in using social media? How can using social media help our organizations?
    - Knowing what others are saying about you online
    - Sharing info about upcoming events, opportunities and programs
    - Increasing participation
    Increasing awareness
    What else? Fundraising?
  • But, where to start?!
    Listening is the initial building block for your social media work.
    Listening is monitoring the online chatter that people are saying about you and *your field* online.
    Help you:
    find conversations
    discover which platforms or tools your community is already using,
    identify the best places to start contributing
    identify how you can include social media in your other strategies.
    Let’s do a quick search – pick someone’s org and search google, google updates, twitter, and Facebook.
    What if I find nothing? Look broader
  • RSS:
    Much of listening is fueled by RSS
    What is RSS?
    How it works on a blog
    How it works in search – google, twitter, whatever
    You can also subscribe to the RSS of a search – in email or on a reader.
    Searching on these sites will let you zero in any new content from the blogosphere.
    After explaining, show this lee lefever video:
    After video: Ask: share with the person next to you how you think you could use RSS in your org.
  • RSS is really easy to use.
    Sometimes, the hardest part is finding the RSS symbol on the page!
    What if I don’t see the symbol?
  • Have you ever googled your own name just to see what comes up? This is actually a really important exercise – and one that you should be replicating when it comes to monitoring your organization’s reputation.
    Google Alerts
    lets you set your search criteria - just like you would use in a web search - like your organization’s name, key words related to your services or sector, project names,
    Also determines how often you want to be alerted with any search results (daily, whenever it happens).
  • Twitter Search:
    Twitter is great for really timely updates – as relating to an event or recent news story
    Listen without creating an account (Facebook would require you to join the platform before you could see or listen)
    You can subscribe to the search results via RSS
  • Listening dashboard:
    Now that you have all of these various RSS feeds, you need to put them into a dashboard, or an RSS reader.
    That way, every morning you can sit down at your desk and read your RSS to look for good stories to highlight.
    At big orgs thousands of mentions, at small orgs, a few mins a day
    Google Reader, igoogle, or Netvibes or others
    Your dashboard is where you can start adding your google alerts, your blogs, news sites, twitter searches or anything else you want to monitor.
    Remember those RSS symbols I showed you earlier?
  • What are a few key terms that orgs should or could be searching for?
    Organization name
    Org, URL
    CEO name, public affairs person’s name
    Campaign names
    Community terms like #nptech, #socent, and #ictd4 – these will change for your community – find out the hashtags they’re using!
  • Now you know what people are saying about you and your industry
    You know where they’re talking
    You know their topics and interests
    It’s time to join the party!
  • Signposting is one way to start joining
    Wherever you may have a profile, whether it is actually on a platform like facebook or twitter, or if it is on a working group, a network, or other online space, be sure to always include information and a link back to your website so people can follow the breadcrumbs to find you.
    What are some other bits of information you can add to your page? Logo, contact info…
  • Commenting is another way to start participating
    When you see something relevant to your efforts, share information and links.
    Sharing is a big piece of being a positive contributor to your community.
    Share for the sake of sharing –
    Always be POSITIVE, and HONEST
    Say thank you when someone writes about you or your cause
    Here is an example of a blog post you might find come up in your RSS reader. How would you handle it if you worked at a related org?
    leave a comment on it – what would the comment say?
    tweet about it – what would the tweet say?
    blog about it – what would be the headline?
    Post it to FB – what would the post say?
    …and don’t forget to link back to the original post when you talk about it!
    Capacity of sharing, - be strategic in your choices - base decisions on internal strategy about promoting content from the community.
  • Creating:
    Now you’re listening, your starting to engage – it’s time to create!
    Probably time to get a blog. Facebook, Linkedin, twitter, and other social networks are great for sharing content, but not really the best place to create long messages, post announcements etc.
    - Blogs are the best way to start!
  • What is a blog?
    There are a lot of free blogging tools out there – you’ll need some IT help.
    for the most part, a blog is a blog, so let’s assume you’ve chosen a tool.
  • What kind of content
    Any piece of important external information should be talked about on your blog.
    What to talk about? Yourself, your team, your efforts, your recent events, your goals, your successes and your problems.
    User generated Content: let your comment create as much as you do.
    Talk about your office – and let your office talk too! encourage everyone to blog
    Share your blog posts on your other SM channels.
  • Facebook:
    Pages versus profiles – create a PAGE for your org
    “liking” an org – shows support and gets items in news feed (using RSS!)
    great way to share photos, video, blog posts, ask questions
    must have a personal profile before you can create a new Fan Page.
    Here’s how british monarchy is doing it, and how woodgreens is doing it – what are some things that you like or don’t like about their presences?
    Is there anyone in the room that uses Facebook for their organization? What does your org use Facebook for? Can we have a peek?
  • Twitter :
    Converse in real-time
    Community and sharing tool
    For instance, I am part of the NetSquared Community, but also part of the Nonprofit technology community, social enterprise community, and community building community(!). I can follow hashtags such as #commbuild, #socent, and #nptech to stay in the loop with what others are talking about in each community.
    Tweetdeck – great tool for using twitter
    But, listen to your community. Is your community on Facebook and twitter? Then you should be too! Is your community only on linkedin? Then that’s where you should focus your efforts.
  • Here are a few things you can do right now, as soon as this training is over:
    First, start listening.
    You probably already have a few blogs or websites you know you visit every day, and you can subscribe to them via RSS.
    You can set up Google Alerts.
    You can even set up your listening dashboard. The first two will only take a few minutes, the dashboard will take longer though. Maybe a good Friday afternoon project!
    Second, send out a survey using surveymonkey or another free survey tool that asks just a couple key questions about your community’s social media use. This can jumpstart your listening by getting direct feedback about where people are going online and what kind of conversation or exchange they’d like to have with you.
    Remember to keep the questions as open as possible as you’ll be surprised about the honest feedback and ideas you get!
    Send the survey link out via email in your next enewsletter or in an email of it’s own (be sure to explain that you’re just getting started with social media and you hope to use their feedback to help you be strategic, inviting them to contribute to your work).
  • Intro to Social Media for Nonprofits

    1. 1. Social Media for Nonprofits A training course from the Humanitarian Centre Claire Sale November, 2010
    2. 2. My goal: To help your organisation get started using social media strategically.
    3. 3. What comes to mind when you think of social media? (Buzz words? Tools? Tactics?)
    4. 4. What are some of the benefits that nonprofits may see when they use social media as part of their overall communication strategy? Time Success
    5. 5. Listening = Finding out what people are already saying about your cause online
    6. 6. Confused? Perhaps Lee can help….
    7. 7. RSS makes listening easy!
    8. 8. Get alerted via RSS every time someone on the internet uses one of your keywords. Check out to get started
    9. 9. Use Twitter Search to see what people are saying about current events Search at
    10. 10. Create your own dashboard at or or
    11. 11. What are some key terms that your org could be listening for?
    12. 12. Join the party! Start sharing, commenting, and creating content
    13. 13. Don’t forget to signpost your online spaces!
    14. 14. If you were in charge of social media at an army veteran’s charity how would you handle this blog post?
    15. 15. Start blogging – it’s easy! Why? To inform your audience of current events at your organisation and in your community.
    16. 16. Confused? Perhaps Lee can help, again….
    17. 17. let your community create and share content just as much as you do From the Red Cross blog:
    18. 18. Don’t just push content…
    19. 19. … share ideas!
    20. 20. Use twitter to listen to feedback about your work and to learn from other people in your community
    21. 21. Start listening: • Subscribe to blogs or news • Set up Google Alerts • Set up a listening dashboard Start asking: • Where do you go? • What do you do? • What do you want to do with us? What you can do today:
    22. 22. Social Media for Nonprofits Thanks for listening! Get in touch with me directly: Claire Sale, NetSquared and Net2Camb Twitter: @ClaireSale Email: Special thanks to Amy Sample Ward for her guidance on creating this presentation!
    23. 23. Photo Credits • Slide 2: • Slide 3: • Slide 4: • Slide 5: • Slide 7: Screenshot of • Slide 8: Screenshot of • Slide 9: Screenshot of • Slide 10: Screenshot of • Slide 11: • Slide 13:, // slide 18 • Slide 14: Blog post from • Slide 15: • Slide 17: • Slide 18:!/pages/Wood-Green-Animal-Shelters/20069898059 • Slide 19: Screenshots of tweetdeck searches. Download the TweetDeck twitter client • Slide 20: