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Social Media for Non-Profits Wesley Regan, Communications Liaison
What is social media ?  - Web-based multimedia and communications tools and the content created through and for them predominantly by the users i.e. the audience themselves - The democratization of knowledge and information that transforms people from content consumers to content producers. It is Chaotic Self satisfying  Very fast-acting Largely uncensored difficult to control Used mostly by younger demographics   Can be a kingmaker or a cancer to brands and causes
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Platforms and apps we associate with it and use most often
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],How do we as organizations use it?
The greatest challenge for non-profits In my opinion the greatest challenge for non-profits in using Social Media is that it is a playground created for and dominated by egotism, marketing and advertising-  NOT social and environmental advocacy or political activism.  It’s also a playground dominated by the youth demographic.
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Different organizations = different approaches
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Different organizations = different approaches
Influencing political behavior or influencing consumer behavior Bronwen -Encourage political activism -Don’t buy farmed, buy wild -Not politically aligned, but  politically engaged  -Potentially critical of any government (private funding) -Highly critical of a particular industry yet working with it to affect change  Wes -Encourage civic engagement  -Buy local (social purchasing directory and local business blogs/tweets) -Not critical of government or business instead, support positive initiatives from either -Remain A-political and pragmatic (gov funding)
Changing perceptions and challenging values  Other non-profits focus on causes that are more rooted in values and perceptions that are at work on a personal, community or family level such as domestic violence or a disease or cause of suffering. A campaign to change perceptions or challenge values can be neither political or consumer based so what is our use for social media here? Emotion -------- Impact -------- Internalization ------- Action  A venue for impactful content to reach a wide audience and produce positive actions as a consequence? To change perceptions and challenge values takes time and emotional appeal more than cerebral intake.  See George Lakoff ‘s Political Mind
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],So how do we as organizations use it?  Depends what kind of an  organization or company you are
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Organization Q & A
Once you have all these issues sorted out then you can dissect how each social tool can benefit your PR, marketing or communications plan. How I like to think of it , my communications plan is like a symphony where different instruments do different things. Each tool or instrument has a different temporal value and should be used to support the others.  Long term: website, blog, Facebook, LinkedIn (the bulk of your content, engagement, networking, and drivers of your identity and cause) Medium term: Facebook Events/Groups (a gathering place for calls to action) Short term: Twitter and other microblogging apps (call to action, direct traffic) Random hits: Flickr, Twitter, (micro-bursts of info and reminders) Consider the tools in the toolbox
Is your social media campaign predominantly text visual or audio? Some causes or topics are more powerfully represented through different sensory mediums . Podcasts Flickr   Music Video   If you have a charismatic spokesperson who is a good speaker USE that voice. If you have impactful images use them. Sometimes people can get the point quicker from an image with one sentence below than from a descriptive paragraph.  The explore the MEDIA part of Social Media CONTENT IS KING
The explore the MEDIA part of Social Media
The explore the MEDIA part of Social Media
Website : If you intend to create a comprehensive plan for engagement through social media including viral ads, contests, user generated content, multimedia aimed at directing traffic to your site, petition, event etc. you have to be ready for a home run. The only thing worse than having a successful viral ad or contest or UGC push is having a website that can’t turn that  attention  into  ACTION . Specifically the actions you need to achieve your mandate.  The two words you need to remember most with your website are  CONTENT  and  ACTION . What kind of content will keep people coming back here and how can we translate that attention into action?  Is your site set up to create opportunities for action ? Donation? Petition? Contact info for MLAs or MPs? Useful links? Get ALL your ducks in a row before you start engaging
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Get ALL your ducks in a row before you start engaging
If you have more than one person in your office then you should have more than one person blogging .  The same goes for updating Facebook and Tweeting.  Don’t put your social media responsibilities solely in the hands of your communications person. Are they the only sociable person you employ? Your blog
Translating the Geography of the Internet to the Geography of your cause ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],An important thing to remember…

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Social Media for Non Profits

  • 1. Social Media for Non-Profits Wesley Regan, Communications Liaison
  • 2. What is social media ? - Web-based multimedia and communications tools and the content created through and for them predominantly by the users i.e. the audience themselves - The democratization of knowledge and information that transforms people from content consumers to content producers. It is Chaotic Self satisfying Very fast-acting Largely uncensored difficult to control Used mostly by younger demographics Can be a kingmaker or a cancer to brands and causes
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5. The greatest challenge for non-profits In my opinion the greatest challenge for non-profits in using Social Media is that it is a playground created for and dominated by egotism, marketing and advertising- NOT social and environmental advocacy or political activism. It’s also a playground dominated by the youth demographic.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8. Influencing political behavior or influencing consumer behavior Bronwen -Encourage political activism -Don’t buy farmed, buy wild -Not politically aligned, but politically engaged -Potentially critical of any government (private funding) -Highly critical of a particular industry yet working with it to affect change Wes -Encourage civic engagement -Buy local (social purchasing directory and local business blogs/tweets) -Not critical of government or business instead, support positive initiatives from either -Remain A-political and pragmatic (gov funding)
  • 9. Changing perceptions and challenging values Other non-profits focus on causes that are more rooted in values and perceptions that are at work on a personal, community or family level such as domestic violence or a disease or cause of suffering. A campaign to change perceptions or challenge values can be neither political or consumer based so what is our use for social media here? Emotion -------- Impact -------- Internalization ------- Action A venue for impactful content to reach a wide audience and produce positive actions as a consequence? To change perceptions and challenge values takes time and emotional appeal more than cerebral intake. See George Lakoff ‘s Political Mind
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. Once you have all these issues sorted out then you can dissect how each social tool can benefit your PR, marketing or communications plan. How I like to think of it , my communications plan is like a symphony where different instruments do different things. Each tool or instrument has a different temporal value and should be used to support the others. Long term: website, blog, Facebook, LinkedIn (the bulk of your content, engagement, networking, and drivers of your identity and cause) Medium term: Facebook Events/Groups (a gathering place for calls to action) Short term: Twitter and other microblogging apps (call to action, direct traffic) Random hits: Flickr, Twitter, (micro-bursts of info and reminders) Consider the tools in the toolbox
  • 13. Is your social media campaign predominantly text visual or audio? Some causes or topics are more powerfully represented through different sensory mediums . Podcasts Flickr Music Video If you have a charismatic spokesperson who is a good speaker USE that voice. If you have impactful images use them. Sometimes people can get the point quicker from an image with one sentence below than from a descriptive paragraph. The explore the MEDIA part of Social Media CONTENT IS KING
  • 14. The explore the MEDIA part of Social Media
  • 15. The explore the MEDIA part of Social Media
  • 16. Website : If you intend to create a comprehensive plan for engagement through social media including viral ads, contests, user generated content, multimedia aimed at directing traffic to your site, petition, event etc. you have to be ready for a home run. The only thing worse than having a successful viral ad or contest or UGC push is having a website that can’t turn that attention into ACTION . Specifically the actions you need to achieve your mandate. The two words you need to remember most with your website are CONTENT and ACTION . What kind of content will keep people coming back here and how can we translate that attention into action? Is your site set up to create opportunities for action ? Donation? Petition? Contact info for MLAs or MPs? Useful links? Get ALL your ducks in a row before you start engaging
  • 17.
  • 18. If you have more than one person in your office then you should have more than one person blogging . The same goes for updating Facebook and Tweeting. Don’t put your social media responsibilities solely in the hands of your communications person. Are they the only sociable person you employ? Your blog
  • 19.
  • 20.

Editor's Notes

  1. Malcolm Gladwell has been critical of social media for social change because it creates weak social ties, this relates largely to the fact that it was created to serve egotism, marketing and advertising in my opinion. But it can still be used by us.
  2. I’ve used social media as a tool for people and businesses to go through BOB rather than to BOB. But to do it I have had to create much content in house. The Blog has helped to create an intellectual identity that resonates and has received attention that has seen it incorporated into mainstream media and garnered attention from supporting ministries or organizations.
  3. Brownen has directed content through her social media apps to similarly build identity and to keep the buzz going. Has not relied too heavily on in-house content but has aggregated external content and disseminated it through her tools.
  4. Many other non-profits exist to change perceptions or challenge values.
  5. So make friends, add good links and ask for links in return. Post links to university research or profs and cite credible news sources in your blog. Chances are good they’ll see you linked to them and they might refer back to you. It’s happened to me several times and it spikes traffic for sure.
  6. Put your communications plan in their hands, ask them to help you craft your plan for social media engagement, a blogging guide and some rules for posting content but don’t leave them as your only point of social contact or only source of creative content for your org. Chances are you have numerous creative and smart staff who can write and may in fact enjoy writing, and that is the great strength of your organization when it comes to social media. Capitalize on it. Or think of it this way. If you want thousands of people, or millions, to be engaged in a dialogue with your organization does it make sense to have ONE person trying to engage them?
  7. A great example is from a friend and colleague who works for the united nations and International Institute for Child Rights and Development, Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria (--We are an NGO & an Academic Institute)