Here’s an example of ICAD member the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Facebook page. With a primarily academic, policy and medical audience, they are targeting their supporters with an appropriate balance of content it knows interests them amongst its internal news, external news that highlights its work and its staff and other organizations’ campaigns, reports and presentations. They also have a well run Twitter account. But, in terms of lesson 1, I also think that they could use LinkedIn or academic.edu effectively, too, because of the types of professionals it works with - on there they could share their reports and create a network of people researching their interests. If, after trying LinkedIn for a while, they found it was a better way to connect with their target audience, they could drop their Facebook page so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Also, while they have a news section on their website, they don’t have a blog and I think a blog would be an ideal feature in terms of reaching out to the general population because in a blog they could introduce their research in a way that would allow the public to understand it better.So, think again about where your audience is and what you want from them and focus on the sites where you can reach them.
It’s clear that an organization is dedicated to social media when their leader is heavily involved in it as well. JosetteSheeran, present vice-chair of the World Economic Forum and previously very active as the head of the WFP, is a great example of this. In her tweets she highlights her cause, speaks to other Twitter users and gives something of her personality. I’m not saying that everyone should do this because a personal account is not for every NGO but, in addition to an official account,if you have or you want a strong personality-led organization or if you don’t think you can properly keep up an official NGO account because of time or you don’t have much to post about, an employee spokesperson account can be an alternative.
For example, you can follow certain hashtags related to your cause and see what people are sharing and talking about like under #hivcan, Canada’s HIV hashtag. And lurk or start sharing in weekly Twitter chats like the non-profit #commschat which happens once a week at a specific date and time.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation Twitter account is an excellent example of good practices. First, they employ humour and they have a ‘personality’. Most importantly, they offer support, retweet like-minded organizations and actually engage in conversations - in the past even I’ve even had a couple of chatswith them about news items they posted!
You will need to create metrics that you will monitor and evaluate for whichever tools you use and goals you have. Social media measurement is actually done very infrequently by many NGOs, but you need to realize it can be very valuable for your strategizing and reporting.Based on your objectives, what would success look like to you? Donations of money or volunteer time; increased website hits, reach or awareness, improved relationships, engagement with stakeholders, changes in behaviour of the target audience, etc. You can measure these things with tools like Google Analytics. Then your reports and results can help you adapt your approach in the long-run - it takes time to figure out what works best for you and for your audience, so give it a few months.
Social media for small NGOs
Strategic Social Media for Small NGOs Presented by Amy Coulterman http://linkd.in/amyc101 @AmyCSays for ICAD-CISD, 20 Feb 2013
• Make sure you have metrics and measure! http://socialmediamarketinguniversity.com/google-analytics-news-metrics-blog/
• Have a wider communications strategy• Write out your POST (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology)• Pick your tools based on: your intended audience(s); where the communities are; the time and human resources you have; how much time each tool needs to be used in the way you want• Create a culture of ownership• Learn about how best to use your tools (listening and engagement)• Create and follow metrics based on objectives• Keep trying!
Key takeaways• Do only what’s possible to do well within your means• It’s okay NOT to do it all!
A few great non-profit resources:Techsoup Canada http://www.techsoupcanada.ca/NTEN http://www.nten.org/Idealware http://www.idealware.org/AIDS.gov http://aids.gov/using-new-media/Beth Kanter http://www.bethkanter.org/Health hashtags http://www.symplur.com/healthcare- hashtags/Non-profit hashtags http://www.nten.org/blog/2011/11/08/30-super- useful-nonprofit-hashtags-%E2%80%93-twitter-chats- tooTwitter/Facebook Guides http://mashable.com/guidebook/