Using Social Media to Enhance Volunteer Effectiveness


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A presentation for Skidmore's Volunteer Summit. Ideas, tips, and suggestions for ways volunteers can become brand ambassadors on social media networks.

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  • Boost awareness by finding new customers via word-of-mouth marketing. Social media marketing is word-of-mouth amplified through technology. When one of our members shares a some of our content (e.g., an issue of your newsletter, a blog post, or an event check-in), or talks about Skidmore on a social media site, that’s an endorsement and we didn’t have to lift a finger or spend any additional money. This introduces Skidmore to many more people than we’re currently connected to, and could bring new business, members, or donations our way. Popular and active – Facebook now has 901 million users!! In addition, Twitter claims 200 million registered users, LinkedIn has more than 100 million users, Google+ has 20 million users, 50 million people use Yelp, and Foursquare claims it has 10 million users worldwide (and growing). Point is, chances are good that many of our customers and members, or the people we want to reach, are using at least one social media site. But what’s even better is that the user’s are active! Facebook says that half of its users log in on any given day, and that users spend more than 500 billion minutes on the site each month. In addition, more than 700 billion pieces of content (web links, blog posts, photos, videos, etc.) are shared each month on Facebook. Similarly, Twitter claims that its users post 350 billion tweets every day. Yes, some people join social media sites just to listen and observe, but most do it to engage, converse, and participate.Instant feedback: Active users means you’re going to get your customers’ and members’ opinions (positive and negative) about everything — stories, events, etc. This gives us important real-time information to make changes or adjustments, or to put a bigger spotlight on things that are working. We can also use social media to detect trends. It’s essentially free market research! Two-way communication: Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow brands and institutions to more easily have a “conversation” (albeit a public one) with customers and members. We can see what they’re saying about us and can respond, and vice versa. Using tools like Twitter Search, we can quickly see any mentions of Skidmore or look up key terms related to Skidmore (faculty, admissions, etc.) and find out what people are saying about them. There are real benefits to responding, too. According to a 2011 InboxQ survey, almost 60% of respondents said they would be more likely to follow a business that answered them on Twitter, and 64% said they would be more likely to purchase from that business.Personal & professional: On Facebook, you can have two identities: one for you and one for your business. Facebook offers an option known as Pages, which are different from the standard Friend connections, and allow you to post messages just to people who “Like” your business or organization, keeping any personal information about you separate and contained to your profile. Ubiquity: You don’t have to be at your computer to post to any of the major social media networks — in fact, quite often you don’t even have to be on a social media network at the time to post to one of them. For instance, you can post to your Twitter feed via a simple text message, or to Facebook by sending an email. Skidmore’s site has a Like or Tweet button on it, so all a reader has to do is click that and a link will show up in his newsfeed or Twitter stream. If you have a smartphone, there are applications that let you update your social networking sites on the go. Mobile phones now have cameras that can be used to capture images and video, which can be uploaded to blogs and social media accounts right then and there, giving customers a richer (and real-time) media experience. FREE: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Yelp, and other sites all offer free accounts for businesses and organizations. Some sites — like LinkedIn and Flickr — do offer paid accounts with features that are targeted at more advanced users, but for the purposes of getting started, there’s no upfront cost for most of the social networking sites.
  • Using Social Media to Enhance Volunteer Effectiveness

    1. 1. Using Social Media to EnhanceVolunteer EffectivenessDaniella Nordin, Online Community Manager
    2. 2. Why social media? Now Before
    3. 3. Why social media in higher ed? Student recruitment Student engagement Professional development School pride Alumni engagement General outreach In the classroom
    4. 4. Where in the world is Skidmore? Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn Pinterest Foursquare Formspring Google+ Flickr
    5. 5. Why are we there? Facebook Fans 6,515Aug-12 6,268 6,078Jun-12 5,923 5,803Apr-12 5,739 5,666Feb-12 5,545 5,481Dec-11 5,318 5,291 Facebook FansOct-11 5,191 4,986Aug-11 4,858 4,771Jun-11 4,699 4,634Apr-11 4,562 4,493Feb-11 4,400 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000
    6. 6. Why are we (really) there?
    7. 7. Does it work? #501Challenge Goal: increase young alumni engagement Challenge: get 501 donors on 5/01 for $50,000 Strategy: no direct mail; all online and social media, started marketing one week prior to 5/01 Results  Reached 501 donors by 2:00 p.m. on 5/01  Reached 750 donors by 8:00 p.m. secured additional $25,000  Reached 1,000 donors by 11:00 p.m. for another $25,000  Total: 1,038 donors for $100,000 for Skidmore
    8. 8. Does it work? Skidmore Student-to-Student (#SS2S) Goal: increase applications to Skidmore Strategy: utilize current students  Implemented Skidmore Student-to-Student (SS2S) Initiative  Since launching in Oct. 2011, the page is consistently among the top 15 most-visited on the Admissions site  Students and staff have answered 440 questions from prospective students and their families  Each blog averages 500+ views per month  The top-visited blog has 1,651 visitors  Three bloggers participated in one of four live chats this year, where they helped answer nearly 500 questions!
    9. 9. Why does it work? People!  Spreading the news  Sharing experiences  Talking about things they care about
    10. 10. What can you say? News and updates Point people to posts of interest BUT don’t just talk; Listen
    11. 11. On Facebook Like Skidmore College Share what’s in your news feed:  Photos  Events  Updates Respond to questions Like posts and leave comments Tag us!
    12. 12. How? Share Like Social buttons
    13. 13. But that’s just Facebook . . .
    14. 14. What about Twitter? RT = retweet @____ = say hi, reply to, direct your followers to # = group tweets into a category or thread
    15. 15. Twitter FollowersOct-12 2,471 2,380 Why Twitter?Aug-12Jun-12 2,307 2,203 2,150 2,073  Real timeApr-12 2,020 1,929  NewsFeb-12 1,831 1,718Dec-11 1,674  News aggregator 1,597 Twitter FollowersOct-11 1,570  SEOAug-11 1,324 1,519 1,284Jun-11 1,186 1,099Apr-11 1,030 949Feb-11 829 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000
    16. 16. And . . . YouTube LinkedIn Pinterest Foursquare Formspring Google+ Flickr
    17. 17. Wherever you are . . . We are too.
    18. 18. Trust your instincts.
    19. 19. Contact me! Daniella Nordin @DaniellaNordin 518-580-5616