Twitter, Facebook, Blog: What's the Value?


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How are San Antonio nonprofits using social media? What's the value? A look at a handful of organizations who are using it and reaping benefits.
By Donna J. Tuttle -
Projects Coordinator, San Antonio Business Journal

Published in: Technology
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Twitter, Facebook, Blog: What's the Value?

  1. 1. The Value of Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations It’s free. It’s customizable. It’s easy. What’s not to like? April 16, 2010 Rackspace Nonprofit Tech Summit
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  3. 3. Charitable organizations are.... outpacing the business & academic world in their use of social media. In 2008, 89 Percent Of Nonprofits Were Using Some Form Of Social Media. - University Of Massachusetts Study
  4. 4. The size of the potential audience keeps growing... ✤ had 22.3 million unique visitors in March 2010, up from 524,000 a year ago, and that does not include the millions more who use the service through third-party smartphone and Web applications like TweetDeck or Tweetie. According to comScore and an article in the New York Times.
  5. 5. South Texas Blood & Tissue Center
  6. 6. South Texas Blood & Tissue Center ✤ Collected 3,000 units of blood from 16-year-olds after launching a social media campaign using MySpace. ✤ Used videos of the students, testimonials about their experience to add rich content. Rewarded the students for “friending” and “commenting” on the site with free giveaways. ✤ Appealed to donors after the Nov. 2009 Killeen shootings. Donations increased by 30 percent and the blood bank was able to replenish its supply.
  7. 7. San Antonio Food Bank
  8. 8. San Antonio Food Bank ✤ Launched Facebook and Twitter accounts in Fall 2008 and began by soliciting volunteers for its food sort-a-thon. By tweeting out, the Food Bank landed helpers even for its less-than-popular nighttime shift. ✤ Hired a social media coordinator and also identified a team of people within the organization to post. Even chefs from the Food Bank’s culinary program are using social media. ✤ When a corporate partner offers to match donations, the food bank uses Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to get the word out to followers, who then get the word out to their followers, and so on.
  9. 9. Fiesta San Antonio Photo credit: <div xmlns:cc="" about=""><a rel="cc:attributionURL" href=""></a> / <a rel="license" href=" licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a></div>
  10. 10. Fiesta Commission ✤ Started using social media last year and started with a Twitter and Facebook page. ✤ When heavy rains forced many events to be rescheduled, Fiesta used the immediacy of the social media channels to update followers. ✤ Total Facebook fans have increased from 1,200 the first few months, to almost 16,000 today -- an increase of 1,201 percent. ✤ Upload photo albums, Flip-camera videos, post photos, drive traffic to event sites, publicize events, and more. ✤ Digitally tagged areas where events are taking place so that Fiesta-goers can participate in geo-locational social network games like Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl, and more.
  11. 11. Humane Society of San Antonio
  12. 12. Humane Society of SA ✤ Leverages the Puppy Cuteness Factor (PCF) and captures the moments on video. Puppies practically sell themselves in YouTube video. Also allows people to “window shop.” ✤ Facebook: San-Antonio/105217416446 ✤ YouTube Page: : True joy of puppy love. ✤ MySpace Page:
  13. 13. Bexar Economic Development
  14. 14. Bexar Economic Development ✤ Is using Twitter @BexarBiz to give the county audience an update on economic development in the area. ✤ The Twitter stream is a combination of local economic news, mentions of the county, city and state in national mediums. ✤ The “cause” isn’t as compelling as, say, giving blood or adopting a puppy, but by offering interesting news and insight, it makes the community more aware of the breadth of economic development.
  15. 15. Why Should Nonprofits Text? ✤ More than $32 million was pledged by Americans to help with Haiti’s disaster relief — all through mobile phone texting. People texted “Haiti” to 90999 ✤ Through the Mobile Giving Foundation, in conjunction with large wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, a mobile text-to- donate program is set up for nonprofits. ✤ At first some customers were being charged for the text. Through social media, people complained and the charges were waived. ✤ Other companies: mGive and Mobile Cause.
  16. 16. More on texting.... ✤ More than 90 percent of Americans have a mobile phone and keep it close by, a study by reports. ✤ Nonprofits should use texting as part of a “multichannel fundraising strategy that includes e-mail, Web, direct mail, phone calls” and other social media. ✤ Texting is an efficient tool for rallying volunteers for certain projects. Sending reminders, fun facts, directions for the specific effort.
  17. 17. Blogging... ✤ For years, nonprofits have tried to get their story out with meager, almost nonexistent budgets. ✤ They had to pitch reporters and rely on PSAs. ✤ Now, they have the power to tell their own story. The story about their cause, their volunteers, their clients. In their on words. On their own terms. ✤ Check out how Solar San Antonio blogs with a team at http:// ✤ Also check out Habitat for Humanity San Antonio habitatBlog.aspx uses the blog to make announcements, explain programs and more.
  18. 18. Social Media is: ✤ Free ✤ Only an investment of time. ✤ Excellent at leveraging word- of-mouth ✤ Is nimble. You can craft your message anytime and push it out on your own terms. ✤ Opens the doors to connections without leaving your office.
  19. 19. Social Media’s Value ✤ Instant connections with people who are your clients, vendors and customers. ✤ The more you participate in social media, the more the name of your nonprofit shows up in the online conversation. This is all indexed. Meaning: When the public searches online, your nonprofit has a better chance of showing up.
  20. 20. Advantages of using social media ✤ “Nonprofits can use social media to seriously engage with their community, to get people to emotionally invest in their efforts for mutual benefit. That might involve more volunteerism, perhaps better funding.” ✤ ~ Quote from Craig Newmark Internet Entrepreneur and Founder of the San-Francisco- based website, Craiglist to the NY Nonprofit Business Examiner.
  21. 21. The ultimate ROI..... ✤ The true measure of social media is not in ROI (return on investment), but, rather in ROR (return on relationship). ✤ People volunteer and give money to other people -- the cause is secondary. ✤ And so, by using Twitter, Facebook, blogging, texting and more, you are opening doors to new relationships with people -- maybe the “sleeper” volunteers or the introverted donors who are not comfortable at mixers. ✤ The end result: Social media is simply a conduit to meeting new people. These are tools that make it much more efficient to connect.
  22. 22. Social Media Sites for Nonprofits Aggregator for nonprofits using twitter: Case studies: