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Your nonprofit needs a social media strategy


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Here's the presentation that JD Lasica and Carla Schlemminger of are giving at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco on April 5, 2012. The focus is on 5 approaches nonprofit organizations can take to strategically advance their missions.

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Your nonprofit needs a social media strategy

  1. 1. You need a strategy,dammit, not a Twitter account JD Lasica & Carla A. Schlemminger April 5, 2012
  2. 2. Today’s hashtagTweet this preso! Hashtag: #12NTCdammit Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Prakhar handles: @jdlasica & @carlainsf
  3. 3. Relax! Creative Commons BY photo on Flickr by Tom@HK
  4. 4. What we’ll cover todayLook at the landscape1. Lay the groundwork2. Meaningful metrics3. Content: Storytelling & production processes4. Use your community5. Integrate your effortsQ&A, hugs, tearful goodbyes
  5. 5. 12 color handouts. Be happy!
  6. 6. RESOURCESSocialbrite Sharing Center
  7. 7. THE ECOSYSTEMSocial media a game-changer• Blogs• Social networks• Microblogs (Twitter)• Online video (YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion)• Widgets• Photo sharing• Pinterest• Podcasts• Virtual worlds• Wikis• Social bookmarking• Forums• Presentation sharing
  8. 8. Staggering growth• 77% US adults are frequent social media users.*• 150 million active blogs; 1 million blog posts created per day• Social sites embedded atop traffic rankings: YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, VEVO, Craigslist, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp• Twitter: 100+ million active users, 250 million tweets per day• Flickr: 35 million people, 4 billion-plus photos• YouTube: 3 billion videos watched per day• 8 trillion text messages sent in 2011 *source: Nielsen Online, spring 2010
  9. 9. Facebook: The social network 850 million members worldwide — 76% of US Internet users are on Facebook 900 600 300 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 0 2010 2011 Today Facebook’s global growth rate, 2004-2012, in millions
  10. 10. 1 . L AY T H E G R O U N D W O R KBig picture reality checkBefore we talk tools, technology or campaigns, do aself-assessment with your team.Why are you doing this?What core values drive yourorganization?What change would you liketo see in the world?Is there clarity about what yourorganization is trying to achieve?Why should people care?Do you have an idea worth spreading?
  11. 11. Before you plunge in ...• Understand that social media is a series of stages: crawl, walk, run, fly• Do you have buy-in from top management?• Do you have a social media policy or guidelines?• Do you have a Strategic Social Media Plan in place?• Are you listening to your constituents & community?• Have you built a program before you turn to a campaign?• Have you identified and trained your team members?
  12. 12. Have you defined a clear theme?Boil down your mission to a strong phrase or sentence Vittana: Help anyone go to college Alter Eco: Support fair trade ActBlue: Elect progressive candidates DonorsChoose: Support public classrooms in need
  13. 13. Begin with a strategy document
  14. 14. Elements of a Strategic Plan• 360 assessment of social media capabilities• Spell out goals• Identify online community• Proposed use of social tools & platforms• Recommendations on Action Plan & timeline• Lay out metrics program• Competitive/peer analysis
  15. 15. E S TA B L I S H B U S I N E S S G O A L SHow can you use social media?• Raise public awareness of your mission or cause• Raise funds for a cause or campaign• Reach new constituents or supporters• Build a community of champions• Recruit volunteers• Get people to take real-world actions• Enhance existing communications programs• Involve the community in decision-making• Advance your organization’s mission
  16. 16. 2. MEANINGFUL METRICSBefore you start, measure! ‘Data is better than gut’: Gather, analyze, act Photos on Flickr by Emran Kassim, left, and Vee Dub (CC-BY)
  18. 18. Map metrics to goalsBusiness goals Things to measure (KPIs)• Grow email list # newsletter subscribers• Online visibility, branding increase in traffic or linkback #s• Increase comments on blog avg. # comments/post• Increase positive mentions of mentions or pick-ups in blogs organization or program & social networks• Have visitors stick around stick rate, bounce rate• Make our content more viral # of shares• Get people to take action # of petition signatures• Get people to attend event # of registrants, year over year
  19. 19. New metrics of engagement Beyond page views "We dont really care about page views as much as we care about comments. If we get 1,000 video views, that is good. The comments are a focus group with our influencers. If they like it, theyll spread it and that helps get us to our objectives." - Jake Brewer, PowerShift
  20. 20. EXERCISEWhat does your site rank for? Search your own site’s keyword juju on &
  21. 21. HANDS-ON DEMOWhy long tail keywords matter Geek out! Search ‘’ on
  22. 22. GOOGLE KEYWORD TOOLFind keywords in your sector
  23. 23. Set up a metrics program1. Get buy-in at the top2. Designate metrics owners internally; perhaps appoint a Chief Metrics Guru & give him or her support3. Interview stakeholders across depts. to identify key goals & target audiences4. Create internal document that ties these goals to specific KPIs you can track5. Identify tools to use and begin tracking6. Print out weekly or monthly reports, circulate them.7. Spend time analyzing the data & drawing conclusions8. Refine and fine-tune
  24. 24. HANDOUTSTwo cheat sheets
  25. 25. 3. CONTENT & PROCESSESThe power of storytelling Chauvet-Pont-dArc cave paintings, France, 30,000 years ago
  26. 26. C O N V E R S AT I O N F O L L O W S I N T E R E S T I N G C O N T E N TYour nonprofit is a media outlet Awareness > Influence > Action > Impact
  27. 27. C A S E S T U D Y: I N V I S I B L E P E O P L EUse personal storytellingFind emotional core, use videos or photos to make us feel
  28. 28. C A S E S T U D Y: S F G O O D W I L L . O R GCreate lightweight media Using Animoto at SF Goodwill
  29. 29. Find your internal storytellers• List staffers’ skills• Who’s good at photos?• Video?• Writing?• Facebook or Twitter?• Create a Blog Squad• Who’s good at campaigns?• Open your blog to guest posts
  30. 30. PRODUCTION PROCESSESCreate an Events Calendar Key off both internal events & community events
  31. 31. Create an Editorial Calendar Map out a weekly or monthly game plan
  32. 32. 4. USE YOUR COMMUNITYDon’t do all the heavy lifting! Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Jason Means Don’t be like this guy!
  33. 33. Build community, not eyeballs here’s an amazingdifference between buildingan audience and building a community. An audience will watch you fall on asword. A community will fall on a sword for you. — Chris Brogan Author, “Trust Agents”
  34. 34. CASE STUDIES: 350.ORG & LIVESTRONGInvolve your supporters
  35. 35. Find your champions!• Find the big kahunas in your sector by using a listening post. Then, influence the influencers. Post on their blogs & retweet.• Establish a rapport and only then reach out to try to convert them into evangelists & ambassadors for your cause.• Scope out Twitter Lists that intersect with your organization or social cause.• Useful tools: Klout, SocialMention, Google Analytics.
  36. 36. C A S E S T U D Y: C H A R I T Y WAT E RMake your cause tangible Average mycharitywater campaigner raises $1,000
  37. 37. Don’t overlook mobile New Goodwill Bay Area app
  38. 38. EXERCISECreate a mobile calling card Text jdlasica to 50500 Create your own at
  39. 39. Is your site mobile-ready? WPtouch Pro for mobile phones, Onswipe for iPad
  40. 40. The awesome power of freeFree content! Free resources!• Free photos •• Free videos (eg, TED talks) •• Free music & audio • TechsoupFree services! Free expertise!• Google Grants • BarCamp• YouTube for Nonprofits • PodCamp• Google Earth for Nonprofits • WordCamp • Social Media ClubFree software & platforms!• WordPress & its plug-ins• Open Office, Google docs• Drupal, Joomla
  41. 41. • Rich source of free commercial & noncommercial images • Flickr: 220 million CC licenses • Use them for your blog, website, email or print newsletter, presentations, reports, etc. • Just give credit! Photo by John Haydon on Flickr • Don’t just take. Share!
  42. 42. 5 . I N T E G R AT E Y O U R E F F O R T SIs your strategy aligned? Case study: thehopeinstitute.usMoving from tactics to strategy: Direct mail, events marketing & social media working as an integrated ecosystem
  43. 43. Integrate social into the culture• Create teams of participants.• Knock down the silos.• Get people using the tools. Use ‘reverse mentoring.’• Share monthly metrics reports. Photo on Flickr by lanuiop• Provide evidence of how social media moved the needle.• Shine a light on examples of employees doing social media well — reward best practices. Convert the skeptics
  44. 44. SOCIAL MEDIA DASHBOARDSPace yourself, don’t stress! HootSuite ThinkUp Tweetdeck Spredfast Crowdbooster Netvibes
  45. 45. Key takeaways• Begin with an aligned strategy, not with the tools.• Measure, measure, measure. Evaluate, iterate, relaunch.• Tell your stories!• Use your community — your biggest resource: your supporters!
  46. 46. Don’t settle for the status quoIf you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. — Lao Tse
  47. 47. Thank you, let’s talk! Lasica Carla A. carla@socialbrite.orgTwitter: @jdlasica Twitter: @carlainsf
  48. 48. Evaluate this session Each entry has a chance to win an NTEN-engraved iPad! 3 OPTIONS: 1. Text #12NTCdammit to 69866 2. Scan this QR code 3. Go online to ntc/eval
  49. 49. APPENDIXBread for World’s SM goals bread.org1. Expand and strengthen Bread’s advocacy work for poor and hungry people2. Expand our membership3. Better communicate with existing members and target audiences4. Strengthen our relationships with our members5. Fulfill our mission to end hunger here and abroad
  50. 50. C A S E S T U D Y : M E E T U P. C O MMeet up in the real world Meetups, Tweet-ups, concerts, fund-raisers to deepen ties
  51. 51. Use social love handles! Generate an Attention Wave
  52. 52. C A S E S T U D Y: S P O K E N W O R D . O R GEnable friction-free conversations Make sure your site is conversation-enabled! Lower the barriers to people talking about your cause by using third-party authentication services. Left: with multiple log-in options.
  53. 53. CASE STUDIES: COVE & DOSOMETHINGMuch more than Text2Give The Cove campaign: Text DOLPHIN to 44144 Start & grow a mobile list • Calls to action • Alerts • Feedback loop • Reaches new constituents Text HELPME to 30644
  54. 54. RESOURCES Productivity tools• Google docs• LibreOffice• Google groups• Private group on Facebook• Project management (, SharePoint)• Skype