10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits


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Curious about social media? Undecided about how or why you might best utilize it in the messaging and overall strategy of your nonprofit? In this presentation, nonprofit professionals will learn how to implement a successful social media strategy in 10 steps.

Published in: Technology, Business

10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits

  1. 1. 10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy September 17, 2013 Essex County Community Foundation Julia Campbell, J Campbell Social Marketing www.jcsocialmarketing.com julia@jcsocialmarketing.com
  2. 2. What do we mean when we say “social media”?  “Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”
  3. 3. What’s included?  Blogging  WordPress  Tumblr  Social networking  Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Vine  Instagram  YouTube  StumbleUpon  Reddit
  4. 4. A word about email marketing & websites  They are not included when we talk about “social media.”  HOWEVER, having a robust website and email marketing program are even more important than social media!  Website is your hub  Email marketing is your direct communication – solicitations, advocacy, calls to action
  5. 5. Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse  http://seminars.idealware.org/eLearning/techpyramid/technology- pyramid.html http://seminars.idealware.org/eLearning/techpyramid/technology-pyramid.html
  6. 6. Is it all just a fad?  The telephone was also thought to be a fad. As well as the Internet.  The platforms may change but the concept is not going to change.  Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other on a personal and professional level.  Social media has completely changed our expectations of brands, companies and nonprofits.
  7. 7. How much do nonprofits invest in social media?
  8. 8. Surprising Statistics  The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket.  189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’.  YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network.  Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn  Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web.  25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them.  Source: http://blog.bufferapp.com/10-surprising-social- media-statistics-that-will-make-you-rethink-your-strategy
  9. 9. Why Is It Important for Nonprofits?  Extension of donor relations – research, stewardship, cultivation, connection.  Much richer than just a boring PDF annual report – and more memorable.  Public awareness! It’s very shareable.  Values stories – especially emotional ones.  Public accountability & transparency.  Instant feedback – what resonates?
  10. 10. Why Is It Important for Nonprofits?  It makes us dig deep into the “Why would anyone care?” question.  We know why we do it.  We know why you should give us money, volunteer, attend our event, care!  But can we convey the WHY?  Can we make people care?  Can we cut through the clutter and the noise?
  11. 11. Important Notes Before You Begin Technology is constantly in flux and you will need to be adaptable. The work is never “done”. There is no customer service (forums, blogs, Help centers). Tools are free (like a puppy is free). You will need to invest time in training and/or in staff/outside help. Some tools cost a little. Adapted from Social Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield
  12. 12. Important Notes Before You Begin Fear is counterproductive! Connecting with your constituents and supporters is never a waste of time. Don’t compare yourself! There is no silver bullet or magic shortcut to success. There are best practices, tips and tricks and helpful seminars! Adapted from Social Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield
  13. 13. 1) Create a Committee.  You cannot do this in a silo. Won’t work.  Think:  Who in your organization (staff, volunteers, clients) likes social media?  Who is creative?  Who has their pulse on the latest news?  Who is well-connected?
  14. 14. 1) Create a Committee. The key is to get a group of people thinking through a social media lens. What will they do?  Brainstorm content.  Research blog posts.  Take photos.  Keep an eye out for good stories.  Be champions online, sharing, liking, tweeting.  Social Media Ambassadors for the organization.  Train and motivate others.  Create Social Media Policies.
  15. 15. 2) Plan. Define your goals and objectives.  How will you know success? What can you measure that is directly attributable to social media?  Increased email sign ups  Increased event participation  New volunteer sign ups  Increased website traffic  Increased fundraising… think of the Facebook Ladder of Engagement (next slide)
  16. 16. “Our Only Goal Is To Raise Money.” “Facebook is not Amazon and Pinterest is not eBay.” – John Haydon Think about how you use social media channels:  Connect with friends and family  Discover interesting stuff  Sharing things that you like  Organizing with people who have common goals  People hardly ever “use social media with the goal of buying something or donating to a nonprofit”. More info at: http://social.razoo.com/2012/10/the- facebook-ladder-of-engagement/
  17. 17. http://www.johnhaydon.com/2012/11/facebook-ladder-of-engagement/
  18. 18. 3) Get Organized.  Create a Social Media Measurement spreadsheet  At of the start of your campaign, how many:  Likes, Followers, Blog readers, Email subscribers  Sign up for free Google Analytics
  19. 19. 3) Get Organized.  Sign up with Google Grants, the nonprofit edition of AdWords – Google’s online advertising tool  $10,000 per month in-kind AdWords advertising  http://www.google.com/grants/  Drive traffic to your website, which will in turn help you build your audiences on social media.  Get the HubSpot e-book: http://cdn1.hubspot.com/hub/53/ archive/docs/google_grants_tips_ nonprofit_ebook.pdf
  20. 20. 3) Get Organized.  Sign up and secure all URLs – be consistent.  facebook.com/nonprofitorgs  twitter.com/nonprofitorgs  Save usernames and passwords in a spreadsheet.  Get a square version of your logo for avatars.
  21. 21. 4) Create Policies.  Social Media Committee and HR can be in charge of these policies.  Make a plan for crisis communications.  External Policy – no spam, obscenity, etc.  What will get people blocked from the page or the group? What is encouraged?  Internal Social Media Policy & Training  Be smart about training employees on what they should and should not share online.  Empower and educate before punish.  Who are the administrators of the page? Who will take charge when this person is on vacation/out?
  22. 22. Crisis Management! An actual tweet accidentally sent via @RedCross:
  23. 23.  Red Cross response:  #gettngslizzerd was a Trending Topic (meaning it was popular on Twitter)
  24. 24.  Dogfish Head Brewery response:  The Red Cross set up a designated page in connection with Dogfish encouraging people to donate a pint and use the hashtag to spread the word.
  25. 25. 5 Rs of Social Media  Reason. Simply put: use reasonable etiquette, the same as you would offline.  Represent yourself. Anonymous profiles lend themselves to more negative content.  Responsibility. Make sure that what you’re saying is factually correct, and also that it doesn’t violate any legal guidelines that prohibit revealing information that is material to a company’s stock price.  Respect. What you say online is a permanent record, so don’t say anything online you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to the whole office – with a camera rolling.  Restraint. Before you hit that send button, pause and reread. If you wouldn’t want that particular thought or contribution forever associated with your name, don’t post it. Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2013/02/07/to-do-update-companys-social-media-policy-asap/
  26. 26. FAQ: Confidentiality Concerns “Client and staff identities need to be protected or lives are at risk.” Clients will be less likely to seek our services if they think there is a danger of their identity being revealed.” “We may be the target of hostile PR campaigns (women’s rights and gay rights organizations).”
  27. 27. FAQ: Confidentiality Concerns “Best way to protect confidentiality is to think about humans as much, if not more, than the technology.” Jayne Cravens, TechSoup Community Forum Manager Ensure that every employee and volunteer knows:  What info should be confidential and WHY.  What do breaches look like – online and offline.  Consequences.  Must be addressed and discussed frequently – part of the culture!  Write this into your policy (Google “Employee Social Media Policy”) More info at: http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/community/f/26/p/33610/115564.aspx#115564
  28. 28. 5) Choose Channels.  Too many organizations do this first.  Where are your supporters?  Where do they congregate?  Follow/Like other similar organizations.  Ask or survey your supporters and constituency.  Don’t get caught up in shiny new object syndrome.
  29. 29. Facebook 101  The place where people go to connect/reconnect with friends and family.  People come to Facebook to make personal connections and to have fun.  Strategy – Help supporters feel more connected to your organization; show them who you are as humans; help them connect to each other; make them trust you.  Share “behind the scenes” photos and videos, ask questions, share compelling statistics and success stories.  Easy, light, fun. Include media with all posts – links, photos, videos.
  30. 30. Twitter 101  A space where people share the content that excites them, in short 140 character bursts.  The link reigns supreme!  Strategy – Don’t get too personal; share the best content you can find; drive traffic to your website; get people to “ReTweet” your content; follow people who have lots of followers and ask them to spread your message.  ReTweet, Thank – create good Twitter karma.  Statistics, quotes, links. Be creative!
  31. 31. LinkedIn 101  A professional network where people go to build networks and connect to resources.  Strategy – Unlike Facebook, people actually want to talk about work and work issues on LinkedIn. Longer, wordier responses, more professional tone.  Look for potential employees and volunteers, share professional networking events, Board opportunities, join Groups and ask questions and start discussions.  Very good for donor prospect research, recruiting volunteers and staff members; also promoting thought leadership on an issue.
  32. 32. Pinterest 101  “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love.” – People use it to make wish lists, plan trips, organize events, start collections, interior decorating, plan projects  Pinterest is aspirational, not of-the-moment.  Pinterest works more like a Vision Board, rather than an off-the-cuff, in-the-moment statement of what we are eating or where we are hanging out.  Strategy – Pin compelling visuals with great captions that link back to your website or blog; share statistics and infographics; share your personality and pin things that are not directly related to your mission.
  33. 33. YouTube 101  YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world.  More than 1 billion unique visitors visit each month.  Enroll in the YouTube Nonprofit Program: http://www.youtube.com/nonprofits  Strategy – Post videos! Anyone can do it!  Download The Starter Guide to Nonprofit Storytelling: http://www.startstorytelling.com/  Also explore Vine and Instagram
  34. 34. 6) Listen.  Spend some time on each channel.  Each network has it’s own culture, it’s own feel and it’s own language.  Listen to what people are saying – what moves them? What are they sharing and retweeting?  Listen to what other organizations are posting – is it falling flat? Going viral?  Listen and get ideas.
  35. 35. 7) Work Smarter.  Check out Social Media Dashboards & Scheduling Tools  HootSuite, TweetDeck, Buffer, PostPlanner  Remember, it is always most effective to login and monitor each site individually.  Authenticity vs. Automation – the never-ending battle!
  36. 36. 15-15-15 Rule  15 minutes in the morning  15 minutes at lunch  15 minutes in the evening/afternoon Remember, people are used to a response within hours (if not minutes).
  37. 37. 8) Create Great Content.  Start a simple Editorial Calendar.  http://www.bethkanter.org/editorial-calendar-2013/  A tool for planning, scheduling and managing publication of content across channels  Blog posts  Twitter  Facebook  YouTube  Podcasts  Email Newsletters  Direct mail campaigns  Press releases  Events
  38. 38. What will I post/tweet about? • Industry blogs, newsletters, websites • Google Alerts & New York Times alerts • Competitors • Success Stories • Inspirational quotes • Reached a goal • Want input on an issue • Events, anniversaries, celebrations, birthdays • Email newsletter • Tie current events to your cause/issue • Read everything and follow everyone! • Figure out what’s working for other nonprofits and adapt it!
  39. 39. 8a) Get Visual!  THE REALITY: You need a constant stream of compelling visuals, photos, videos, infographics.  You cannot stretch your logo across your Facebook Page and have that resonate with potential donors.  PicMonkey.com  Quozio.com  Photopin.com  Morguefile.com
  40. 40. 9) Measure & Improve.  Measure results slowly.  Facebook – Instant Post Insights  Twitter – ReTweets, mentions  Website analytics and traffic  Blog traffic  Email newsletter signups See what works. Do more of that.
  41. 41. 10) Celebrate Successes.  Post if you reach 100 Facebook fans.  Acknowledge everyone who helped you get there.  Pat yourself on the back – social media is hard!  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  42. 42. Julia’s Social Media Philosophy Social media is a TOOL – it is not a substitute for a lousy program or bad programming. In other words, you still need a compelling cause and good message. Integrate it with an overall marketing campaign, just as you would other tools (direct mail, newsletter, website, ads).
  43. 43. Julia’s Social Media Philosophy Not all social media channels are right for your nonprofit. Pick and choose. Do a few well than many poorly. QUALITY over QUANTITY – one quality Facebook post per day (or every few days) is worth more than 100 posts that get you unliked or unfollowed.
  44. 44. To learn more:  www.johnhaydon.com  www.bethkanter.org  www.nonprofitorgsblog.org  www.hubspot.com  www.jcsocialmarketing.com
  45. 45. Questions, comments, feedback?  Email: julia@jcsocialmarketing.com  Website: www.jcsocialmarketing.com  Cell: 978-578-1328  Twitter: @JuliaCSocial  Facebook: www.facebook.com/ jcsocialmarketing