Next, I’m going to share a brief case study about the American Red Cross that illustrates how social media is having a huge impact on nonprofits and more importantly why it is important for nonprofits to pay attention.The Red Cross – through its social media strategy – has discovered that social media can help with:* Monitor and track their brand and reputation* Identify and reach out to new supporters* Raise moneyThis a core set of impacts for nonprofits and it is increasingly happening online and with social media.
Last May, when Target announcement that it would be giving away its $3 million to ten organizations based on the percentage of votes they could rally from people on Facebook, the Red Cross was ready. They were able to mobilze enough votes to get 1/3 of the budget.When they first started their social media efforts, the communications staff needed to access Facebook but it was blocked . So, because of the earlier listening efforts had effected a change of attitude about social media, they were able to put into place an internal social media policy. They unblockdFacebook. This was important because staff members who were on Facebook all helped with the mobilization of Red Cross fans to help with the voting process.
They also know that in order to have more impact, they need to scale. They wanted to go beyond having social media be a silo in the communications department, and through the Target experience they realized the value of employee use of social networks/social media. They worked on a social media policy, guidelines and an operational manual so that anyone working in affiliates as well as national could be ambassador on social networks. The guidelines also extend to volunteers. The overall policy is encouraging, not controlling. The operational handbook gives them specific steps, examples, and tips for being effective.
For example, they are able to provide advice and support to their affiliates who want to use Twitter effectively. Show example of all Twitter Accountshttp://redcrosschat.org/twitter/Now they have this network set up in the event of a disaster to quickly spread news/information.Their constituents/donors/stakeholders expect them to have a presencehttp://redcrosschat.org/twitter/#comment-37060 (screen capture of this comment)Summarize: The Red Cross found value from social media – by monitoring brand, reaching out to new supporters, and mobilizing them – and they did it by following these incremental steps: listen, engagement, build relationships, mobilize and scaleIt isn’t just Red Cross that has found value in Twitter. Here’s a couple of brief examples.
Listen: Monitor, Compile, Distribute<br />I
took an American Red Cross class I thought was less than satisfactory. […] The local chapter director. called me to talk about it honestly. They care about me and they’re willing to go the extra mile. I am now significantly more likely to take another class than I was before.” - Blogger<br />