Friends for Youth's Social Media Tip Sheet for MANY


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This tip sheet was developed for the Mid Atlantic Network for Youth's Mentoring Children of Prisoners grantees in 2011.

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Friends for Youth's Social Media Tip Sheet for MANY

  1. 1. Social Media and Youth Mentoring TIP SHEET Overview: Social media and networking offer numerous ways to professionally engage with youth and volunteers, serving both program needs, like recruitment, and youth adaptability, to aid in areas like communication. This Tip Sheet is designed to guide you in the process and is not intended as official guidance.With 96% of Millennials joining a social network and the rise of connecting through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,and YouTube, presence on these sites is mandatory. For youth mentoring programs, the usual issues ofsecurity,productivity, return on investment, apply. However, technology can also bring up questions aboutsafety, boundaries, appropriateness, confidentiality, relationship ethics, technology and generational gaps, andcommunication between mentors, mentees, and program staff. Luckily, there is room for experimentation andorganizations can learn from other nonprofits that have taken the leap and become socially networked.StrategizeBefore you begin, reviewthese questions at all levels of your organization: Is it beneficial for your agency or program to dive in? Do you have staff and/or volunteer resources to maintain presence? Should you have individual as well as agency voice? What specific goals can you reach using social media?PrepareAnd before you engage in social media, be aware of safety concerns involved with social media, like spammersand hackers using false Facebookor Twitter accounts to gain personal or agency information and access toaccounts. Follow the same guildelines for email security: set secure passwords, check the default settings ofplatforms, update security and firewall systems, and beware unsolicited or unknown messages.EngageNow that you’ve assessed your agency’s capabilities (including having the staff or volunteer time to beconsistent and ensuring that your messaging is consistent with your program’s mission and vision),set goals, andcreated your accounts, it’s time to engage! To know where to start, follow this formula using these tools fromBeth Kanter(read more on how to use the tools in the Resources section):Created by MCP Support CenterTechnical Assistance Note: Recruiting MCP Eligible ChildrenApril 2011
  2. 2. Social Media and Youth Mentoring TIP SHEET Listen Engage Create Social Content Generate Buzz Build Community, Network Socially Google Alerts, Yelp, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Digg Facebook, LinkedIn, Technorati, RSS Backtype, WordPress, YouTube, iTunes Ning, Foursquare, Feeds, Twitter Facebook, podcasts, Flickr, MySpace hi5, MySpace, wikisPoliciesAdopting a separate social media policy is necessary for both program staff and participants. Agencies need tobe proactive in setting parameters for how their program, their “brand,” is discussed in one of the largestconversations on the planet, as well as consider the ethical implications of another form of communicationbetween mentors and mentees. Be clear from the beginning whether or not mentors and mentees may connector “friend” each other and communicate directly without monitoring by program staff. Expand or amend yourcurrent policies and procedures to include specific social media provisions, including: Purpose: encourage positive use and discourage inappropriate use Responsibility: be fair, ethical, accurate, honest Authenticity: share expertise, be transparent Audience: avoid alienation, have sensitivity Good Judgment and Common Sense: avoid disrespectful comments, maintain professionalism Community: be aware of linking as endorsement, handling disagreements Copyrights and Fair Use: respect legal guidelines and give others credit for their work Privacy, Confidentiality, Proprietary Information: includes photos, identifying information Value: be active, timely, thought-provoking Productivity: don’t neglect your job Protocol for Non-staff: sharing information about mentee/family, embarrassing stories, activity details; detailing process for conflicts (i.e., not online)Measure and MonitorAs with any other strategy you undertake, don’t forget to assess your impact. Are you reaching your goals? Doyou need to adjust the amount of staff time devoted to social media? What are some other ways you can useinfluencers, ambassadors, and other supporters to continue to spread your message? Beth Kanter recommendsmeasuring your social impact through the four I’s: Return on Insight (how people feel about your program),Return on Interaction (how you engage with people), Return on Investment (how many people you convert intosupporters, both financial and as volunteers), and Return on Impact (tracking the results online and inperson).Monitor use by continually checking platforms for postings by staff, volunteers, program participants,and general community members. Remind influencers to continue to advance your message to their networks.Created by MCP Support CenterTechnical Assistance Note: Recruiting MCP Eligible ChildrenApril 2011
  3. 3. Social Media and Youth Mentoring TIP SHEETResourcesBeth Kanterwww.bethkanter.orgBeth’s Blog: How Networked Nonprofits are Using Social Media to Power ChangeBeth’s Tweets: @kanterBeth’s book: The Networked NonprofitNetwork for Good Learning Centerwww.networkforgood.org10 Things You Need to Do Prior to Diving into SocialMedia and 11 Steps to Success with Social Networking(under Learning Center)TechSoup Learning Centerwww.techsoup.orgShould Your Organization Use Social Networking Sites?andEightSecrets of Effective Online Networking(under Using the Internet)Diosa Communications www.diosacommunications.comand blog Technology Networkwww.nten.orgCan Social Media Marketing and Traditional MarketingCoexist?andFive Free Tools for Social Media Listening (And How to Start Responding)(under Learn)Idealwarewww.idealware.orgThe Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guideand Measuring the Effectiveness of YourOnline Communications(under Articles)Social Fishwww.socialfish.orgSocial Media, Risk, and Policies for AssociationsFriends for Youth, Inc.sample social media policies for youth mentoringprograms (formentors) and (forstaff)Created by MCP Support CenterTechnical Assistance Note: Recruiting MCP Eligible ChildrenApril 2011