Nonprofit Organizations and Social Media

Nonprofit organizations can benefit tremendously from social media.  It's a simple way for you to to gather followers and friends who have the same goal and mission.  Here are our steps to create a social media campaign for your company:

  • Know your audience - Interact with the group of people with your common vision.  Find out who shows an interest in your cause by using a social media management platform's listening tool and find out who's using keywords that pertain to your nonprofit or mission.  Introduce yourself (always make a good first impression) and show them that you have a common goal - your target audience can help spread the word about the cause and create buzz in their own networks of friends and acquaintances.
  • Make your mission statement clear - This is a MUST for all nonprofits!  No one will donate or volunteer for a cause they don't have that much information about.  We've all heard about donation schemes that turn out to be scams - you're not one of them!  Make sure your cause and mission statement are searchable and present in all of your organization's pages.
  • Show some action - To prove that your nonprofit isn't a scam, post media and articles about how you're changing your world.  Post videos volunteers, success stories, pictures of benefactors - potential volunteers want to see what the job consists of and who they'll be helping, and media can help emotionally engage people to get involved.  It can also help people relate to the problem and actually uncover a problem that needs to be solved in their community and in the world.
  • Thank your sponsors - "Please" and "Thank-you" are the magic words - I can't remember how many times I was told this when growing up.  A small thank you can make someone feel very special.  Thank your sponsors, volunteers, donators publicly - it's a simple way to say you're appreciative, and a simple way to put a smile on someone's face.
  • Make information accessible - If people want to find out more about the company, or how they can lend a hand, give them the information.  Volunteers are already devoting time to helping out - don't make them spend more time looking for all the logistics.  Make information easy to find on your company's website and fan pages.  Also, make it easy to donate to the cause - many nonprofits have already enlisted the text to give mobile option, and some have even included a donation button on their sites.

I personally believe there are so many great nonprofit organizations out there that need more social media coverage to shed some light on a great cause.  Everyone has the opportunity to change their communities, cities, and even the world.  Social media gives nonprofits the opportunity of connecting volunteers with a cause.

[Photo Courtesy of Office Clipart]

Put Social Media into Your Schedule

 

Ever wish there were more than 24 hours in a day?  Well, we’re not going to tell you the impossible, but we will give you some tips on how to include social media into your workday.

Social media has become more important in our world today, so businesses cannot pass up the opportunity to reach potential customers through these channels.  However, most businesses are struggling to balance their schedules even without social media – so how can social media be added to your marketing efforts?  Social media doesn’t have to be time consuming – follow these easy tips that will create a solid social media plan.

  • Create an actual schedule – Block out a certain chunk of your day to devote yourself completely to social media.  Schedule an hour directly after lunch so you can write blog posts, generate Facebook content, Tweet about company happenings.  Or break up your social media ventures into chunks of time (such as 10 minutes at the beginning of your shift, 10 minutes at the end).  Having a set time will allow you to focus on social media, and help you not get distracted from clicking on other tabs of work.
  • Make a list of your social media priorities – Don’t just dive in without checking if the water is shark infested – have a specific plan about what you’re going to post each day (maybe Mondays will be all about posting about company events to Facebook, and Fridays will be all about researching and listening to customer conversations so you can be on top of your industry’s buzz the following week).  There’s a list of social media must-dos everyday, such as answering direct messages and customer inquiries on your brand page, so make sure you have dedicated time every day to those activities.  Knowing what you’re going to post will make everything seem more organized, and in the long run, it’ll save time.
  • Get social media to work around your schedule – Facebook and Twitter actually have specific times where users are on the most and when they are likely to interact with your content (check out this interesting Mashable article).  But what if these times coincide with your conference meeting every week?  Well, don’t let social media completely rule your life.  You don’t have to reschedule that meeting – use a social media management tool to help you schedule posts and gather insights.  Don’t spend time gathering analytics or waiting for the optimal hour to post when you don’t have to.

Social media isn’t very time-consuming when you have an action-packed, but simplistic plan.  Stick to your plan, and you’ll find that you have more time (and money) that can be devoted to other business efforts.

It’s a Scary (Social Media) World Out There! Part 4: What Social Media Knows About You (For Businesses)

Just as consumers have to be wary about their social media ventures, businesses also have to take precautions.  Employees must be informed about the company policy (what? you don’t have a company policy? well, that’s step one!) and companies have to be strict in this area.  It’s easy for employees to make mistakes without realizing it, so here are our tips for making sure you have social media rules beforehand so you can prevent some security slips.

1.  Make sure employees are always informed – Many times, the source of social media mistakes is poorly informed (or not informed at all) employees.  Write out an actual set of rules concerning social media, and make it a part of employee orientation.  Also give out friendly reminders during the year, and encourage employees to ask questions about what they can post – better safe, than sorry!

2.  Don’t let your employees get too excited – It’s great that your company has a new, secret product that will change the world, but don’t let your employees be the ones to make the announcement.  In order to keep company activities a secret (especially from competitors), make sure there is a rule concerning social media quotes about products that have yet to be revealed.  It also may be better that this company information isn’t revealed to all employees – only to those who are directly related to the project should be informed.

3.  Never mix personal with professional – It’s so easy for people to post pictures or write comments that can ruin their reputation and their company’s reputation instantly.  Posts that can negatively affect the company or an employee’s future employer should be left for private use.

4.  Beware of hackers – Social media has made hacking even easier, as many users don’t utilize privacy controls, and display the hacker’s dream (their name, location, phone number, birthday.)  Business sensitive information can be tapped into if the security to those accounts/computers is loose.  Use an encrypted file storage for all important files, and encourage your users to change passwords and to be wary of sites that seem suspicious or too good to be true.

However, we aren’t saying social media is taboo at work – a study by Robert Half Technologies showed that 70 percent of employees who are allowed access social media at work are more productive those who don’t have access.  Businesses shouldn’t completely prohibit employees from accessing social media, but there should be a clear set of policies.

[Photo: Courtesy of Phillip Martin]