Today and over the next few weeks we will be taking a close look at social media for non profits: we will even share some of our “Social Media Strategy Smarts” specific to this sector with a view to helping you understand how using social media can benefit your organization and help it grow.
Keep It Simple and Achievable
The Out-Smarts mantra for our non profit clients has been “Keep It Simple and Achievable”. Adding social media tools to the strategy of non-profit business is essential in our networked world and tools such as Facebook, email, blogs and twitter are not only cost effective they also encourage a two-way conversation between people and organizations that can effectively increase the momentum and reach of a non-profit – but it has to be manageable given your time and resources.
Good Planning Makes for Good Fortune:
Non profits that focus first on developing a clear strategy are best positioned to succeed with an Social Media program. The first step is to develop a strategy that authentically reflects the organizations strategic goals and vision – whether the aim is to increase fund raising opportunities, engage volunteers or educate the public.
Here are some questions to explore to jump start your Non Profit Social Media strategy:
1. What do you want to accomplish with social media?
i.e. Do you plan to use Social Media to:
- Listen and Learn?
- Build Relationships and Issues Awareness?
- Improve Reputation?
- Generate Conversations?
- Drive Visitors to a website or blog?
- Taking Action or Fundraising?
- All of the above or other?
2. Identify and Research your Audience:
- Who must you reach to meet your objectives?
- What do you want to say to your key audience? (and what will they say back!)
- Which social media tools does your key audience currently use?
- Is there research required to better understand the online social behavior of your target audience?
3. Integrate your Social Media with existing marketing – harmonize with your online approach with off-line message:
- How does your social media support other components of your communications and fund raising strategy?
- Is your website Social Media ready?
4. Change can be hard – Social Media means added transparency for your Organization
To move forward with your strategy you will need to face these common fears and concerns:
- Loss of control over your message
- Dealing with negative comments on-line
- Perception of wasted of time and resources
- Suffering from information overload already, this will cause more
- Not being successful, fear of failure
5. Pick Your Tools and Your Leader
- What tools to support your objectives?
- What tools suit your audience?
- What tools do you have the capacity to implement?
- Who will be responsible for over sight?
6. Get Started
- Do you need any outside expertise?
- Who will implement your organization’s social media strategy?
- Do you have a Social Media Policy to provide posting guidelines
- Determine how much time you can you allocate to your strategy?
If your Non Profit can answer most of these questions it is clearly ready to step out onto the Social Media stage with your message. Remember keep it simple and achievable. Treat your first steps as experimental. Go easy and record your successes and challenges to share with others.