What Nonprofits Need to Know About Social Media: do you have A-PIE?
Guest Blog by Chris Syme, Principal, CKSyme.org
|There is no better vehicle for bringing outsiders in than social media. Social media can enhance your ability to tell your story, raise friends, sustain campaign engagement, recruit volunteers, and deepen just about every process that involves human interaction, including fundraising.
No, social media isn’t a magic pill, nor is it the answer to all your problems. But, it can be a powerful partner in your effort to connect with people. The latest data collected by Pew Internet Research shows that people who use social networking sites (SNS):
- have more close relationships,
- get more social support than other people,
- are more politically engaged than most people, and
- are more likely to revive dormant relationships.
Also, people on social networks are more likely to keep up with close social ties. There’s a world of data and people out there to connect to in real-time. Are you taking advantage of the best channels to reach your stakeholders and build new ones?
Where do you start? Do you jump in, or should you check the depth and temperature of the water first? I recommend you start by building a solid strategy that is based on the goals and mission of your organization. You need A-PIE:
- Assess: Listen and monitor your audience. Who are they? What are they doing online? Are they creating, monitoring, commenting, posting reviews, recommending to friends? Where are they online? Facebook? Twitter? Blogs? Do they watch videos? Post pictures? Do an internal assessment as well. How much time, resources (people) and money do you have to dedicate to being social? What are your organizational goals? How could social media help you reach them?
- Plan: Take what you learn above and start to formulate a plan. Who will be in charge? Who can post on your behalf? What are your content guardrails? Who will monitor the channels? What metrics are you going to use to judge your progress? Who will do the training? Who will write the social media policy and how will it be enforced? How often and where will you post? What channels will you implement first? Second?
- Implement: Now that you’ve planned the work, work the plan.
- Evaluate: Always, always, always have a plan to regularly evaluate your progress. Do we need to cut away anything? Tweak? Show me the data.
To find out more about how you can implement an effective social media strategy for your organization, come to the Montana Nonprofit Association Conference in Billings September 28-30. You can find out more about the conference here . I’ll be doing an introductory social media boot camp on Thursday for social media newbies and then a deeper session on Friday on social media strategy that includes managing and building your reputation online, content marketing, and social media optimization. Bring your laptops. I hope to see you there!
Chris Syme is the Principal of CKSyme.org. Follow her ongoing blog at www.cksyme.org .