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10 Steps to a Successful Nonprofit Social Media Strategy

DESCRIPTION: Social media success is something that nonprofits are finally beginning to see as a vital piece of the marketing and fundraising puzzle. However, just setting up a Facebook page or a Twitter account isn’t enough. You need to know why you are on social media, who you are trying to reach, and what you are planning to say. Planning and creating a strategy is vital if you want to succeed on social media and stop spinning your wheels. In this presentation, Julia will take you through the 10 necessary steps you need to create a viable social media strategy for your nonprofit. In this workshop, Julia will review specific tactics and examples from nonprofits small and large who are finding success using social media to drive engagement and awareness of their organizations – and even raise money!

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10 Steps to a Successful Nonprofit Social Media Strategy

  1. 1. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  2. 2. What is “Social Media”? “Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.” BUT it’s not where nonprofits should start! @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  3. 3. Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse  pyramid.html @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  4. 4. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  5. 5. We Must Change the Culture The key is to get a group of people thinking through a social media lens. We are all publishers. We are all storytellers. We need to embrace being more transparent and accessible. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
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  10. 10. We Must Address Challenges  Lack of internal resources  Lack of expertise  Fear of “the new”  Not convinced about the real value/ROI  Lack of clear guidelines and policies  Fear of negative reactions on social media accounts  Fear of loss of control @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  11. 11. Step 1. Get People On Board! Create a Social Media Committee.  Who in your organization (staff, volunteers, clients) likes social media?  Who is creative?  Who has their pulse on the latest news?  Who is well-connected?  Who is passionate? @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  12. 12. What Will They Do?  Brainstorm content.  Research blog posts.  Take and post photos.  Keep an eye out for good stories and news.  Be champions online!  Sharing, liking, tweeting.  Train and motivate others.  Create social media policies and procedures for the organization. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  13. 13. The POST Social Strategy @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  14. 14. Step 2. Define Your Audience.  What is the desired action?  Who is most likely to take this action?  What motivates them?  Where do you come in? What do they already know about you? @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  15. 15.  What may drive them to take the action that you want?  Where do they get their information?  What else is important to them?  Where do they spend their time online? @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  16. 16. Case Study: Road Scholar  They used to post only about their travel catalog and promote their trips, with no clear idea of who they were speaking to or what resonated.  Their page wasn’t growing, their likes were not growing, and they regularly reached less than 5% of their fan base. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  17. 17. Case Study: Road Scholar  Once identifying their target audience and key message, they have now enjoyed huge success and regular reach upwards of 30% of their fans – without paid ads!  Their audience is predominantly 60+, female, and loves to travel and learn. They call her the “spunky grandma”.  Posts that work best are inspirational stories and articles of older people surpassing expectations and defying stereotypes.  Female-centered posts also do very well. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  18. 18. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  19. 19. Conduct An Audience Survey Are you familiar with social media? Social media includes but is not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc. If yes, which social media sites do you interact with? (List to top 10 - 12 social media sites and platforms) How much time to you spend engaging in social media per week? a. For personal use b. For professional use @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  20. 20. Conduct An Audience Survey What would motivate you to interact with our brand in social media? (entertaining videos, helpful content, impact stories, etc.) What other brands or organizations do you participate with in social media? This could take the form of blogs that you read, Facebook fan pages, or Twitter feeds that you follow. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  21. 21. Step 3. Define Your Goal. Why are you using social media in the first place? How will you know success at the end of your social media campaign? Common nonprofit social media goals:  Raising awareness  Thought leadership  Reaching new supporters  Engaging/deepening connections with donors @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  22. 22. Raising Awareness You want as many people as possible to know about you, your brand and your products and services. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  23. 23. Thought Leadership You want to be recognized as a leader in the field and a go- to resource for the community, stakeholders, and the media. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  24. 24. Reaching New Supporters You want to build up your email list and your social media channels to reach new people who may give you money, or volunteer, or attend an event. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  25. 25. Deepening Relationships You want to deepen relationships with your current donors as part of the donor cultivation process. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  26. 26. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  27. 27. Social Media’s Strengths  As a foot in the door  As a way to organically grow your in-house mailing list  To get supporter and stakeholder feedback  Increase SEO (Search Engine Optimization)  To interact with donors/community members  To build trust and loyalty  Share helpful information  Help people solve problems @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  28. 28. Social Media’s Weaknesses  People use it to “drive website traffic” – but if you do not have anything valuable or interesting on your website, they will leave in droves.  People do not like to be “sold” to on social media.  It’s not a “sales first” tool – it’s about networking, information sharing, and relationship building. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  29. 29. Step 4. SMART Objectives. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  30. 30. Step 4. SMART Objectives. Choose SMART objectives to match your goals. What can you measure?  Increased email sign ups  Increased ticket sales  New volunteer sign-ups  Increased website traffic  Increased online donations @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  31. 31. Put Them Together Goal What is the purpose? How is it measured? What defines success? What is the purpose? Why is this goal important? What will be the benefit for your organization? How is it measurable? What are you able to measure that will give you knowledge about your progress? Identify a benchmark for each measurement that will help you figure out how well you did in accomplishing your goal. Raising awareness To get more corporate sponsors for our events, to recruit more individual donors, to acquire more volunteers and Board members Website traffic, email sign ups, increase in social media fans/followers 20% increase in 6 months @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  32. 32. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
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  35. 35. Step 5. Tools & Tactics. When you define what you want to do and who you want to reach, you can then decide what you will do:  Start a video marketing program  Sign up for Twitter  Start a blog  Revamp the website  Start email marketing  Get an online donation page @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  36. 36. Each Channel Is Different Each channel has it’s own etiquette, language, and set of rules. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  37. 37. 5. Choose Channels. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
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  44. 44. Choosing Channels 1) Is your audience there? 2) Can you add value? What can you provide that will be interesting and unique? 3) Do you have the capacity to manage another channel? @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  45. 45. Managing A Channel Means:  Daily creation of unique content that serves a purpose  Finding good content to share  Monitoring topics and hashtags to stay tuned to what is trending and on people’s minds  Commenting on others’ content @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  46. 46. Managing A Channel Means:  Answering questions and messages  Acknowledging people that share your content and comment  Keeping track of what has been shared  Measuring what works and doing more of it. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  47. 47. How Many Channels? Goal #1 Goal #2 Goal #3 Content: Expertise: Total Rank Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Blog Email marketing Video creation @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np Content: How easy will it be for you to produce the necessary content? Expertise: How comfortable are you with this channel? Rate on a scale of 1-5 – 1=Not Very and 5=Extremely
  48. 48. Step 6. Integration. Look at other departments and come up with ways that you can integrate social media with each department. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np Department Social Media Use Ideas Programs Start a private Facebook group for clients; take photos from the field and post on Instagram Administration Answer questions on Facebook page; create and post a list of the most needed in-kind items Development Use LinkedIn for donor prospecting; post about the annual appeal; share stories about organization’s impact Membership Share stories of members and what membership means to them; post about annual membership drive; show benefits of membership
  49. 49. Step 7. Create Policies. Social Media Committee & HR should be in charge of policies.  External Policy – No spam, obscenity, etc.  What will get people blocked from the page or the group?  Can they post jobs or business opportunities?  Can they share their own personal stories/experiences?  What is encouraged? Sample language: “We are a family-friendly page and do not tolerate obscenity or hate speech of any kind. We reserve the right to delete a comment that we find hateful or that runs afoul of our policies.” @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  50. 50. Step 7. Create Policies.  Internal Social Media Policy & Training  Be smart about training employees on what they should and should not share online.  Empower and educate before punish.  Who are the administrators of the page?  Who will take charge when this person is on vacation/out?  What is the procedure for answering questions/comments – what is the timeframe? 24 hours? Less? @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  51. 51. Crisis Management! An actual tweet accidentally sent via @RedCross: @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  52. 52. Red Cross response: #gettngslizzerd was a Trending Topic (meaning it was popular on Twitter) @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  53. 53. Dogfish Head Brewery response: The Red Cross set up a designated page in connection with Dogfish encouraging people to donate a pint and use the hashtag to spread the word. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  54. 54. Step 8. Create & Curate Content. Start a simple Content Calendar for planning, scheduling, and publishing content across channels.  Blog posts  Twitter  Facebook  YouTube  Email Newsletters  Direct mail  Donor communications  Press releases  Events @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  55. 55. So… What Do I Post About?!  Industry blogs, newsletters, websites  Google Alerts & New York Times alerts  Competitors  Success Stories  Inspirational quotes  Reached a goal  Want input on an issue @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  56. 56. So… What Do I Post About?!  Events, anniversaries, celebrations, birthdays  Email newsletter  Tie current events to your cause/issue  Twitter search  Figure out what’s working for other nonprofits and adapt it! @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
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  65. 65. Stop and Listen  Spend some time on each channel.  Each network has it’s own culture, etiquette, and language.  Listen to what people are saying – what moves them? What are they sharing and retweeting?  Listen to what other organizations are posting – Is it falling flat? Getting engagement?  Listen and get ideas. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  66. 66. Step 9. Add Visuals & Video. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  67. 67. Free & Low-Cost Tools Reality: You need a constant stream of compelling visuals, photos, videos, infographics.    WordSwag, Prisma, Boomerang, Ripl – mobile apps @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  68. 68. Free & Low-Cost Tools @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  69. 69. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  70. 70. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  71. 71. Video Rules On Social Create a short-form video strategy.  Videos under 1 minute work best on social media, up to 30 seconds is good. (YouTube is the exception – longer videos work well on that channel.)  Focus on one story/one angle per video.  Authenticity is incredibly important.  Sound needs to be good.  Can look amateurish (made with your phone). @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
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  76. 76. Step 10: Create A Work Plan. What is manageable?  15 minutes in the morning.  15 minutes at lunch.  15 minutes in the evening/afternoon. Estimate 2 hours per week per channel. There is no absolute right answer to the “how much time will it take” question. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  77. 77. Step 10. Create A Work Plan. Check out Social Media Dashboards & Scheduling Tools  HootSuite, TweetDeck, Buffer, PostPlanner @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  78. 78. Step 10a. Measure & Improve.  Avoid only vanity metrics.  Vanity metrics are things like how many people saw your Facebook post (reach) and how many views you received on your video.  While important, did the attention/views help advance the bottom line? @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  79. 79. Step 10a. Measure & Improve. Make measurement a habit.  Facebook – Instant Post Insights  Twitter – ReTweets, mentions  Instagram Analytics  Website analytics and traffic  Blog traffic and comments  Email newsletter signups  Go back to the Facebook Ladder. See what works. Do more of that. @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  80. 80. Social Media Isn’t Easy – or “Free” Social media is free like getting a puppy is free! @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
  81. 81. Success Means:  Consistent content creation that gets likes, shares, or comments.  Matching each post or tweet with a visual.  Creating video, the type of content that works best across all channels.  Social media advertising is now required (but must be used strategically). @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np
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  83. 83. Questions? Twitter: @JuliaCSocial Facebook: jcsocialmarketing Email: julia@ @JuliaCSocial @FFMW #sm4np