Social Media: A Strategy Not a Shot in the Dark

Now that I have discussed several topics regarding social media and nonprofits I’d like to clarify my definition of social media. I have  discussed some social networks, social bookmarks and social video sharing sites and to day I’d like to share about strategizing social media presence. But first things first my definition (and by mine I mean my lovely professor Mrs. Ashley Blair). Her definition is forms of electronic communication through which user create online profiles. Pretty vague huh? That’s because the term social media is actually a lot broader than some may think.

An illustration.

social media infographic

Source: Council for Nonprofits

This infograph is a look at the scale of what social media entails. If you’d like to have your mind blown check this out. What is the point of me showing you this? To make you freak out and realize you aren’t doing enough? No! I point out these different types of platforms to show the different ways of getting your nonprofit out there. Is it possible to reach all of these platforms well? Probably not. However, by picking key platforms from different parts of the wheel there is a much higher likelihood of reaching a broader audience.

So before you start randomly making a Facebook page consider some key points first.

1. Know the goals of your social media presence. Do you want to spread awareness? Update followers on what is happening? Promote events? Knowing what you want to do before hand can help you pick the most effective sites to use.

2. Keep a consistent presence. While it is important to update regularly, I mean it is important to keep the content of your posts on the same level. There is nothing wrong with using one site for multiple uses but keep it organized or follow some sort of pattern so your viewers are less like to get confused.

3. Make your platforms transparent. No I don’t mean as in opaque. I mean social media allows people to connect on a level they other wise may not be able to. Use your platforms to humanize your nonprofit.

Using these tips can transform a nonprofits social media presence. For more helpful advice check out this article.

Questions? Comments? See something you’d like to add? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @MollieTranum.


More Bang For Your Buck: Making 140 Characters Count

Twitter logoSource: Twitter

If you read my last post I addressed asked some questions about the implications of using social media as a marketing tool when spreading awareness and/or asking for donations and one of the first possible limitations that popped in my mind was the 140 character limit on Twitter. But 140 Characters is a lot you say. Actually its really not. When you include the hashtag, punctuation, and link you are pretty limited. BUT this can be a beautiful thing considering the average twitter users attention span seems to be that of a goldfish.

So the question is how do you get your point across in a concise and clear way without getting buried in someones twitter feed? My friend you have come to the right place.

1. Do use pictures and infographics. Ever heard the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words? Pictures go a long way in making a tweet stand out and in the case of infographics helps you cheat the system. All this without adding to that magical (or cursed however you choose to look at it) 140 character limit.

2. Do use humor or satire. This one you have to be careful with. Be smart know and your audience. It’s probably not a good idea to make fun of starving children or a political canidate. However, spoofing something like #FirstWorldProblems like in the case of the nonprofit Water is Life helped set them apart.

3. Do use current events. Are you a nonprofit for Breast Cancer Survivors and their Families? Blow up Twitter during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Make a special hashtag. Create a media campaign. A short intense burst of marketing in the right context can help spread awareness more effectively.

4. Do use hashtags. Hashtags are your friend. Not making a hashtag for a your organization or its most current campaign  is like not writing your name on a paper you just turned in. Hashtags are like a brand for what you and others are doing. They are easily identifiable labels that help get the word out and allow you to see what is going on in the Twitterverse.

5. Don’t just post links. While twitter is a great tool for sharing your latest blog post solely post a link is not using your account to its full potential. Highlight a question asked in your blog then link it. Name the topic or where it came from if it isn’t yours. Be sure to mix it up though and write original content on there too.

There you have it folks. This is far from a comprehensive list in fact there are lots of great resources out there.

Questions? Comments? Did I leave something out? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @MollieTranum.