Helping Nonprofits Communicate

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5 [More] Tips for a Streamlined Social Media Plan

You  have written your social media policy, check.  You worked through our first 5 Tips to a Streamlined Social Media Plan, check.  Now what?

1. Make Metrics Your Best Friend

Just like you use measurable outcomes to determine if your programs are working or not, metrics provide invaluable insights to your community.  What does your community enjoy hearing about?  What do they need to know? What do they want to know? A big component the first year of using social media is listening.  Not physically listening but listening to what your community tells you through their actions, reactions or in-actions.  Many of these can be determined through metrics.  Hootsuite, Facebook and Twitter have intuitive metrics.  Make sure you have enabled metrics on your website (if you’re using wordpress access the “JetPack” plug-in), you can also access metrics on Pinterest easily.  Beth Kanter, nonprofit social media guru, walks you step-by-step how to make SMART goals and then standardize them (extremely helpful if you are attempting to get a grant for social media purposes).

The confusion around whether or not you can measure social media has moved from “you can’t measure social media” to figuring out what to measure.

Setting aside time specifically each week or each month will help you make analyzing metrics habitual. Don’t be afraid of them or look at it like a chore.  This is free feedback from your community.  Use it!

Other great articles and resources:

How To Track Your Nonprofit Metrics

How To Standardize Your Nonprofit Metrics

2. Reassess Your Posts

Ask yourself: what is bringing the most engagement? Do not ask: How many likes/followers have we gotten this week? Many will argue this point but here we feel strongly that 200 strong supporters far outweighs 1,000 passive ‘likers.’  While the numbers look great – are those numbers engaging with you? Are they providing feedback? Are those followers being advocates and spreading your message, donating, or volunteering at your events?  If not, then you need to reasses how you are reaching your audience.  Social media isn’t just a popularity contest, it’s a way to connect and engage with those who are passionate about your cause.  Make sure you aren’t getting sidetracked by the “vanity metrics” by reassessing your posts and motivations.  Allyson Kaplin from Frogloop Nonprofit Marketing suggests these great parameters:

  • Focus on Target Audiences Are we fostering meaningful conversations with target audiences?
  • Focus on Influence Do the people we seek to reach look to our organization as a leading authority? Do they come to us first for the latest information and resources?
  • Focus on Trust Do the people we have relationships with on social media trust our organization and the information and resources we share? This also relates to our influence, which we highlighted above.
  • Focus on Commitment and Conversion Rates Do people feel committed to our organization and the work we do? Are we moving people up the ladder of engagement and getting them to take an important action on behalf of our organization because they feel passionate about our mission?
  • Focus on Engagement That Connects to Mission Are we measuring engagement based on our organization’s mission and key goals?

Read the entire article here. 

3. Engage Differently On Each Platform

Just like you speak differently to your mother than you do your co-worker, each social platform handles a little differently.  Tailoring your posts and interaction on each platform does not take a lot of time (you have Hootsuite, remember?) and it makes a huge difference.  Facebook can be more conversational, it has a larger amount of characters.  Twitter is limited to 140 characters (we even suggest staying under 120 to increase your community’s ability to RT).  Facebook is very visual, images go a long way on Facebook but on twitter links reign supreme. Again, who is your target? Are you speaking the way your community “hears” best (back up to number 1)  You can share the same message you just need to package it a little differently per platform. Here are a few examples from our feed:

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Kivi Miller of Nonprofit Marketing wrote a great piece about why it’s appropriate to speak differently on each platform

4. Add An Additional Element

You are rocking at your current methods of communication.  You’ve found where your audience lives and feel like you’re getting great interaction.  You have extra time (maybe?) and some extra zeal and want to attract even more people, convert some dormant followers, or test a new market. Yes  It’s time to add an additional platform.  Now, what that looks like for your organization is different than the organization next door.  It is time again to define what those goals would be for an additional platform and make sure you have the right one. 

The Atlanta History Center has a great following on all its platforms. They decided to add instagram to their arsenal. But, wait, isn’t instagram pictures of what’s currently happening? You are supposed to use instagram to humanize your organization? Yes, they found the same issue, their audience wasn’t as engaged with pictures of the building  workers, etc.  That was until a few weeks ago, someone on their marketing team (they get my accolades) came up with a genius hook. “Wouldagrammed” Each day they post old photos in history from the center, with a brief description and the hashtag #wouldagrammed  Their user engagement is up by 20% on instagram and they have added new users every day. The best part is the photos are all parts of exhibits in the center, encouraging those viewing them to either donate, visit or pass it along.  Perfect!!

Atlanta History Center’s July 4th Instagram Post:

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5. Prepare to Get a Little Uncomfortable

Are you going to know everything you’re doing? No.  Should you? Ehhhh maybe, but most likely no.  If you’re bored or completely content with how you’re marketing and interacting with your audience chances are things have gone stale. Constant reassessment and retooling help keep your organization fresh and in tune with what is at your fingertips.  Don’t be afraid to try and fail miserably.  The best way to learn is to try and a good percentage of the time the most effective learning happens through failure.  You have to accept the fear and the uncomfortableness in order to fail or succeed!

So get out there and try something new then let us know about it! We’d love to cheer you along.


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