Helping Nonprofits Communicate

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Social Media Buy-In

Do you ever feel like your managing team or board members look uncomfortable the minute you start talking about social media?

You’re not alone. Many nonprofit boards and managing teams are compromised of some people who are less comfortable using social media. How do you help them see the value in something they don’t understand or are afraid will ruin your organization?

If you’re tasked with convincing a stakeholder to add or enhance your organization’s social media presence, here are some tips for being successful:

1. Be reassuring

Put it into perspective: Up until about 20 years ago, many communications were primarily done on paper and the phone. Both time and thought (and editing) went into your mass communications. You had more control over your message under those circumstances.

2.  Empower Them

Knowledge is power, for our some of our clients the Social Media Policy is the first key to empowerment. Some clients have legitimate concerns about privacy and risk management. Taking the time to address potential situations and mapping out a social media policy can help, and it’s something ON paper that helps determine the message and have control over it.Once empowered with knowledge and confidence, it can be easier to see the benefits of engaging through social media.

3.  Specify Goals

Social media can be that elusive “shiny object” if there aren’t concrete goals.  Discuss primary goals and how those goals can be achieved by social media. For example, if you want your online presence to recruit not only more employees but to build awareness in their community, create a social media strategy providing a specific content calendar and day-to-day tasks geared to those two goals. Establish benchmarks and metrics on how to determine when and if we were achieving them. Hard facts are more helpful than “feelings,” and it will feel less like an “experiment” when there are set goals and time frames to prove their worth.

4. Be Patient

Just because YOU see the no-brainer appeal to reaching thousands on a social media platform does not mean they will. Most likely you will be going over the same ideas and instructions many times until everyone has confidence and feels empowered. Take a breath. Wait. Remember a time in your life when you learned something out of your realm and how a little patience and understanding would go a long way?

5.  Bring In An Objective Opinion

A client we worked with years ago had a younger team member who had been trying to convince them to engage on social media for over two years. She finally convinced them to sign up for social media training sessions with us to just see if they liked it. A professional outside opinion can soften the blow and often times be the voice of reason above the usual meeting tension. We helped ease their fears and helped them understand the importance of an online presence, wrote a working social media policy and created attainable goals they could work on together. We continued to check in on them to see how their goals were coming and helped them adjust based on their metrics.

Calm their fears, empower them, make attainable goals, be patient and suggest an objective opinion – five steps to making your next social media marketing meeting a success!

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