10 Social Media Goals to Become a Rock-Star Nonprofit

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Those in the nonprofit sector do what we do because we want to make a difference in the world. We’re not looking for accolades or awards, but we recognize that in order to be effective we need to catch the attention of others who share our vision, care about our cause, and can make meaningful contributions to move our efforts forward.

Social-Media-Rockstar-570x300Image Credit: Anand Patel, Social Media Rockstars, used under CC BY.

To that end, social media is a nonprofit’s best friend. There isn’t a better vehicle to drive your organization’s exposure and engagement, bringing those cause partners into the fold. But you can’t use social media haphazardly and expect results. If you want your nonprofit to rule social, you need to have a plan.

Here are ten goals that when nurtured will raise your nonprofit’s social presence to rock-star status:

1. Increase your blog presence. The key to blogging success is consistency. Nothing is worse than a blog that starts strong with five or six posts in a row, and then dies. Unfortunately, there’s also nothing more common.

Part of the problem is that too few people plan for their blog’s success. You need to spend time on a regular basis brainstorming topics and scheduling when you’ll post them. Plan for a minimum of one post per week – enough to create a presence, but not so much that you’re overwhelmed and keep putting it off.

If you don’t have time to write yourself on a weekly basis, reach out to influencers in your space and arrange for guest posters to share their thoughts.

And at least once a month write about an area of your nonprofit’s expertise – shining a light on what makes you special, and giving your readers something that stands out from your regular posts.

2. Participate in relevant Twitter chats. Anyone can participate in the numerous scheduled, live, moderated chats that happen on Twitter – you just need the proper chat hashtag to be sure you’re seen.

Hosting a Twitter chat of your own should be your goal, but if you’ve never taken part one before, you’ll want to get acclimated by attending a few before taking the hosting reins.

SocialTimes has a list of Twitter chat databases to help you find chats to attend (and you can list your own when the time comes). Twubs.com’s directory is particularly organized, listing hashtags by category, including nonprofit, charity, church/religious organization, etc.

3. Makeover your profiles. If you’ve been operating with the same cover images for a long time they can start to render as invisible to your followers. Just like your walls need a fresh coat of paint every once in a while, updating your social profiles with fresh cover images can breathe new life into your social presence.

Choose images that speak to your organization’s impact, showcase highlights from the past year, speak to who you serve, the change you’re facilitating, or all of the above. You don’t want to be constantly changing your images, because you do want followers to recognize you in their feeds, but annual or seasonal updates show you’re active and current.

While you’re at it, go through your profile’s blurbs, bios, and any other “about” pages that may be dated. Update with your newest mission statement, latest accomplishments, or anything else important that’s changed since they were originally published.

4. Attend and document social events relevant to your nonprofit. Find a social event like a happy hour, conference, or Meetup in the area of your nonprofit’s work, take some photos of the people you interact with, and create an album to share on Facebook to drive likes and shares.

Keep yourself organized with notes (carry a small notebook, or make notes in your phone) for each event, like where it was held, and people’s names. Ask people if they wish to be tagged in your photos, and make note so you don’t get yourself into trouble for tagging someone who’d rather remain anonymous.

5. Become active in at least one LinkedIn group. LinkedIn is a great place to connect to influencers and others who can help your organization. Start interacting there by making it a point to engage in a LinkedIn group on a weekly basis. Jump in and ask or answer a question, make a comment – whatever you can do to maintain a presence within the group or groups that make sense for your organization.

Mark it on your calendar as a recurring event so you don’t forget.

6. Make your website mobile. If it’s not already, it’s time to take whatever steps are needed to ensure your nonprofit’s website is mobile-responsive. If you’re tech-savvy enough, or have the need, you could take things to the next level with a mobile app, though this is a bonus and not a necessity.

The bottom line is to make sure that donating and obtaining news and info is fast, easy, and accessible for your constituents. Because otherwise, they’ll go elsewhere.

7. Plan an event. Once you’ve been to a few local events and seen the variety of options for entertaining (see #4 above), plan one of your own. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, what matters is opening your organization up to the opportunity to be in the spotlight, be noticed, and network.

You can host an event for any reason, but consider tying your event to a holiday relevant to your organization. This doesn’t have to mean a major holiday, by the way – there are plenty of “national days” you can draw on to make things more festive. And of course there are weekly and monthly designations as well – like October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Have a little fun, and then, with a captive audience, you can share information about your mission, meet potential donors and volunteers, and even raise money.

8. Craft a stellar social media strategy. If you’ve been operating without one thus far, you’ll be thrilled at how a social media strategy for your nonprofit allows you to spend your time more wisely. If you’ve been working with a social strategy all along, take some time to review and make improvements to last year’s plan so you can have even more of an impact this year.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to outline the details of your social approach. Use your social media audit to inform decisions like:

  • Which platforms to focus on this year
  • What kind of content to share on each
  • How often to post to each platform, and what days and times your constituents are paying the most attention
  • Who is responsible for what

The energy you put into your social media presence is what you’ll get back, so organize your efforts and make them count.

9. Incorporate video. If you already use video, consider using it MORE – because it’s one of the most powerful social tools at your disposal (where would the #IceBucketChallenge have been without it?).

Video is the best way to convey an emotional story and evoke emotion in return. And emotions drive action.

Sharing videos of your constituents, your staff, and those you help builds credibility and humanizes your organization, allowing you to go so much deeper with your messaging.

And making videos needn’t be expensive, so make a pact to use video more this year and see the difference it makes.

10. Connect with journalists on social media. Who is easier to ask for a favor, someone you know well, or someone you just met?  Obviously it’s easier to approach someone you know well when you need a little help, and that’s why you want to be sure you’re building relationships with influential journalists who cover your space.

Because when you have something newsworthy you want amplified by a little extra press, you want to have solid connections in place with the people who can get your organization out there.

And you never know when that’s going to be, so start now and you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way.

Whether you shoot for all ten goals listed here, or incorporate a select few, your nonprofit can only benefit from a more focused approach to your 2015 social media objectives. We look forward to seeing your nonprofit rock.

How do you plan to rock social media? What goals would you add to this list?

 

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