Everyone talks about social media, but where do I start?

Everyone talks about social media, but where do I start?

Last year, staff at the Axelson Center debuted a blog series that highlighted some Fabulous Online Resources (FOR) for nonprofits looking to utilize social media to improve their organization.  In this segment of the FOR series, I will focus on the importance of a creating a stellar social media strategy and will provide some wonderful resources to help your organization achieve its goals.
Concise social media strategies and an expert utilization of current platforms are becoming essential to the success of nonprofit organizations. In a time when nonprofits have so much to contend with, it is now more important than ever to understand what role social media plays in your organization’s future.  If you, like so many others, are late hopping on the social media train we would like to offer a few suggestions to get started.

  • Plan it out. – Asking these preliminary questions will help you create a more effective and succinct social media strategy for your organization.
    • Who will you engage?
      • Volunteers
      • Donors
      • Peers
    • What are your goals?
      • Increase awareness
      • Build community
      • Recruit potential donors
      • Strengthen brand recognition
    • What resources do you have to invest?
      • Time
      • Staff
      • Money
    • What will you contribute?
      • A message that is on point with organization’s mission
      • A distinct voice for your community
      • Innovative original content
      • Expert advice
    • Which social media platforms are best for you?
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • LinkedIn
      • Blog
      • YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+…

In addition to these fundamental questions, it is also vital for your organization to make intelligent choices to ensure that spending resources on social media promotion will produce a good ROI.  I recently spoke with a social services organization leader who had decided not to worry about Twitter or Facebook, as the majority of her organization’s clients didn’t even own a computer. She did realize that her organization’s funders wanted information, though, so she needed to determine the best way to at least address that constituent group.  This realization helped the organization to focus time and energy in areas that were a good fit for them – given their mission, services, clients, and other key constituents.

There are so many Fabulous Online Resources (FOR) that nonprofit groups can utilize to enhance their organization.  Here are a few that I found noteworthy:

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