I’m a big fan Heather Mansfield and her blog Nonprofit Tech 2.0. Already a while ago, on April 18th, I attended one of her rare free webinars entitled “11 Steps to Launching a Successful Social Media Strategy for Your Nonprofit”. Underneath are the notes that Heather shared with all attendees after the webinar.
1. Understand the big picture
- Your social media campaigns are only as good as the staff that create and manage them.
- Instant success is a myth… social media requires time and resources to earn ROI.
- The strategy discussed in this webinar can be applied to all nonprofits, but the ability to implement the strategy depends upon your organization’s capacity.
2. Before you get started, get organized
- Create an email account specifically for your nonprofit’s social media accounts and profiles.
- When possible, have more than 1 admin for your profiles.
- Bookmark your browser to simplify management of multiple profiles.
- Create a Master Login Spreadsheet.
3. Clarify objectives and track progress
- Define your social media metrics and set measurable goals, for example:
* 25% increase in website and blog traffic in 12 months.
* 2.000 new e-newsletter subscribers.
* 25% increase in online donations.
* 1.500 new Facebook fans, 1.000 new Twitter followers, 750 new Google+ followers, and 500 new Pinterest followers
* 10.000 video views on YouTube.
- Create a spreadsheet that monthly compares your social media metrics against the metrics that measure your ROI (Return On Invesment), for example:
* Online Donations
* Online Donors
* Downloads of Annual Report
* Download of Case Study
* Purchased Services/Products
4. Allocate funds and staff resources
- The time your social media staff will need on average to efficiently manage the different channels & tasks involved :
* Facebook :: 3 hours weekly
* Twitter :: 5 hours weekly
* Pinterest/Photography :: 5 hours weekly
* YouTube/Video :: 2 hours weekly
* LinkedIn :: 2 hours weekly
* Blogging :: 10 hours weekly
* Experimentation with new tools such as Instagram, Sulia, Pheed, Google+, Tumblr, Kickstarter, etc. :: 5 Hours Weekly
* Research, reporting and strategy :: 3 hours weekly
* Website and e-newsletter content :: 5 hours weekly
- The salary your social media staff will need to be paid can be checked through this infographic that gives figures for the US:
5. Create a consistent visual brand
- First impressions are important. Invest funds in graphic design. Your nonprofit needs:
* A square avatar
* Facebook Timeline cover(s) and App Icons
* A Twitter background and header
* A YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Page banner
* Blog and e-newsletter graphics
- Check out this Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet
6. Integrate all communication channels
- Web 1.0 :: The Broadcast Web: Websites, e-Newsletters, and “Donate Now” Buttons
- Web 2.0 :: The Social Web: Blogs and Social Networking content integrated into the Website
- Also very important:
* Thank You Landing Page
* Email Subscription Landing Page
7. Get the necessary training
Very few people innately understand how to use social media to build an online brand. The best social media managers have years of experience with online communications and fundraising.
That said, if you can not hire an experienced social media manager, make sure volunteers, interns, and staff are properly trained in social media, HTML, photo and video editing, etc.
8. Prioritize creating content
- Blogging is often the missing piece in a nonprofit social media campaigns.
Examples of blogs are Greenpeace Blog, Nonprofit Tech 2.0
- Brand your images and create images of inspirational quotes and stats.
- Create videos and slideshows.
- Publish reports, Zeens, host tweet chats, Google+ Hangouts, Infographics, etc.
9. Create a Social Media Policy
- Social media policies vary widely depending upon your nonprofit’s mission:
Do you reach out to minors online? Are you a political or religious organization? Do you respond to crisis situations?
- That said, social media policies should encourage empowerment and trust over restriction and fear.
Check out these resources:
* TechSoup and Idealware Guide to Social Media Policies
* Legal Issues
* Crisis Communications
* Online Database of Social Media Policies
* Beth Kanter
10. Prioritize Mobile Content
- 43% of email is now read on mobile devices. That could be why we saw a large drop in email donor response rates in 2012.
- Mobile users now surpass desktop on Facebook and Twitter.
- Mobile wallets will transform online fundraising.
- Odds are your nonprofit needs a new website.
11. Analyze, Adapt, and Improve
- Write up your strategic plan. Review your Social Media ROI Spreadsheet annually.
- Adjust goals and objectives accordingly and report progress. Understand that social media success in terms of fundraising is challenging to track. A good social media manager trust their intuition and backs it up with data.
- 2012: It Was a Very Good Year for Social Giving [Infographic]
- Fascinating New Insights on Social Media Fundraising
- Does Social Media Really Motivate Supporters? New Report
- 11 Excellent Examples of Nonprofit Avatars
- Three Nonprofit e-Newsletters to Subscribe To and Learn From
- Google Wallet Ushers in a New Era in Online and Mobile Fundraising for Nonprofits
- Seven Responsively Designed Nonprofit Websites to Study and Learn From