Setting Social Media goals for your nonprofit: the case of ECWT

This month, I am building a Social Media strategy for the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) – a European multi-stakeholder partnership of more than 130 organizations and individuals working together to increase the number of girls and women in technology and in ICT in particular.

HubSpot_meeting_01GECWT approached me for starting up their Social Media activity, but I convinced them that building a Social Media strategic plan is the first step in becoming successful on Social Media.

In this post, I will describe how I established the first phase of ECWT’s Social Media strategy: deciding on objectives. It gives an answer to the question: “What does ECWT wants to achieve through its Social Media efforts?”

Step 1: Identify the program goals

The ultimate goal of any effort in communications is helping to achieve the organization’s mission, translated into what most organizations will call “strategic objectives” or “program/activity goals”. For ECWT, I grouped the program actions  in such a way that it would be easy to apply communications goals to them afterwards. I identified 4 groups of actions:

  • Actions that want to advocate for policy changes
  • Actions that want to inspire (young) women to change their behavior
  • Actions that want to inspire change makers to take up initiatives
  • Actions that want to engage the community around Women & IT

Step 2: Identify the communications goals

Social Media channels are communications channels, which means that any Social Media strategy has to be in line with the overall Communications strategy. Because ECWT has not yet a communications strategy in place, I defined, based on the program actions, what the broad communications goals could be:

  • HubSpot_meeting_02HGimproving the awareness and perception of ECWT
  • position ECWT as a thought leader & expert
  • engaging the community to take action

Step 3: Define the role of Social Media

In a third phase, I looked at each program action, combined it with any of the established communications goals and tried to find out which role Social Media (and blogging) could play in helping to achieve the program goals. This was the result [1]:

  • Social Media role for advocacy:
    Building the brand of an Influential Authority
  • Social Media role for inspiring (young) women:
    Building the brand of a Helpful Friend
  • Social Media role for inspiring change makers:
    Building the brand of an Innovative
    Change Maker
  • Social Media role for inspiring the community to become members:
    Building the brand of a Reliable Performer

As for the program action of “engaging the community around Women & IT”, I have separated the goal of recruiting members from the goal of inspiring the already-members of taking up action. This second goal has to do with internal rather than external communications, so I considered this out of scope.

Next to the above Social Media roles of brand-building, I also added the role of establishing ECWT as a thought leader and expert (for each of the program activities).

Step 4: Define the Social Media goals

HubSpot_meeting_05GFor each established role, I tried to figure out which approach would give the best results in terms of content, style, tone and channels, and translated this into concrete, doable and measurable goals. This exercise resulted into 5 different Social Media goals, which were merged into 3 overall Social Media goals:

  • Social Media goal 1:
    increase traffic to ECWT’s website by promoting the webcontent that shows the daily work of ECWT and straightforward, objective and well-documented articles
  • Social Media goal 2:
    increase exposure, impressions and impact of ECWT’s Social Media channels by spreading great & curated content
  • Social Media goal 3:
    increase exposure, impressions and impact of a dedicated blog by creating and curating great stories of Innovative Results and stories that shift representations of ICT jobs.


[1] The exercise is based on Chapter 5 of the brand new book of Kivi Leroux Miller: Content Marketing for Nonprofits, pp 101-115

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