It goes without saying, the days of web 1.0 where information was a one-way street are over. Now, we live in a world where communication happens in the blink of an eye – from a tweet to a post and the “like”. So how should non-profits start to make sense of all the social media tools out there?
- Stop thinking that social media is a trend: Social media, whatever medium it may be, is here to stay.
- Determine if you have internal capacity to develop and maintain your social media tools and campaign: Just to get an idea of the time and resources needed, according to Mansfield’s “Social Media for Social Good”, the “big 3” Facebook, Twitter and YouTube require a minimum of 15 hours weekly, while blogging takes 10 hours weekly. Add a fundraising component and that takes an addition 5-10 hours weekly.
- Create a job description for a Social Media Manager or Coordinator that hits on the following skills: At least 1-2 years of experience in publishing written content for online communications including e-newsletters, blogs, and online campaigns; Maintains their skill set by keeping abreast of Social Media Blogs and Mobile Technology and webinars; Demonstrates analytical skills to create brand strategy; and is a quick learner.
- Leave your social media to just anyone: Your social media activities is your voice on the web. Don’t just give it to anyone. In the best case scenario, hire someone. In an environment where resources may be limited, it may be tempting to just give it to a volunteer or intern. If you do, make sure to supervise, provide them with training and get all passwords/logins to help transition during turnovers.
- Leave your audiences waiting or spam them with multiple messaging: It is important to think about each social media tool and their applicability to the needs of your organization. Create a plan on the types and frequency of messages you will publish on each tool.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment: Although the days of web 1.0 are over, there is still so much to learn about how to use social media in concert. Create profiles on at least the “big 3” social media tools and start following other similar organizations to help guide your social media strategy.
Resources for hiring a social media manager:
Photo credit: Stuart Davidson