Sunday, April 19, 2015

Seeking better tips for nonprofits using social media...

This article in the Huffington Post is one of many that I have read recently that provides a bulleted list of tips for nonprofit organizations looking to better use social media to their advantage. As I read this article and the others like it and apply the knowledge that we have learned in class, what strikes me is that social media is too often presented as a quick and easy solution to a myriad of issues, with no acknowledgement of the potential difficulties there are in using social media effectively in this sector.

Of course, “7 Things That Nonprofits Need to Be Concerned About When Using Social Media” is not a catchy headline – and furthermore, the roadblocks that can surface while designing effective social media can hardly be summed up in a couple of quick bullet points. Still, it is important to acknowledge that social media use will not quickly (if ever) become a flashy game-changer for an organization, as it is perceived to have been for the ALS Association with the famous Ice Bucket Challenge during the summer of 2014.

Below are two bullets that I propose we build on to begin a shift beyond relatively vague items such as, “become a thought leader in the space you serve.” These more concrete items could help nonprofits to have a more focused approach to using social media.

·      Develop a social media plan with your organization’s mission and vision in mind.
o   All content posted should clearly link back to this mission – ask yourself: What purpose does this post serve? What does it teach, or what information does it provide?
·      Keep your organization’s target audiences at the forefront of your strategy.
o   Who are the audiences your organization is trying to reach? Is the online audience different from the offline audience? How are you providing information to all pertinent audiences?

Obviously, the above list is by no means exhaustive, nor does it even begin to scratch the surface of what can be done…so, what else would you add?

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