Social Media for Nonprofits

Content From: Mindy Nichamin, New Media CoordinatorPublished: July 26, 20113 min read


Social Media for NonProfits Logo

Last month, I attended Social Media for NonprofitsExit Disclaimer in San Francisco, a conference series taking place in cities across the country. The conferences bring together social media experts and nonprofit leaders to share what's working in fundraising, marketing, and advocacy. I learned about several social media tools and tips relevant for the AIDS community.Participate.Guy KawasakiExit Disclaimer, author of EnchantmentExit Disclaimer, gave the keynote presentationExit Disclaimer and emphasized how to maintain your social media presence by answering (fast, flat, frequent), disclosing, thanking, repeating, and commenting. In the HIV community, there are opportunities to participate on Twitter for the conversation on 30 years of AIDS, or the CDC's National Observances Web Community on NingExit Disclaimer. As a non-profit, joining the social media conversation is an opportunity to contribute to the larger conversation of your cause, create partnerships in that community, and give yourself visibility.

Meet your audiences where they are.

Comments on Facebook for Facing AIDS

Guy also talked about how each social medium is unique, and how it's important to take advantage of each medium. For example, Twitter and Facebook have different purposes and audiences - a few speakers advised not posting Foursquare check-ins on your Twitter feed or using selective tweets on your Facebook page. Guy emphasized that the Twitter economy is based on linking (to other sites, articles, blog posts, event information) while Facebook is great for posting photos. We saw powerful responses from Facebook users when we posted photos and messages of people Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day 2010.

Create or curate.

Facebook question about HIV testing

Charles Porch from FacebookExit Disclaimer had many examples of using Facebook for goodExit Disclaimer to create content and engage your audience. Make your supporters the stars. Feature personal storytelling. Use visuals. Ask questions. Get creative with features, like Facebook groups and places. One feature we used recently on Facebook was Facebook questionsExit Disclaimer. We posted two polls on our Facebook pageExit Disclaimer about HIV testing and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy of TechSoupExit Disclaimer recommended curating contentExit Disclaimer. Retweet, reply to conversations by using hashtags, and share widely. Stay on top of your cause by following related blogs and social media spaces.

Monitor.There are some great tools out there to gauge how your audience is responding and to guide your social media strategy. A few presentations mentioned Twitter dashboards like TweetdeckExit Disclaimer and HootsuiteExit Disclaimer, which can help monitor the conversation on Twitter, schedule tweets, or even create analytics reports. There are also tools that can create customized alerts (TweetbeepExit Disclaimer, Social MentionExit Disclaimer) and show you where you rank (TweetStatsExit Disclaimer, KloutExit Disclaimer). Many URL shortners, such as bit.lyExit Disclaimer, let you see how many clicks a link receives, and Facebook and YouTube Insights are other useful free tools.

Leverage existing resources.If you're from a nonprofit in the HIV community, remember that there are free resources out there, such as the conference presentationsExit Disclaimer, this listExit Disclaimer, and the new media toolkit, author of The Networked NonprofitExit Disclaimer).

It's not too late to register for Social Media for Nonprofits in some cities, and the conference is scheduled to make its way back through some cities, dates TBA. Also mark your calendar for the 2012 Nonprofit Technology ConferenceExit Disclaimer, April 3-5 in San Francisco. They're currently accepting proposals.

If you're just getting started with social media, make a strategy (here's ours). If you are a nonprofit working in HIV, what are your tips and tricks for success? How do you manage your social media?