Nearing the Finish Line the Problem I is it Looks a lot like a Start Line

Developing Social Media for Small and Really Small Non-Profits  October 2016 Commoo11 Blog 6

Empower Your Advocates & Cross-Promote Your Content

In steps 7 and 8 in my series of blogs following A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits by Alicia Johnson on Sprout Social , I will start focusing on my Grace Place target market and establishing connections with it and between it. Alicia Johnson gives a few suggestions on how I can start connecting the people and organizations that I am connected with. There are 25 organizations who meet on a regular basis at Grace Place, another approximately 50 per year meet occasionally. That could be a lot of connections and a lot of good information to share.

Start a Private Group

The most obvious way to start would be a Grace Place Facebook page or a Grace Place LinkedIn page.  We have a facebook page that has not been updated, so it is a case of cleaning it up and starting to use it.  If I start linking with this network, those who are interested will know what’s going on, those who may have come once or twice will be reminded to come again and the connections of 75 organizations may start to see postings of what is happening. If successful, this could become a very large network. I am not so sure the LinkedIn page is the right tool for now.  I have done many searches and can’t find similar groups.  I’ll have to  create a facebook group.

Promote Via Other Communications Channels

The blog tells me to tell people my phone number, email and other forms of communication. Sad, so very sad that I have to tell people they can phone me. Obviously people should be given the information so they can communicate with me. If you text me, I may notice some day when I am waiting in a Doctor’s office and have nothing else to do but play with my phone, so I won’t include that one. It is something to keep in mind when I am setting up my social networks.

Provide Sample Posts

choirIt takes until Step 7 for someone to tell me I can send an email with information? Hallelujah, finally something I already know how to do.

By sending ready-made information, people are more likely to use it? I didn’t need an expert to tell me that!!! That should also mean when I get started I can ask organizations if they have ready-made information, hmmmm.

Step 8 Track and Measure Your Results

I am down to the last step in A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits. Since this is an entire course in Algonquin’s Social Media Certificate I will not delve too deeply into this subject. I will look at the basic starting point of what Grace Place can do as I set up the social media tools that we will use. In Which Social Media Metrics Should Non-profits Keep Track Of they list Social Media Metrics in Order of Importance

  1. Conversion Assists
  2. Traffic from social media (likes, shares and retweets)

Engagement  Mentions • Shares • Comments • Likes / +1s / favourites

  1. Sentiment
  2. Followers

Conversion Assists

This happens when your goal as a non-profit is met. This can be a donation, signing up as a volunteer, signing a petition, signing up for a newsletter, showing up to an event, whatever is the right goal for your organization. Google Analytics is recommended for this metrics. When you sign up you are given a URL that you add to whatever page you want tracked. Once I get building this metrics I will understand better all the avenues I can follow. For me for now, getting people to follow and engage will be enough.

Traffic From Social Media

This includes the number of likes, shares and retweets. These are automatically measures by the social media platforms and happen in real time. Unfortunately, I cannot find any free notification alert type sites. These sites would let me know when I or any of my organizations are mentioned. I know what you are going to say, this apps or app are only $10 per month, but add that to the $10 a month that I may need to spend for Hootsuite or a similar tool and the $25 a month I am spending for an online calendar and, it adds up for a little organization like ours. So until things get rocking with our social media strategy …

Engagement is Nice, But Focus on Sentiment

Sentiment is an intangible metric. How many times have followers complimented you on something, or thanked you for great service, but how many complaints do you see?  Just keeping a simple diary of dates and comments will help you see what people are really saying.  I keep reading that social media is a conversation, so respond, positively or negatively to what people say, let them know that they were heard.

Don’t Get Caught Up On The Numbers

I’ve gotten friend requests from Asia (not from there, never been there), I’ve gotten LinkedIn requests from people I have never hear of and have no interest in doing business with. I think we would all have much larger social media networks if we linked up with every organization, person or place we had any kind of interest in.  The problem with that is that it would be useless.   There would be no return on time spent.  We are not selling albums so we don’t need a million followers.  Just one hundred who cared about and promoted what you were doing is worth more than if you received that one million follower that did nothing.

Conclusion from the Eight Steps

So I have now reviewed all eight steps in following A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits. In my first blog I hoped by the end I would have a social media plan. I am not sure I have gotten that far but I have a long list of things to review further, a lot of things to set up and a lot of time to invest to get the Grace Place social media presence established (and definitely a few more courses to take). I am certainly a lot more ready to take on the more detail courses in the Social Media Certificate. I know this is a marathon, not a sprint and a cross country race at that with ups and downs and changes around every curb. My social media strategy will change and grow (and shrink) as needed and as the market changes.   Things will not happen overnight, but I am willing to start, so I am a lot closer to the finish line then when I began these blogs. Wish me luck.

dead-last-is-greater-than-did-not-finish-which-trumps-did-not-start-2

Advertisements

Engagement First? Not Without a Ring!

Developing Social Media for Small and Really Small Non-Profits  October 2016 Commoo11 Blog 5

Put Engagment first

In the continuing review of A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits , I am up to Step 6, Put Engagement First. Engagement? What is engagement really? If someone reads my post, aren’t they engaged? (comments on the bottom, and be nice).  It doesn’t require a social media junkie to understand that engagement is so much more than a like or a repost. Up until a few years ago, you heard the term “viral” at the doctor’s office, now it is a whole new thing. You want people to do what you have asked them to do, sign a petition, donate, and attend a rally. That’s what engagement is, them responding in a real and valuable way.

Here is a perfect example. If Oxfam  asked you to donate money to help families grow their own food, you might, but there are lots of more pressing needs closer to home, so you would probably just delete and not give it another thought. What would you do with this tweet? Probably pass it along to people you know would think it was funny and poignant. Would you give? It is much more likely because it caught your interest.

9:31 AM – 23 Dec 2013

 oxfam-manure

Donate manure – Show that you really “give a $%@#” for our planet.

Transform waste into agricultural power by donating manure to a family in need. Give a gift that gives back. Order from our catalog of charity gifts today.

oxfamgifts.com

What’s the best way for a little non-profit like me to engage with my target audience? On the Quora blog, What is the best way to engage followers of a non-profit organization through social media?   they list the goals of engagement as

  • cause awareness
  • brand awareness
  • donations
  • volunteers
  • membership

These goals all align with mine, to varying degrees.

On Social Media Examiner  they recommend the following avenues:

#1: Ask Questions Creatively

What they are saying is don’t ask something basic like “do you want to end hunger” of course the answer is yes, you are just wasting my time by asking. But how about a question like We are putting a cookbook together for people who depend on food donations, so lots of canned food etc., what is your favourite low cost, easy to make recipe?  Recipe sharing has been going on as long as mankind.  People would feel good about sharing a recipe with someone who can use it.  Then once you have that connection, send them information on the breakfast program and how they can help.  That was easy… staples-that-was-easy

#2: Organize Unique Contests

Something for nothing, so what would that look like? My funders and supporters will probably engage with me without a contest, so a contest would be more for the people and organizations who are already coming in or I want to be coming in.  So I am thinking along the lines of a food store shopping spree.  Lots of great pictures, people and organizations can buy what they or their members can use.  More fun pictures than just handing someone a food card.  This could work.  Thanks to traviselkin who suggested this in his comments in my first blog posting.

#3: Arrange a Q&A Session

This one is interesting, I follow a series of free webinars on nonprofits at 4good  but I have never really given much though on hosting something like that.  If the organizations are interested in participating, there could be some conversations on what they do and the benefits.  This one I will have to mull over for much longer.

#4: Tag People in Curated Content

Well that’s easy enough, that what I have been doing in each blog. Click on the link of an article that I have referenced and it takes you to their site.  People like to show off that they have been referenced, so they will likely pass it onto their network.  I will also tag any photos and video content to link people back to us and to the original source.   Consider it done, well, mostly because it was.

#5: Encourage User-Generated Contentwinnie-thinking

That is when people push the product, not the other way around. Lays had their customers create the next chip flavour and it made the national news.  I didn’t try any of them, but I did notice.

Coke has personalized bottles . They get to charge $5 an 8oz/250 ml  can for this brain child.

So what does Grace Place have?  This one’s a toughie.  I can go back to the recipe book,  I suggested under creative questions.  Nothing immediate is coming to mind.  Yet another thing to ponder.

#6: Connect With a Social Cause

Because I am in non-profit I am a little more sensitive to this subject.  I will sometimes purchase based on a social cause connection.  I buy Dawn because of their Save Wildlife connection,  I like Scotiabank because of their volunteer program.   Since Grace Place and all our organizations are social causes we will go directly to …

#7: Post About Current Events

This one is a two edged sword. I could post about current goings on with our organizations and the community, but definitely need to stay clear of all the hot button topics (politics, religion etc).   Look what happened to the fools in Texas who decided that a 9/11 sale was a good idea.    Texas Mattress Sore 911 Sale Aftermath

So I will be “engaging” in social media, not just posting. So many ideas, so little time.

not-enough-time

You Want How Much Content????

Developing Social Media for Small and Really Small Non-Profits  Sept 2016 Commoo11 Blog 4

In continuing to review A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits  I am up to Step 5

Create a Content Strategy.

This will be focusing on the storytelling of what goes on at Grace Place and how to get that message across.  I will admit I have never been much of a story teller.  I am more of an analytical junkiesperson, so I never seem to concentrate on the story, even though the story is usually more interesting and easier to connect to.  By now we have all seen or heard the recent story about the people who overdosed in a car in Ohio.  People overdose in cars every day, so why are these people any different?  When we saw it, we connected with the story.  We saw the pain, sadness and when we saw the child it took on a whole new meaning.  We can connect with these people, if not with the millions of others.

I am supposed to start by examining past posts to see what was popular (Ugh!).  So instead I will start by examining what some of my groups send out and if I can find other organizations like mine, what they do.  Then I will consider the type of content (photos, videos, and graphics).  After that I will look at developing a social media calendar.

Kivi Leroux Miller of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide, suggests two questions to guide your content creation: “What problems do people have in their own lives when trying to live out the values they share with your organization? What tips or tools can you give them that make their lives easier as they try to be a better environmentalist, animal lover, parent, etc.?”

So after looking though a lot of disrespectful crap jokes about Alcoholics Anonymous (that’s what you get for looking it up just after frosh week) I came across this tweet:

People in the Alcoholics Anonymous program who help others are nearly twice as likely to stay sober a year later, a study found.

 I found this really interesting, I would want to retweet this with #AABrampton, #GracePlace. People who may need the program will find out it is at Grace Place, our partners will see what is going on here and people with no need of AA will see an inspiring fact.

 

Then I found this Facebook post:

HUGE thank-you to St.Albert of Jerusalem for coming out to serve to their community at ReGeneration

This one I would re-tweet to support our partner (and promote ourselves as well) and remind our major funders about what they contributed to.

I also found this interesting YouTube video Webinar: Social Media for NonProfits: Best Practices & Analysis.  It’s a tutorial on social media for non-profits and it’s for beginners. I would forward this to my smaller organizations who don’t have a presence and may be wondering where to start.

Now that I have found different sources of content, I am supposed to develop a calendar. We are not looking for direct donations, so always having something out there to remind people to give to us is less pressure.  Many sources are stating I should be posting 1-2 times per day. Constant Contact is telling me I should be posting to Facebook minimum 3x per day, Twitter 5x per day, LinkedIn 2x per day. I dare them to come to Grace Place and tell me that!  I only work 3 days a week and NO I am not posting to social media when I am not working. I am also not sure that most days I would have enough content to post every day.   What I do see from all the information I read is that I need to stay consistent.

I looked up Trinity-St. Paul’s Church in Toronto. They are a big version of us.  They blog around 1-2 times per month, and half of that is church related, so they are only slightly ahead of me in the social media “department”.  Although I could include my church occasionally in my postings, I need to keep a clear distance between Grace Place and Grace United so that our funders do not begin to think that their money is going to the church.

I also looked up Mental Health First Aid since they use our facility for training. Their national organization tweets once a day on average.  Same for Vita Centre, but they both have communications people.  So I think by the time I link up with all of my organizations, funders and outreach to the broader community like the media and organizations I may wish to target, I should have plenty of content to repost in between my small amount of content that I will send out. Once a week should be plenty to start, I can always build up from there.  These posts will show I am supporting my organizations, which will make other organizations take notice and want to be involved with us as well.

So it looks like I have figured out the types of content I would want to repost and create. I have figured out that for tweeting, I should aim for once or twice a week.  Looks like I have some homework to do.

you-gotta-start-somewhere

 

Too Many Choices, What is the Right Network for Me?

Developing Social Media for Small and Really Small Non-Profits  Commoo11 Blog 3 Sept 2016

Choose the right network

I am continuing to review the steps in In A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits. This step would have been way easier a few years ago. It seems like every week I am hearing about some new something that is better than the last one and the old one is on its way out.  Remember how Facebook was going to die just two years ago?  Now it’s making record profits.  Instead the new whatever is just another communications tool to have to add to the list of sites that I have to figure out what is best for me.

In a 2014 Hubspot Survey of Non-Profits  (unfortunately I can’t find a Canadian equivalent),  they  found the top 10 social networks used by non-profits:

  1. Facebook (98%)
  2. Twitter (~70%)
  3. LinkedIn (~55%)
  4. YouTube (~45%)
  5. Pinterest (~25%)
  6. Instagram (~15%)
  7. Google+ (~15%)
  8. Flickr (~10%)
  9. Tumblr (~5%)
  10. SlideShare (<5%)

I would say in my experience, I would agree with this list. I know there are lots more social networks out there that I can research, and that this list or the order may have changed but I will concentrate on this list to determine my best networks.  I can always trade up if my Grace Place network starts to change.

Facebook:

Everyone knows Facebook, it’s the stuff of movies.  But why is it so popular with small non-profits.  There are some really small non-profits who are only on Facebook.  Part of the reason is that it is free, part because it was the first and everyone is on it.  You can link up everything you need to it, website, twitter, you can upload pictures and videos from your phone.  You can even add a “donate now” button if you are a non-profit. Facebook is the perfect place for fostering donor loyalty and soliciting donations. Facebook can do everything a website can do, just quicker and easier. When you update your Facebook page all of your followers are notified.  Not too many people notice when I update my website.  In a quick search, not surprisingly, my bigger, better organized groups are on Facebookthumbs-up, my smaller groups are not.  If I have outreach on Facebook, I can connect all my bigger groups, and I can give my  smaller groups who have no outreach some public presence.  Doesn’t look like my main funders are on, but that doesn’t mean that some of their employees aren’t.  I guess that’s a “like” for the Facebook page.

Twitter:

Or what I like to call a bunch of twits.  Not a fan.  I just don’t get the point, but let us proceed to figure out why I should consider using Twitter for Grace Place.  On 4aGoodCause Ronald Pruitt states that because it is less of a “commitment” then Facebook, people are willing to follow organizations that look interesting, they will also re-tweet the content because they appreciate it.  But don’t I only want people who are committed to what we do?  I move on.  Then he states because it is simple and not a big commitment, that it is a great way to build brand awareness and build new connections (ding, ding, ding – now you have my attention).  So how would I use it?

I need to #Use Different Hashtags, to do this I need to think of my relevant words such as #GracePlace, #AABrampton, #NABrampton, #CABrampton and follow already established hashtags such as #@RegenBrampton, #@VitaCentre etc.  Since I can use two hashtags in one tweet, I would think I should always have Grace Place along with the other subject I am sending.  I definitely want to put my logo in the tweet to make it more recognized.  Then I want to outreach the same way I determined my target audience, funders, media etc to expand the reach.  If what I am trying to do is create brand awareness, then I need to focus on the people who I need in my circle.  If people are successful then I will start to see people coming to me.  And yes everything I read says this is a long, slow process to build up a following.

Next I need to Mention People.  In my case, this will mean more along of the organizations, rather than individual people.  That being said, if I am given permission, I have no problem tweeting about someone celebrating a milestone on sobriety, just a first name or first initial.   The easiest way to get to get someone to notice you is to mention their name.   The best way to do this is start as a follower, get their attention then start creating some content.

Use images:

There is a reason that everyone agrees a picture is worth a thousand words. Everyone likes to look at pictures, whether it is someone happy and you want to get the message out that your support matters, or someone in distress and the message is we need your help, an image can sometimes convey the message better than anyone can describe it.  This is especially true when you are limited to 140 characters.   It is one of the best ways to send out statistics.  Sending out a colourful infographic https://venngage.com/  is much twitter-bird-singingmore likely to be re-tweeted than a few lines of statistics that bore people.

I’m not quite singing for Twitter yet, but I’ve decided it is definitely worth signing up.  

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn became popular as an online connection for people in business.  Post a mini-resume, link up with people in the same field, area of interest etc and then link away.  Then you would get endorsements, the business word for likes, and if someone was interested in you, your product or service then they could contact you.   As LinkedIn became more robust, it allowed for groups and postings so you could have more than just a person’s information, you can now upload presentations, photos, available jobs.  I looked up some of my target market.  I can’t find them as groups, but I do see people associated with those organizations.  So I think for Grace Place, it may not be the most productive investment in time.  If management software like Hootsuite can help, then I should link up my page to it, but I won’t invest too much energy into it yet.

YouTube and Photo Sharing Sites:  snoopy-celebrate-the-little-things

YouTube is the video site that has costs us all untold hours with  nothing to show for it.  Are you sitting down?  I have actually uploaded content to YouTube.

Just a few videos of the rooms we have available, so I understand the benefit.  I have watched how-to videos to learn, and wasted hours and hours  just de-stressing.  Because of the privacy that many of our guests expect here, uploading a lot of personal content may be tricky.  Many people don’t want their bosses to know they are addicts; some of the homeless don’t want their friends and family to see them (for a variety of reasons).   I also don’t want people to not come because they think they may need to be in pictures or videos.   Because of these reasons, YouTube and other photo sharing type sites may have limited use for us.  As part of developing my Social Media Plan, I will research other organizations like ours and see how they balance outreach and privacy.

So in reviewing at least the top four networks that non-profits use, I’ve come to the conclusion, Facebook, yes, Twitter, probably, LinkedIn, maybe, YouTube and photo sharing sites, sometimes. Considering where I started from, this is a HUGE leap in progress, and there are still five steps to go!

snoopy-dance

How to Examine a Target Audience When You Don’t Have One

A Blog for Developing Social Media for Small and Really Small Non-Profits  Commoo11 Blog 2 Sept 2016

Identify your target audience

In A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits whose steps I am following for this blog, they talk about determining your demographics makeup based on your social media following. Well wouldn’t a social media following be handy.  So I need to go back to the beginning.  Do I have contacts for Grace Place, sure, but I really doubt the plumber and electrician are going to put in a lot of energy into “liking” me. They like me just fine because I pay their bills as soon as they come in, no net 30 or 60 days with me.  By the way, no matter what light bulbs turn on during this social media blog, having a few people really like me is going be worth way more than a bunch of thumbs up!

So since I don’t have infographics on my social media following, I need to determine my target audience, so that maybe one day I can come back and study the makeup of them.  I came across   The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Finding Your Audience in Social Media. Ultimate Beginner, that’s definitely me!

Demographics

In it, Alison Zeringue, said to start with Demographics.  Who are they, where are they, is there anything distinguishable about them, sex, race, age, income etc.  Grace Place is open to everyone, target-audiencebut there’s an old saying in marketing, if you talk to everyone, then you are talking to no one.  At Grace Place we focus on the marginal in our society.  One of our organizations feeds and clothes the homeless and we have a number of self-help groups like AA, they are people who have lost their jobs, homes, families.  But we also have social groups like Seniors Bridge and dancing.  So I would classify Grace Place demographics in a broad way as Greater Brampton Area, Non-profit Organizations.  Nothing is ever that easy.  I have other target audiences; I have funders (government and foundations) that I also want to keep informed and engaged so they like me (see comments on thumbs up above).  In the future I may need donations for capital projects, so how do I get people who might be interested in what we do and would donate that I may not know, engaged?  I also have the church members who may or may not be interested in what is going on.  I want to engage in some way with people who come to programs at Grace Place and people who may need the programs that are offered.  So does this mean I have five target audiences?  Do I engage them differently?  I am sure I will learn the answers as I move along the process.  For those of you who are ahead of me, I would appreciate some input on this.

Psychographics

Next I have to look at the Psychographics. I need to look at their values, lifestyle (I think psychographicsthe part about asking what kind of TV shows they watch doesn’t apply to me). People who come to Grace Place are either in need of help and support or are socially active. Now I have to determine what features they appeal to them, why they use us and do they use it in a certain way.  Again, in a broad way, the features that appeal to organizations are easily accessible space, very economical and flexible space to be used as needed, with no long term commitment.

 Aspirational Customers

Now I move to Aspirational Customers who are the customers I don’t have now, but would like to.  Those are pretty much the same as the customers I have now, I would just likehaven more, ditto for funders.  I would like to bring in more of the organizations who could deal directly with the homeless or those with addiction issues.  They would like to come, just not pay.  Would I like to have business and government use our facility because they have deeper pockets – absolutely.  Is that realistic – no, we are an old church hall and no matter how professional and neutral I make the space, it is still attached to a church (so government is not interested) and is an old building (not character old, just old) so it doesn’t make a good impression for business.  I will keep working on the first set of aspirational customers, but will not concentrate on government and business for now.

Now What?

So now that I have some broad assumptions, how do I drill down to who I really want in my social network circle?  Maybe I should have started with the question, how do I start a social network circle?  There are lots of articles on how to increase your following, it takes a lot (I mean a lot) of searching to find an article on how to start (knowing my luck they say the same thing).  I finally found one that I can pull some points from to get me started.  In “4 Easy Steps to Promote Your Business on Social Media when You Have No Followers“, Bill Flitter writes:

Follow to be followed. Makes sense, if I want to be noticed, they I should notice others.  So for me the first step is to follow all of the organizations at Grace Place who have social media, and for the smaller groups iffollowing they have a national or provincial body, follow them.  Second step, follow my funders.  That was easy, now it starts to get interesting because I need to target; organizations I want to use Grace Place; funders I want to support us in the future, community members who I want to be informed; people who may need the services of the organizations who meet at Grace Place.  Then maybe I want to extend to businesses or organizations that are similar enough to me to learn from.

Add Hashtags: That’s that twitter stuff right? I went to Hashtagify http://hashtagify.me/ to see what it was all about. I can do a search based on a subject and see what comes up. If I find something useful then I can like it or re-tweet it. As much as this sounds good, I think I am going to start by re-tweeting my local network, then build up to publishing my own and re-tweeting outside content. Baby steps.

Share Content Written by Prospects and Influencers:  The easiest way to come up with content is to let someone else do it.  This is a good idea for a newbie like me.  I can see what my community writes about, responds to, timing and layout, then as I get more confident, I will know what is acceptable for my community, then start to create my own content.

Promote Social Accounts in Your Email Signature, Website and Blog:  This is probably the easiest thing I have to write about yet!  If you don’t tell anyone you are there, how will they know where to look?  Consider it done! Once I have a Twitter account and blog, that is.

Then he says to branch out:

Join a Twitter chat: So now I am going to join a Twitter chat or a Facebook group tweet_chatand contribute content. I can feel the gates of hell opening up just thinking about it. Obviously I need to research the most appropriate group in my area (community and influence) to make sure I am not wasting my time and this will give me the best chance for results

Get active on Quora:  Quora (https://www.quora.com/) is a question and answer site managed by its community. This may be one step too far for me. I am not looking to be a consultant and I am not sure it would move traffic to me. Never say never, but probably not. Cool though, I may play with it personally, just for fun.

So now that I have figured out how to start building up my target network, there is some work to be done. Maybe once I get through all these steps, after a while I can start using all the analytics I keep reading about.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Developing Social Media for Small and Really Small Non-Profits 

love-hate-and-social-media

I work for a small non-profit with no social media plan. I am not a social media junkie. I am not even a fan of social media. I read the odd blog for information purposes; watch the odd You Tube video, sometimes for fun, sometimes for learning. I work at Grace Place (I am the only employee and I work part time) which is a church hall that has developed into a non-profit organization that provides economical program space to organizations in the community.

So how does a newbie start? Where do I even begin? On social media of course! I read a number of articles on social media for non-profits. Some were obvious, others onerous, but eventually I came upon a blog that spoke to me.   A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits by Alicia Johnson on Sprout Social  has eight clearly defined steps. My blog will work through these steps, find research to help me answer my questions, and hopefully in the end I can come up with a social media plan that I and my organization can follow and build upon. If I can help someone else like me along the way even better.

So here it goes…

Step 1. Define Social’s Role in Your Communications Strategy

Having a Communications Strategy to begin with might have helped, but why sweat the small stuff. To paraphrase the blog, my social media strategy should align with my strategic goals and target audience. The key word seems to be engagement; I need to capture my target audience’s attention. I need to consider how I am going to connect my social media to my website and blog, email marketing and other content I have online. Well one out of five ain’t bad; at least I have a website.

Back to the Communications Strategy. In Know How Non-Profit’s blog  Developing a Communications Strategy , many of the steps coincide with the steps for social media, but I will focus on my statement of purpose, what is it that I want my communications to do.

  • Increase the number of organizations who use the facility
  • Increase the number of people who will participate in those organizations
  • Engage our stakeholders: organizations, users, funders and community about what is going on

Step 2. Determine What to Accomplish

In Top 5 Reasons Why Non-profits Should Use Social Media, author Marianne listed goals that align with what I am looking for from social media. I want to:

1. Engage and Connect: I want to connect to my target audiences and get them interested in who we are and what we do. We will measure this by the number of followers and whether they increase and engage.

2. Drive Traffic: I want new people to go to my website or walk through the door. I want organizations to look at the room videos on our website and check out our calendar to determine if we have space for them. But I also want to be a value added for our groups, if we can bring them new members, which is still a bonus for us because it will create loyalty with our “customers”. We will measure this by recording the number of enquiries and whether they increase after the establishment of social media.

3. Shareable Content Means More Exposure: I want people to see what we and our organizations are doing. What happens in our building is life changing, from the person celebrating 35 years of sobriety with us, to the person walking through the door the first time for a meal; we make lives better. The more good things that our target audiences see; the more they will think that we are the place to support. We will measure this by the number of times Grace Place content is shared.

4. Marketing Tools: Our only marketing tools right now are our website with a few videos and a printed brochure. A social media management tool will be needed to keep our strategy manageable. In looking at a number of management tools I have found two that I want to look into

  • Hootsuite lets you link all of your social media accounts to one website and manage them from there. You can schedule all of your social media engagement for a week and then just respond when needed.
  • Post Planner helps you find relevant and highly rated content to share with your followers on social media. It can save you a lot of time that you would otherwise spend scouring the web or social platforms to find sharable content.

  • Twitter can allow us to post a quick picture and message for someone’s accomplishment on any given day

We will measure this by recording the time spent on social media and comparing it to the success of the other measurements.

5. Extend Your PR Reach: This would not be difficult. Any outreach would be positive for us. We will need to begin by linking up with our partner organizations. Some of our organizations have social media and followers that we can benefit from in the beginning. We will also look at connecting to Brampton media and people of influence in the community to ensure wide coverage of our stories. We will measure this by Grace Place appearances in social media.

ss090913s

So I have investigated the first two steps in A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Non-profits. A little wiser, a little less anxious and a little more open to the idea of social media for Grace Place. Still not entirely convinced, but never fear there are still six more steps to go.