I still see many nonprofit executive directors grapple with social media. Too frequently, ahead creates a social media page for a group at a workshop where they are told they “should” do so. After a few connections and some posts, the page becomes the social media similar to a ghost town: It is right there, but no one is there.
Surely, useful social media employment needs an understanding of the abilities of each tool or a platform. The influential social media networks will benefit you to learn the basics: Follow the links to kick off with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.
The following tips may help you leverage social media as a part of your policy to engage volunteers.
1. Go where your target people are
Think particularly about which social media network — or networks — will best promote the conversations you want to have. For instance, if you endeavor to serve artists, Instagram may be a reasonable option, since numerous visual artists are working there. But if you’re striving to vindicate for artists, Twitter may make sense, since many state officials, elected legislators, and journalists prefer this platform. The platform you subjectively prefer may vary from the one that best works for your community.
2. Cultivate conversations and minimize monologues
Think of each social media platform as a home for a community discussion. A Facebook conversation will, by the essence of the platform, contrast from a Twitter conversation. Manage each community as its own point. In the same way that you modify your words and tone for various physical spaces (e.g., how you speak to a friend in the library may vary from how you speak with co-workers over lunch at work), modify your language for each platform. Don’t automate all posts and don’t automatically post the identical content to each platform — unless there’s an unquestionably good incentive to do so.
Typically, the soundest conversations are offset: You listen as much as you talk. Use social media sites to raise questions and answer to people. Don’t let your brook merely be a set of announcements or links to profiles or posts. And make sure that the tone and semantics you use suits the “voice” of your company. You can prefer to stay assertive, personal, and human.
3. Add visuals
Add a photo or video whenever you post information on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media networks. Studies show that the audience engages more with content that incorporates visuals or video. So take out your smartphone, tap the camera, and take a picture or record a video relevant to your company’s work. (Be sure to respect people’s privacy, and to make sure to obtain proper permissions from parents if your visuals include images of children.)
4. Explore professional networks
Next, leverage the LinkedIn networks of your current board leadership. Their professional connections may lead you to people who might be potential volunteers, board members, or donors. These contacts also might open doors for conversations about corporate support, as well.
5. Look nearby
Finally, search for relevant nearby Tweets to discover people who care about your cause. Go to Twitter’s advanced search, enter terms pertinent to your organization’s purpose in the “Any of these words” text search field, along with your location (a location name or ZIP code). You’ll see nearby Tweets that contain your keywords.