First Steps in Working Social Media for Your Org: Report from Norfolk

First Steps in Working Social Media for Your Org Report from Norfolk Had a great time yesterday teaching a social media immersion class to staff members of 25 nonprofit orgs in the Norfolk, VA region. The organizations these folks represented are varied in size, experience, issue focus and more. Yet the group came together as an incredibly productive learning community around social media.

During my intensive prep for the class, I had to do a lot of sifting — through tons of resources, tools and, the greatest challenge, my own perspective and experience with nonprofit use of social media tools.

This palette of tools is way too new, and changing too quickly, for any definitive must-dos across the board. But here are the few should-dos I recommended to yesterday’s students and want to share with you:

  • Set up Google Alerts to listen to what others in the Web 2.0 world (used synonymously w/social media) are saying about your organization.
    • The conversation is already going on without you, so the easiest (and most valuable) first step social media wise is to listen to what’s being said and to jump in as appropriate.
    • Set up Google Alerts (free) to report back to you on your org name, leaders names, issue area, names of key colleague and competitive organizations.
    • When you receive these daily outtakes via email, you’ll get immediate feedback on your org and its programs (enabling almost real-time course correction) and and the environment in which you work.
  • Next, set up a Facebook Cause page for easy micro-fundraising and membership-building by your network to their networks. This takes 30 minutes or less.
    • You’ll need to have either a personal page or an org page (fan page) to do so.
    • Once you have the Cause page up, spread the word that it’s open for business for your network to use to raise donations from their networks.
    • Easy way to start is to suggest birthday campaigns. I asked my Facebook friends to donate what they spend for lunch (or more, if they wanted) to the Community Food Bank of NJ and raised over $500 in a week. Make it easy for your supporters to do the same.
  • Talk, listen and learn about social media, whenever you can. Start here:
    • Beth’s blog — from the inimitable Beth Kanter, writing on nonprofits and social media 24/7
    • Chris Brogan’s blog — Chris makes the social media morass accessible. Read him.
    • We Are Media — comprehensive, well-organized, highly-accessible social media starter kit for nonprofits.
    • Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day by Dave Evans –This primer teaches you everything you need to know social media wise in an hour a day for 3 1/2 months.

P.S. How about wishing me happy birthday today by donating the cost of your daily lunch to the NJ Community Food Bank? Give today please — We’ve raised $540 on a pledge of $1,000 — campaign ends March 31st!

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Social Media, Social Networking, Web 2.0 | 2 comments
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