Last Wednesday, fundraising and research specialist Jay Frost paid a visit to the Foundation Center to present The Horse's Mouth: Social Media as a Window on the Prospects of the Future. It was a great class, with a ton of practical tips and great examples for making the "big three" (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) work for your nonprofit, helping with everything from finding prospects and potential board members to boosting attendence at your next event. The best part? Jay's advice is super easy to implement, providing a quick boost to the value of your organization's existing social media efforts. Here's the list:
- Create a landing page! You can set what part of your organization's Facebook page visitors see first, so why not get a little information? As Jay put it, "anything we can do to collect a little information from those who are interested in us is a good thing." You can hire a firm or consultant to do this for you, or, if you're confident in your tech skills, try it yourself! Landing page forms can be used to encourage people to sign a petition (like Oceana's landing page does), sign up for your newsletter, or any other call to action you can think up!
- Post a ton of pictures! Facebook practically runs on pictures. Having your Facebook fans tag pictures from your events, classes, volunteer events, etc. is a great way to spread the word (and the visuals!) about what your organization does. Pictures tagged by fans show up on their profiles and in the newsfeeds of their friends, which increases your organization's reach beyond that of its immediate fans.
- Post your events and publicize them on your page to increase your event attendance and raise awareness of what your organizations is up to!
- Find out who your biggest fans are! Engaging with your fans, posing and answering questions, and polling using Questions will show you those individuals who are most invested in your organization. The point is to be conversational. Do plenty of listening and encourage feedback. A small number of committed fans can help you accomplish a lot.
- Find out what kinds of people are most interested in your cause, demographically speaking, that is! Facebook's insights will give you a breakdown of your fans by age, gender, location, and even spoken language.
(assuming you're on Twitter, of course! If not, check out this post from earlier in the year to find out how to get started!)
- Get the latest information in your organization's field and participate in dialogue by using hashtags, lists, and by following thought leaders in your sector.
- Learn from your "competition" and from conversation - finding and interacting with other similar organizations on twitter can be a great way to figure out how to best utilize twitter yourself.
- Use your Twitter background as a way to make a call to action! After all, your Twitter profile's background is just a picture, so get creative or get with creative people who can help you create a Twitter background with your latest fundraising campaign's pitch, a call to sign up for your mailing list, to volunteer, or anything else that you can come up with!
- Create a daily Twitter Paper using Paper.li, which aggregates content from your Twitter lists and posts it in a friendly, newspaper-like format!
- Launch a Twibbon campaign, which allows your supporters to put a small "ribbon" on their Twitter avatar to show their support for your organization.
On LinkedIn? You should be!
LinkedIn can be a great way to build your professional connections, and is a great way to "meet" and engage with people that you might not otherwise be able to reach (same with Twitter). This can come in handy for:
- Finding board members: LinkedIn profiles show work histories, recommendations from others, and affiliations that can all help you evaluate potential future board members for your organization.
- Finding potential donors! As Jay pointed out, LinkedIn is a professional network, and therefore skews affluent when compared to other social networks. The same information that can help you evaluate potential future board members can also help you determine if an individual might be a good potential donor to cultivate for the future.
That should definitely be enough to get you started! Thanks again to Jay Frost for all the great information!
Elyse Klova, Program Associate, Foundation Center Atlanta