Social media revisited: how are nonprofit communicators using it? [#NPMC chat]
When was the last time you reviewed or revisited your nonprofit’s use of social media? This is the topic of the November 2015 #NPMC Twitter chat.
I’ll tell you right off – how we use social media at HealthConnect One shifts according to agency priorities at any given time. We’re a national, U.S.-based organization with our feet on the ground in a handful of states – but we’re a small team and our focus changes from month to month:
Are we hosting a conference? Are we participating in Black History Month or World Breastfeeding Week? Do we need our voices heard on a burning issue that’s coming up for vote next week? Are we smack-dab in the middle of our annual appeal?
Answers to these questions will drive agency-authored content, and it may drive who we interact with in social space for a period of time. However, there are many constants:
- Through our Facebook page, we share news, images, personal stories, reports, statistics, dialogue and opportunities related to our work.
- We draw attention to the work of our partners and allies, with the understanding that we’re all in this together.
- We chat with supporters who comment on our posts.
- We comment on other pages.
- And lately, we’ve been actively tagging our partners and allies in our posts, which seems to generate good will and warmth all around.
As communications manager, I invite staff to send me anything they’d like to post. Some colleagues email me three times a week; one sends me Facebook messages at 10 o’clock at night. Many remain silent. But everything staff sends, I check out and either trash or put in the queue for sharing. They trust me to screen their ideas, align them with agency priorities, and vary our content from day to day. I deeply appreciate the help and their varied perspectives. Because when it comes down to it? It’s just me out there on our social media channels and I simply can’t know all that’s going on!
See what I said up there about Facebook? The same is true for us on Twitter, too. But there’s more.
- On Twitter, we enjoy more dialogue. We reply to our tweeps – both known and unknown in real life. We share, share, share and share some more.
- Every morning, I check the fire hose of information pouring in, and I bless whoever designed the handy “what you may have missed…” function, but…
- Twitter lists are key. Twitter lists organize content. I check them to see what our partners and staff are tweeting, to see what reporters we follow are interested in, to retweet and respond, and to get the pulse on our communities. I may not check each list each day, but I do my level best to check them all weekly.
- I also welcome new followers every Friday. It’s friendly. It’s kind. It feels like the right thing to do. And they respond! They send me smileys and thank you’s, and they retweet our welcome note. It takes time, but it feels good, it builds our reach – and it opens the door for conversation, which is really what this social thing is all about.
- We also participate in Twitter chats every few months. Once in awhile, we host our own.
- Finally: I am obsessed with Buffer. It has – quite literally – changed my (work) life. When I find myself checking Twitter at a non-peak time, I can “Buffer” retweets for a better time. I do this EVERY SINGLE DAY, and our engagement has grown. But that’s just the tip of the Buffer iceberg. Take a look. I don’t think it will disappoint. (Psssst… Did I mention it’s free?)
Our LinkedIn account is dusty. I have no ideas whatsoever to share. I’ll bet you do, though. Right? Please share!
Instagram? We just got on and so far, we use that to play.
How does your agency use social media?
How is your nonprofit using social media? Who manages each channel? Do you have favorite resources or tools?
Are you creating deeper connections with community members through conversation and interaction? What does your day-to-day use of social media look like?
Let’s talk about refreshing our look at social media at #NPMC chat
Join the conversation and exchange social media experiences, questions and tips during the next #NPMC Twitter chat Wednesday, November 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Follow the #NPMC hashtag on Twitter.
*Note the date move from the last Thursday to the last Wednesday this month for American Thanksgiving.*