How Good Are You at Social Media, Really?
On a given day, I can be found using Facebook either very early or very late at night. I use Facebook for personal purposes and have a small number of close friends, associates and family. I primarily share the brilliance of my baseball-playing grandson. Having coached youth baseball forever, I enjoy sharing and narrating videos.
Typically, after I write these weekly posts for NonProfit PRO, I use Twitter to promote them, primarily on Fridays, my scheduled post publishing day. I have not promoted my Twitter account well as of yet. I do not have the time to expand Twitter, but that is a future goal. I can be found during the day on LinkedIn. I enjoy using that tool to seek business contacts.
In an article titled "The Most Effective Social Networks for Marketing a Business in 2015," author Ayaz Nanji shared information from Social Media Examiner. Based on a social media marketing industry survey of 3,720 marketers, as of 2015, the top three social media vehicles marketers use are:
- Facebook—52 percent
- LinkedIn—21 percent
- Twitter—13 percent
Though Facebook was considered the most important social network overall, LinkedIn took the top spot with B2B marketers, as 41 percent said it was their most important network. The survey pointed out that the top benefits of social media marketing were increased exposure (90 percent), increased traffic (77 percent), development of loyal fans (69 percent), marketplace insight (68 percent) and general leads (65 percent).
More specifically, Aimee Kunau, in a 2013 article titled "The Best Social Media Sites for Nonprofits," wrote that social media and charitable organizations were made for each other. She noted that attracting, engaging and moving people to action are critical for nonprofits, whose missions are to make tangible differences in society. At this point, most nonprofits have active social presences, but may not have successful strategies in place.
Kunau suggested that nonprofits focus on what she called the "big four" social media heavy-hitters: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. She pointed out that one in seven people on the planet use Facebook, and emphasized that nonprofits should keep their social media presences cohesive and their campaigns measurable. "Doing so will allow you to analyze your current course and adjust the sails for greater results," she said.
In an article for Social Media Examiner, "10 Ways Nonprofits Can Benefit from Social Media," author Jason Miller encouraged nonprofits to focus their social media efforts to drive awareness, share their stories, cultivate donor relationships and open up two-way communication with advocates. He gave 10 tips for doing that:
1. Evangelize your organization’s mission with an interactive presentation
2. Get organized with a social CRM tool
3. Leverage the power of video to advance your cause
4. Get to know your donors, volunteers, partners and clients/beneficiaries on a deeper level
5. Get to know the new kid on the block
6. Turn Facebook into a fundraising hub
7. Power to the Tweeple: Take your petition to Twitter
8. Connect with other nonprofits on a Tweetchat
9. Create a LinkedIn company page
10. Keep it transparent
In order to focus on social media in a professional manner, seek professional assistance. Besides staff, I encourage you to recruit a new organizational volunteer marketing committee made up of diverse community media and social media experts. You will enjoy how these pros assist your organization in different and new ways. The goal is to maximize exposure as cheaply as possible. We all need to attract new followers and retain those already in our orbit.
Your organization and social media is one issue. How you deal with social media as a professional is another issue. I still am exploring the use of LinkedIn as a personal tool. You can connect with me to see my window into the world. For me, LinkedIn is my transparent resume. I suggest you keep every item on LinkedIn up to date and audit-proof. I especially enjoy the recommendations section and the ability to publish posts from this vehicle. I still am learning to connect with others through LinkedIn. It is a process. Just note that, according to LinkedIn, more than 65 million professionals use the platform as a valuable tool in cultivating their careers and businesses.
Whatever social media tools you or your organization uses, note that social media is here to stay. Future social media vehicles will come and go, but the need to constantly push content in competition with others is, and will be, a fact of life. Ask yourself if you effectively use social media. If not, you are way behind the curve. Don't wait to jump on this fast-moving train!
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.