Kerri Goldsmith of HBK Sorce Financial presented some tips and pointers for people to get the most bang for their social media efforts.
Social media is particularly important for nonprofits because internet users, especially social networkers, are more likely to be active in volunteer associations.
But how can you do it right? Goldsmith offers four basic suggestions for starting your social media efforts:
- Define your goals (awareness? donations? volunteers? events?)
- Identify your resources (yourself? volunteers? an agency? your audience/supporters?)
- Know your target audience (and in particular, what social media platform are they most likely to gravitate to?)
- Start small and grow into social media
- Don't be overwhelmed by your options. Pick the medium you think will be most effective for your message and audience, and start there.
- Use time-saving tools such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Seesmic. You can also utilize these tools on your smartphone.
- Plan ahead! Schedule your messages in advance.
- On Twitter, keep messages to under 120 characters so you can be easily retweeted. Make sure to shorten URLs, and utilize hashtag/keywords to make it searchable
- On Facebook, take advantage of static content, post longer messages, and use photos or video whenever possible.
- Remember, communication works two ways. Reply, comment, and thank your audience.
- Build "lists" of people to follow... media, constituents, organizations with complimentary missions, so you can more easily communicate with them.
- Measure your results by tracking links, clickthroughs, retweets, mentions, etc.