Social media for nonprofits: lessons learned

 In Communications, Community

Some nonprofit organizations that were early adopters of social media and others confused by the myriad options may not be using these tools to the best of their advantage.

Using Facebook as an example, some nonprofits set up Facebook “Groups” instead of fan “Pages,” the former of which might be limiting for those that want to create more visibility through the viral power of the tool. Other nonprofits set up only a Causes page to invite donations. The most problematic example relates to those groups that set up their organizations as individual people for you to “friend” rather than “fan” (I believe Facebook made changes in sign up to prevent this occurrence from continuing).

Mission-minded posts an informative blog post on this subject, which also links to a Wall Street Journal blog article on the benefits of setting up a Facebook fan page (“Page”) for your nonprofit organization instead of a group. The WSJ story highlights advice from Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg, who pointed out mistakes made by nonprofits at a social media conference in New York this past summer. Quoting the article: “Relying on groups, which have been available longer, is one of the biggest mistakes nonprofits make.”

To learn more from the experiments of others and the latest best practices in social media, there are many resources available to nonprofits. In fact, I just got an email from my friend and colleague, Kivi Leroux Miller, about a series of webinars she will host over the next month – from writing for social media to integrating your Web site, email newsletter and social media sites.

Other sources are listed in this blog post: The Explosion of Social Networking

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