TenThings: Let’s Talk about Social Media

As the Executive Director of a non-profit association you are continually hearing about how your organization needs to have a social media presence. Your Board of Directors may be asking why you are not visible on LinkedIn or have a video library on YouTube. Before you can make any decision regarding your social media presence you first must understand the purpose of the various platforms and your organizational goals.
The ten things you should know about social media:

  1. There is no such thing as an expert in social media. There are thousands of platforms, each with its own purpose and functionality. No one could possibly be an expert in all of these areas.
  2. One size does not fit all! As your membership base is unique, so should be your social media campaign.
  3. Decide what information you wish to share, how often and in what format. This will help you to decide which platform to first focus.
  4. Choice a platform and understand it fully before engaging. Start with a Facebook Fan page for example.
  5. Decide what type of results you are looking for and how to measure. Are you looking to increase likes to your Facebook page or increase the number of actual interactions with members such as post sharing?
  6. Be prepared to commit to the long term for success. Building your social media presence takes time and consistent interaction. If you post today, then not again for 3 months, you are doomed to fail.
  7. Allow for failure. When something doesn’t work, take a look at why? The answer will often give you the next steps for success. Maybe you are not getting the amount of activity you had desired with your Facebook page. Yet when you look at the activity you see that all the posts were taking place outside of normal business hours. By adjusting the timing of your posts, you may see improved results.
  8. If you are unsure of where to start – ask your membership! They will tell you which platforms they are comfortable using – start there.
  9. The audience for the various social media platforms varies. You will have members that love Twitter, but never use LinkedIn or always use Facebook. Know your audience.
  10. The style of the message must also change depending on platform. Twitter is great for a quick link share, whereas LinkedIn allows for in-depth discussions on a variety of topics.

Before jumping into developing a social media campaign – know what it is that you wish to accomplish, the best platform that meets those goals and how you will measure the results. By doing so, you will be much more successful than just jumping in blindly.