I was asked to do a workshop on social media for the IECC’s 2016 Conference, and thought I would write up what I did for everyone to use.
Running social media accounts takes a substantial investment of time and energy for staff. Before you get started: What do you want to accomplish?
Your followers and likes are increasing over time. Great! But: Lots of followers isn’t meaningful if they don’t also connect to some real goal or metric for your organization.
What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to improve fundraising, or make it easier to contact you with questions? What community do you want to engage with your social media?
“Everyone on the internet” is not a viable target audience! Have a clear goal in mind for what you want to accomplish with your activity on social media.
Audit Your Social Media
The first step in a website redesign is to take an inventory of what you have, and what exists already. That’s a great way to start with evaluating your social media too.
- Make a list of all the social media accounts you know about for your organization
- Who’s in control of the account? If something happens to them, is there a backup?
- How current is the information on the account?
- Do all of your accounts have the same branding? Do the logo and name match on each account?
Here is a link to my personal social media audit. Feel free to download that spreadsheet as a template to use.
Once you list of all your existing accounts, then examine what information is out there about your organization that you don’t control. (This is the second tab at the bottom of my spreadsheet. )
Facebook is notorious for creating pages for organizations –make sure you search for those. Here, for example, is a page Facebook made for Purdue’s College of Agriculture.
These unofficial pages can be liked and commented upon — so you need to know if they exist.
Is there a Wikipedia page about you? Who shows up on Google search that might be confused for your organization? All of these are ways in which your brand might be diluted or, in some cases, harmed.
If you are a destination organization, or provide services, check out any sites where users might be rating you.
Those comments are full of useful information — and if someone is leaving negative reviews, taking time to respond can be important.
The last tab on the spreadsheet is for DATA. What metrics are you collecting right now on your existing social media accounts and websites? How far back does the data go?
ROI: Return on your Social Media Investment
Now that you know what social channels exist and how they are measured, circle back around to your goals. Is the image of your organization presented by social media, and what people say about you online, in line with your organization’s mission and goals?
Are your social media channels in the right place to reach the audiences you identified? Are you measuring what you need to know?
Is there anything you can STOP doing, so that you can focus your efforts on social media channels with the most benefits for your goals?
For small non-profits, you can’t be on all social media channels. But you can identity which ones are best aligned with your audience and goals.
Social Media Resources to help you plan:
- Online Media Audit Spreadsheet http://bit.ly/SocialInventory and
Media metric spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/Samplemetrics
- Data on Demographics of Social Media Users
- A constantly updated image size guide to social media!
- Colleen Dilen — highly recommended reading for non-profits and museums! http://colleendilen.com
Utilities for Your Website:
Make sure your web pages look good when they’re shared!