Emergent reflections

A space where I can digest some thinking through the writing process - liminal, emergent and reflective.

How non-profits can use social media

Margaret.OCONNELL's picture

I'd like to introduce you to Beth's Blog. Beth blogs about how non-profit organisations can make the most of social media. I won't go through Beth's blog in too much detail but here's some highlights that might see you reading more on Beth's blog.

1. You might want to start with her bio on her Wikispace. Often our connections with others begin simply with knowing a bit more about them.

2. Then you might want to see what she writes about; for example, this post explores a recent survey about non-profits and their adoption of social media.

In this same post, Beth lists the key findings in the report:

* There is extensive experimentation with social media in the nonprofit sector, but only half (51%) surveyed are active users
* Most nonprofits (67%) say social media is changing how they communicate with broad external audiences, but not narrower categories of stakeholders
* Most nonprofits (52%) do not currently have the infrastructure, staff and expertise necessary to take full advantage of social media's potential
* Nonprofit executives (83%) understand that social media makes it easier for supporters to organize independently - underscoring how critical it is for nonprofits to demonstrate their value and relevance to advocates
* Ultimately, for most nonprofit executives (79%), the true value of social media has yet to be determined for their organizations

The top one (though not in order of rank I'm guessing) seems true due to the fact, possibly, that a lot of social media is freely availalbe, whihc is great for non-profits who must watch their every penny.

I also like the list of what makes a successful non-profit as well.

Successful nonprofit organizations will:

* Move from experimentation to implementation of strategic programs that drive digital engagement
* Focus on two-way conversations that build meaningful and sustainable connections with a range of priority audiences
* Invest in social media capacity as a means of achieving brand building, advocacy and fundraising goals
* Demonstrate their unique impact to underscore relevance to advocates
* Measure social media with key metrics for visibility, engagement and advocacy

It's about understanding what social media can generate for your organisation. This is the crux of Beth's blog really. She sees a real link between social media and learning, adapting and engaging.

3. Beth refers regularly to key texts in the market that discuss aspects of non-profits and social media, as in this post which highlights a book giveaway.

4. Beth also shares her experiences with others at conferences, forums and presenetaions, such as this one, where she worked with a large group on developing a social media strategy with non-profits in the Bay Area, San Fransisco. The slideshow below is taken from this forum:

http://www.slideshare.net/kanter/compasspoint-workshop-slides-beta

Beth's blog is heavily used by non-profits around the world. If you haven;t yet seen it I'd highly recommend it! There's some notes in there for everyone to take something useful away regardless of your organisation.

My final word on this (at this point anyhow) is that in oprder for social media to be effectively used, it means one must take up social media and learn more about it 'from within' - nothing replaces direct experience, otherwise how woudl one know what one's clients will experience?

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