Note from Beth: In this post, Craig offers a few tips on using social media for nonprofits. I’m happy to see the first recommendation to encourage social media in the board room a topic I first wrote about almost two years ago and devoted a whole chapter to it in my book, “The Networked Nonprofit” On Friday, Craig Newmark is one of the speakers at The San Francisco Social Media for Nonprofits takes place on November 4 at the Marine’s Memorial Theatre. Register here and use the code “beth” for a registration discount.
Guest post from Craig Newmark
Folks, if you check out the infographic (click here for full version), there’s one big lesson: effective use of social media has little to do with size or funding. It has to do with engaging your audience. Here are three suggestions for doing so at little cost.
1. Get your board members to play a role in your social media effort.
Your board members (including advisory board) usually have large online and real-life social networks. They should be sharing your more significant posts with their networks. I’d suggest emailing them links right into Twitter or Facebook, which helps them share with the least amount of extra work.
2. Keep your ratings and reviews on nonprofit evaluation sites up to date.
Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and GreatNonprofits.org are big parts of an emerging network which helps people locate effective nonprofits. It’s all a work in progress, since measuring effectiveness is hard, but it’s really happening, and you want potential contributors to get accurate info regarding your efforts.
3. Learn how to tell a good story about your nonprofit, including an “elevator pitch” version.
When you solicit help for your efforts, you need to be able to explain why a contributor should provide time, money, and/or influence on your behalf. A big part of that is just telling people what you need, in a cohesive and clear manner. It might not matter if you’re very effective at serving people, if you can’t articulate that clearly. Also, the people with the most resources have the most demands on their time, so you need a pitch that you can articulate in maybe around forty-five seconds or so. (They’ll judge you on that.)
The deal is that you need to communicate what your nonprofit is about, in social media and personally, and that it really helps to start with the resources that are easily available.
Craig Newmark is founder & customer service rep, craigslist; founder, craigconnects.