Nonprofits and Content Strategy: The Wisdom of the Network | Beth’s Blog

Nonprofits and Content Strategy: The Wisdom of the Network

Content, Guest Post

Note from Beth: I’ve learned a lot about how to cultivate your professional network so it returns value by reading Porter Gale’s Your Network is Your Networth over the summer.   And, social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook can provide the petri dish for growing a vibrant personal network.    Although I sometimes hear from colleagues that “Facebook is personal and fun stuff” or just a lot of skepticism about how a particular social networking platform can provide professional value, it isn’t about the platform.  It is about how you cultivate and develop your network.

The first step is mapping your network so you understand the connections – hubs and influencers.  And, then it is an ongoing activity of feeding and tuning your network as Howard Rheingold says it in this still very relevant article about building your professional network on Twitter back in 2009.

The other day I witnessed the result of feeding and tuning a network.   Colleague Miriam Brousseau tagged me and several other “close professional ties” asking us for resources on nonprofits and content strategy.   Miriam who is a wizard at feeding and tuning her network was able to get an amazing thread of recommendations from her friends, but these recommendations were generative – pinging other people who added their own or other resources.

I asked Miriam if she would summarize what she learned about nonprofits and content strategy in a guest post and here it is.

Content Strategy: The Wisdom of the Network, guest post by Miriam Brousseau

People sometimes say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” But, really, it goes even further than that. It’s not what you know, or even who you know, but what who you know knows. Googling is great, but when I needed to know about content strategy, I tapped my network on Facebook. The suggestions and resources these savvy, generous folks shared with me were invaluable, and I’m thrilled to now pass them on to you.

First a word on “content strategy” – it seems like a daunting proposition, but it’s one that every nonprofit needs to consider in this fast-paced, connected age. Here’s how I think about content strategy, and how I framed it to my network:

“I’m looking to develop a strategy across channels (web, mobile, across social media platforms), across audiences, building better engagement and community through content, linking it back to organizational goals, measuring success, etc. Finding and sharing cool content is great, but to do it strategically in a way that makes your organization’s work more effective is tough. So I’d like to dig in a bit more.”

And the following is the wisdom the crowd shared with me, edited for readability (curated, if you will). And, just before we jump in, one other note – this conversation thread didn’t just teach me more than I ever expected to learn about content strategy, but it drove home the importance of creating and nurturing a diverse network of knowledgeable, generous people who care about the things you do. If anything is going to make your content strategy – and your social media presence overall – stronger and more meaningful, it’s that.

People to Follow:

“If you want to follow some great content curators, look for those thought leaders in the industries you want to know more about. Generally, they’re curating great content.” -Debra Askanase

Resources to Sift Through:

And check out this great pic of Kelly Kingman’s sketchnotes on executing a content creation plan -

Other General Sites to Watch:

Books to Read:

Content Marketing for Nonprofits by Kivi Leroux Miller

Social Change Anytime Everywhere by Amy Sample Ward

And finally, a cautionary note from Debra Askanase on tools for content curation: “It’s impossible to know the bestest, greatest, most usefullest tool to help you with content curation. Many are good, some are better, some are horrid. Find the 1 to 3 that work for you and use them.”

Thank you to all the people who shared the resources highlighted in this mixtape:

And shout-outs are in order for Rachel Honeyman for her thoughts on tools like iScream Social, Paul Wieder for sharing his experiences curating content for the Jewish United Fund, and Rabbi Daniel Silverstein for making me laugh out loud on this thread by sharing this image.

Miriam Brosseau is the Associate Director of Network Initiatives at The Jewish Education Project and Darim Online. She is a social media coach and strategist, and writes occasionally on her professional-ish sometimes-blog, Clips and Phrases

9 Responses

  1. [...] Note from Beth: I've learned a lot about how to cultivate your professional network so it returns value by reading Porter Gale's Your Network is Your Networth over the summer.  [...]

  2. [...] Nonprofits and Content Strategy: The Wisdom of the Network  Although I sometimes hear from colleagues that “Facebook is personal and fun stuff” or just a lot of skepticism about how a particular social networking platform can provide professional value, it isn’t about the platform.  It is about how you cultivate and develop your network. By Beth Kanter [...]

  3. Beth Your article can’t be more helpful.Thank you so much,we will read your blog for more good info-learning from You will help us do better job for a poor children.Thank You!!

  4. [...] the official definition of the Content Network on Google – “When you advertise on the content network, robust and powerful targeting gets your message in front of your audience at the right time and [...]

  5. Great roundup of resources! One additional one I’d suggest is John Haydon for Facebook strategies and resources (and other good stuff for nonprofit on social media).

  6. Beth says:

    David, thanks so much to adding to the ist!

  7. [...] this year to create written plans for each campaign throughout the year. Your plan should include stated goals, stated messaging, a strategy outline, and finally, tools and tactics. How much detail you include in this document is up to you, but at least include these [...]

  8. [...] track the return on investment where your time is concerned.  Beth Kanter has a great round-up of resources for developing a social media content strategy on her [...]