Social Media for nonprofits: 5 questions to answer before you get started

The first step for a nonprofit using social media is to create a plan! Many organizations have no budget for social media and have limited time to spend; this is even more of a reason to make the most of your time and create a plan.  Here are 5 questions to ask before you begin:

1. What is the audience that your organization is trying to reach?

  • Try to be as specific as possible.  Sample: Current Donors

2. What social media platform is that audience using?

  • Make sure you go to where your customers are. Check to see if your audience is on facebook, don’t just assume.

TIP: to see if they are on facebook use your current mailing list:

  1. Export your email contacts to a .csv  file (note: if you have more than 500 contacts break the csv file down to batches of 500 in excel)
  2. Login to facebook and use the friend finder
  3. Select “Other Tools” then “Upload Contact File”.
  4. Find the section titled “Microsoft Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Apple Mail and others” and click on the “Choose File” in the section. Lastly, Navigate to the csv file you created and watch the results. At the top of the page it will tell you how many of your contacts are on facebook.

3. What would you like that audience to do?

  • Sample Goal 1: Like your facebook page
  • Sample Goal 2: Donate to your organization

4. What actions will you take to achieve the goal?

  • Sample 1: Invite current donors to like your facebook page in your next e-newsletter (be sure to give them a compelling reason why)
    or Add a facebook feed to your homepage.
  • Sample 2: Create an online donation campaign with a page on facebook, and post related content twice a week on facebook.

5. How will you track that action?

  • Sample 1: Track the number of new likes.
  • Sample 2: Total the amount of Money raised from that campaign.

Use the answers to these questions to develop a detailed plan for each goal. Include names and dates for each step of the plan. It is ok to start with small goals, just be sure to track your progress.

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