Content, Technology. Or is it: Technology, Content?

Tech tricks and tips for the social good.


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Social Media: Chasing Fans

Reese's peanutbutter cups

We’re all chasing fans and clicks. Fans are our org’s ambassadors, and their click-rate is a way to understand how well we fulfill our mission. New fans give us the opportunity to share more content, and new shares often create new fans.

In setting the social media path for your org, do you think your goals ought to be measured as a target number or a growth rate of likes/shares?

@KevanLee embedded this question in a recent blog post.

Most recognize that it’s key to track growth metrics. And it’s also important to understand which type of content generates clicks and shares.

The target number is easily monitored and can be read as social proof of your org’s success: as one fan likes you, others follow suit. But while large numbers seem meaningful, be careful – in some cases it’s simply copy-catting. From your side of the screen, however, you can differentiate the copy-cat fans from these who deeply engage just by monitoring their shares and clicks.

Growth rate is fuzzier. How well your content permeates beyond the numbered fans is often difficult to pin down. If a fan is having a bad day, they may ignore some of your org’s best content!

It comes down to a discussion of the nuanced differences between increase and engagement – and what is more important to your organization. As Kevan notes, a target number is static, and a growth rate “continues exponentially.”

So, fans or clicks?

Surprisingly, you’ll need to consider both – and they are separate but equal, like the chocolate and peanut butter in a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

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Yes, They Can Take it with Them: Your Social Media, that is.

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Social media and other tech platforms have blasted the world wide open, and forever changed the way most of us interact with … well, everything.

We took our first tentative steps on Facebook, and floated up our personal status updates and reconnected with old friends. We quickly realized that we didn’t need to be computer-science whizzes (even though some of us are!) in order to share stories, photos and news.

And then the first brilliant person used a social platform to tell the story of their non-profit and its mission. And the crowd listened, looked, and replicated: by 2014, 48% of surveyed non-profits understood that “going social” is crucial to their mission.

But here’s the surprise: 67% of non-profits have NO documented social media strategy. And almost half reported that their social channels are monitored by one staff person.

That’s a losing formula – if that employee/volunteer exits the scene, so does your social media plan!

Yes, they can take it with them.

Your mission, outreach, org awareness, attendance, revenue are all positively impacted by the flow of social media. Make it harder to disrupt the flow, and invest the time in a written strategy.

A written strategy benefits the stability of organization, much like a written mission statement. Gather the staff together, grab some snacks, and hammer it out: investigate and establish the editorial tone, determine the editorial calendar, identify the KPIs, perform a content audit. Assign roles, and identify key metrics.

Plan on reviewing this document annually, at least. As the social platforms change, you might have to adjust or re-align.

And then nail it to the door.


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Follow the Tipsy College Student Rule: Find Your Social Voice

That’s advice from Josh Haynam (@Jhaynam) in his recent post on developing an effective social voice.

There’s a lot of noise on the social channels, and as NPOs/CHIs we need to find a way to use our social media updates – our social voice – to be informative and get our stakeholder’s attention. How do we do that?

By tapping into our innate quirky, funny, human-ness.

It sounds counter-productive. And scary!

Mission statements and mission reporting are formal, and they need to be. I wouldn’t support an NPO who hadn’t seriously considered their goals and methods, would you? But we can become more ourselves and really share the joy we feel as we carry out our daily activities and projects.

We do this by being sympathetic, telling stories that resonate or are humorous, and keeping our posts and updates simple and uncomplicated.

So – dare to be silly, brilliant, passionate. It’s who we are. And what we do.

While I don’t think Josh meant we should throw common sense (and grammar!) out the window, I do think he was pointing us towards posting from a more relaxed, more “personal” place.

Share jokes or memes, post funny videos, ask silly questions – play a little or a lot!

Let your guard down, and invite stakeholders to connect with your mission, and with you.