We Have Facebook and Twitter. Now What? An Overview for Nonprofit Organizations

Now What?by Rachel Rule Ghadiali

Since 72% of Americans use social media, it’s important for your nonprofit to be part of the conversation in the digital space and connect with your donors, beneficiaries, and others who might have an affinity for your work. It is critical that you utilize social media platforms to communicate your message and engage with the public in a meaningful way because discussions about your work and your topics of interest will occur whether you’re involved in the conversation or not. Do you want to participate in these conversations, or be left out? Or do you want your competition to answer for you? In the age of digital technology, you simply can’t afford to NOT be on Facebook and Twitter. In my webinar, “We Have Facebook and Twitter: Now What? An Overview for Nonprofit Organizations,” I’ll cover the basics of Facebook and Twitter—the two most prominent social networking sites for nonprofits—and offer simple ways to navigate the platforms. This informative video will help nonprofits who want to engage on social media but need help with the basics and don’t have the time or money to commit to learning everything there is to know about these tools. In the webinar, you’ll learn some basic social networking terminology, how to utilize hashtags, shrink links, and even monitor your organization’s activity and engagement with the public via Facebook and Twitter analytics. In addition to the ins and outs of these tools, you’ll also learn more about creating content, curating content, and scheduling content.

  • Creating content: Your nonprofit has a unique story to tell. You can create fresh and relevant content based on that story. Maybe that means sharing: a personal testimonial, a behindthe-scenes look at what your organization does in a typical day, photos of your work, what exactly $5 can do for your cause, or even a beneficiary spotlight. The possibilities are endless!
  • Curating content: In addition to creating your own original content, you can curate content. In other words, share content created by individuals and organizations that you believe will be interesting and relevant for your followers. This might include news articles, quotes, statistics, and even infographics or imagery.
  • Scheduling content: Save time and schedule your content! In its status update box, Facebook allows users to save drafts and schedule posts. Twitter offers scheduling for advertisers; others can schedule tweets through free and paid tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck, SproutSocial, Reachpod, and more. *Be sure to keep an eye on your scheduled content. You wouldn’t want to share a post during a national emergency that might seem insensitive, for example.
  • An editorial calendar is a master calendar to which you can refer in order to stay organized and keep track of events, anniversaries, specific writing prompts and topics, and content you want to share. For example, in your calendar you could keep track of important donation periods, specific campaigns, member spotlights, upcoming deadlines, and cause driven holidays. There are hundreds of samples online; type “social media editorial calendar” into Google or simply use an excel spreadsheet and insert your ideas organized by month or topic.

Webinar: We Have Facebook and Twitter. Now What?Social media is a great way to share content, exchange information and ideas, and communicate and engage with different publics. For more tips and to view examples on how to communicate with your publics on Facebook and Twitter, watch the full webinar here.

Additional Resources Check out the top nonprofits on Facebook and Twitter: http://topnonprofits.com/lists/top-nonprofits-on-facebook/

And here are additional resources on nonprofits using social media:

About the Author: Rachel Rule Ghadiali is a public affairs specialist in the United States Marine Corps. She develops publicity campaigns for special events, writes and edits for international publications; works with members of the local and national media; and oversees social media initiatives. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Georgetown University.     Connect with Rachel: Twitter: @rachelrule LinkedIn: Rachel Rule