Posted by: Reiko Beach, President of The Toolbox, Inc. and Web/Social Media Speaker at the October 22nd Non-Profit Toolbox event.
On the HubSpot Blog last week, they have a great guest post written by Beth Kanter, a trainer, coach, and consultant to nonprofits in the area of effective technology use, and popular non-profit blogger. How to Create Your Nonprofit Organization’s Listening and Engagement System with Social Media
Beth writes that to be successful using social media, an organization needs to set up a system for listening and engaging, and to make it easy for many people in your organization to participate in the conversation.
No matter what “tools” (twitter, facebook, Linkedin) you are planning to use, the basics are the same:
LISTEN: Sift Out Important Conversations: Listening to what others are saying about your field, your organization helps to impove programs, and identify misconceptions. How do you listen? Read: Kate Bladow’s: My Name is Kate and I’m a Listener. and Beth’s Listening Literacy Skills.
Keyword search helps refine effective listening here are some of the basics:
- Nonprofit Name
- Other nonprofit names in your space
- Program, services, and event names
- CEO or well-known personalities associated with your organization
- Other nonprofits with similar program names
- Your brand or tagline
- URLs for your blog, web site, online community
- Industry terms or other phrases
If you are using an analytics software program like Google Analytics, run a search engine referral report and see what words people are actually being used in search engines to find your site and try using some of these. Or the Goolge Adwords Keyword tool. And don’t forget to listen to those that oppose your views or issues.
Then ENGAGE: Remember, social media is about being social, have conversations with those that you find. It can be as simple as saying happy birthday to someone, or responding to a question or comment.
As your organization becomes more social, and there are some basics that should be discussed with the people in your organization about using social media:
- What is the message, how do we want to be portraited?
- Who in the organization will respond to brand mentions?
- Do we respond to every brand mention?
- How much time do we spend, how much time will it take?
- What is the best way to handle negative comments?
- Privacy, brand protection, etiquette, and liability issues.
Setting up basic listening tools and having a discussion on some of these basic social media issues should help your organization on the way to becoming more “social.”
What are some of your questions, how is your non-profit practicing listening and engaging?