April 11, 2013

25 SMART social media objectives

SMART

How nonprofits can use SMART goals to chart impact

Guest post by Beth Kanter
Beth’s Blog

beth-kanterUsing SMART objectives for nonprofit communications strategies is not a new idea. Spitfire’s useful SMART chart planning tool has been used by many nonprofits over the years.

SMART Objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely objectives. The Aspen Institute’s Continuous Progress blog points out they come in three flavors:

Tactical: Tools and techniques
Results: Money, time, or other tangible result that can be converted
Capacity: People, content, workflow, learning Continue reading

December 19, 2012

8 questions every social media strategy needs to answer


Image by fuzzbones on BigStockPhotos.com

Editor’s note: This is our last article of the year. Enjoy the holidays!

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, general public.

John HaydonYour organization has a social media strategy, right? Your social media strategy is only as smart as the questions it answers.

Here are eight I recently worked through with a client: Continue reading

May 21, 2012

How to partner and form coalitions to grow impact


Image by Paha_L on BigStockPhoto.com

10 easy steps to help you on your collaboration journey

Guest post by Susannah Vila
Movements.org

To achieve scale and grow impact for your cause, it sometimes make sense to collaborate with other social good organizations.

Creating partnerships — and possibly building a coalition — is likely to increase the amount of resources available to you and the impact you’ll make in the world. Work with everybody – from the public to allied groups to governments to corporations – and let everybody work with you.

Here are 10 quick steps to help you on your collaboration journey:

Set expectations and define goals

1The campaign that you’re bringing other activists and organizations into should be clearly defined and visible. They should understand why they’re joining forces with you. What do you want the final result to be? What are the steps you’ll take to get there?

Determine a time frame

2What is your timeline? Depending on how short or long term your campaign will be, you might want to create a more temporary council or group of some sort instead of a coalition.

Make a list of potential allies

3When you think about it, you may be surprised at how many allies you have in your community. Groups, institutions, businesses and individuals who share some of the same interests as you are all people who you could be working with. Make a list of possibilities.

Research projects they’re working on

4Once you’ve identified organizations with similar goals, research them. Take notes. Educate yourself before you contact anyone. Know the projects that the organization is working on, the projects it previously worked on, and how the organization may fit within your campaign.

Consider organizations with different perspectives

5Don’t neglect “strange bedfellows,” or people whose politics may differ from yours but whose goals may be aligned with those of your campaign in at least the short term. You may be surprised at how frequently diverse groups can come together over a single issue. For example, read about the ‘”strange bedfellows” campaign to fight telecom immunity.

You’re more likely to succeed if the group of people brainstorming your strategy and tactics is itself from a diverse background, as one of them is more likely to see a situation in a novel way and come up with a novel solution. Continue reading

February 27, 2012

The secret sauce to creating a social media strategy

View more PowerPoint from Debra Askanase

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, businesses, corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments.

Debra AskanaseRecently I conducted a workshop on the topic of creating a social media strategy to a group of budding entrepreneurs. It’s a big, meaty topic, and no two strategies are ever developed in the same way. Over the years, I’ve developed a methodology of what goes into strategy development, and focused on that methodology for the workshop.

There are four elements in developing a social media strategy: evaluating current organizational assets, researching competitors (and comparables), choosing appropriate channels for ongoing participation, and measurement. I might add developing online campaigns (as relevant) to that mix.

Before creating a strategy, however, organizations should have a sense of these three things:

1.) Realistic commitment to social media (time, personnel, budget).

2.) The value the organization can offer on the social media channels.

3.) Goals: What the organization wants to get back from its social media engagement, such as brand awareness, sales, members, volunteers, specific project goals, or other.

These are your starting points, and will likely be refined throughout the strategic development process. Continue reading

February 14, 2012

To create a metrics program, first identify your goals


Image by Vladimir on BigStockPhoto

If you don’t know what you want to achieve, it doesn’t matter how many people ‘like’ you

This is the first part of a two-part series on creating a strategy for your nonprofit or social cause.

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, government agencies.

Guest post by Melissa Foley

Deciding how to measure your social media efforts can be a challenging undertaking. Number of likes? Number of followers? Level of engagement? Which measures are right for you?

Believe it or not, these measures are virtually meaningless. In fact, all measures are meaningless — unless they are tied to your goals.

Think about it: An organization working to raise awareness about an issue and an organization working to pass legislation are likely to have very different goals, even though they are likely to use many of the same tools (eg., Facebook and Twitter). One-size-fits-all “Top 10 social media metrics” lists can be tempting but dangerous. Each organization should choose measures that align closely with your goals.

Figure out what you want

Your first step is to figure out what you really want to do, how and why. I recommend using the following strategic planning process. Don’t let “strategic planning process” scare you — one or two well thought-out bullets for each step is sufficient:

  • Step 1: Goal & objective
    Your first step is to carefully define a high-level goal (eg., pass this legislative bill) and a measurable objective (eg., get six key legislators to vote for the legislation).
  • Step 2: Strategy
    Next, you need to decide at a high level how you want to go about doing this. For example, influence newspapers in key districts to write stories about community support for the legislation.
  • Step 3: Tools and tactics
    Once you’ve got your strategy, map out an action plan for using new media and other tools to execute your strategy. For example, follow local newspapers on Twitter and engage in conversations with them, breaking news related to the legislation. Target communities when possible.

Continue reading

July 20, 2011

6 ways to integrate your nonprofit email list with social media

John HaydonGrowing an email list and a Facebook fan base for your nonprofit can sometimes feel overwhelming. Sometimes you wish you had only one channel to grow and manage.

To help make things easier, following are six ways you can integrate your nonprofit email list with social media.

Include follow and fan links in your email template

connect via social media Six Ways To Integrate Your Nonprofit Email List With Social Media

1If you’re using a service like Aweber or Mailchimp, you’ll want to add links to either the footer or sidebar of the email template (I have mine at the top). This allows email subscribers to easily follow or fan your nonprofit.

Make messaging the same

2Many times your email messaging and your Facebook content has different messaging. This might be the case if these two channels are handled by different groups.

One way to keep your messaging consistent is to use Personas. Personas are personified models of the various different segments you target.

But make the content different

3A question your subscribers ask is, “Why should I become a Facebook fan when I already subscribe to the email list?”

One answer is to create different content on each channel. For example, you can use your email list as a way to share deeper stories around outcomes, and Facebook to share photos and videos about those stories. Continue reading