December 19, 2012

8 questions every social media strategy needs to answer

Image by fuzzbones on

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

March 8, 2010

Social media begins with goals and a strategy

Business plan

John HaydonI’ve been following Ash Shepherd on Twitter for some time now because he always seems to have something important to share. Following is an email interview I conducted with Ash about a service he offers called Social Media Planning and Analysis.

What is social media planning and analysis?

Shepherd: Social media planning and analysis is really about two things:

1. Creating frameworks that keep social media activities mission focused in a sustainable manner.

2. Taking the time look at if what you are doing is working.

After all, none of us has the time or resources to do anything that is not helping us achieve our mission as an organization or company.

Can you explain what this looks like in practice?

There is obviously a lot that can go into explaining this but the simple breakdown is this: Goals, Strategies, Tactics, Tools and Metrics. The biggest point to make here is that picking your tool comes as one of the final steps, not as the first and only one.

This practice of keeping things tied to larger communication goals with specific actions and ways to measure successes as well as shortcomings is the key to sustainability for groups.

If you chase the tools, what are you going to do when they change? (And they will.) You have to start over. With a solid plan and framework the worst case scenario is that you have to adjust that last two steps of the process but everything else can remain consistent. Continue reading

November 18, 2009

Fundraising with social media — the right way

Wildlife Direct harnesses social networks to ‘secure a future for wildlife’

Beth KanterLast week I wrote about a pair of surveys that looked at social media and nonprofits. One came to the conclusion that social media was a waste of time; the other talked about strategic implications on how to be successful.

If you want to be successful using social media in your fundraising strategy, remember:

    Paula Kahumbu of WildlifeDirect

    Paula Kahumbu of WildlifeDirect

  • Build your network before you need it. Don’t have your first interaction be a request for money
  • Focus on engagement and relationship building all the time. You don’t have to be doing it at hyper level at the time, but remember relationship building doesn’t have an on and off switch.
  • Story telling is important – as much as can creatively tell a compelling story, the more success you will have.
  • Should be part of a multi-channel effort — they all work together. What’s important is figuring out the right amount of time to invest in particular channels.
  • Focus on the outcomes and keep reporting on the work you are doing.

Last year, I made a prediction about social media as part of the fundraising mix and I still feel strongly about it:

I believe social media will become as ubiquitous to development offices as is the phone, direct mail, and email. In the next decades, we’ll see rapid adoption of social media for many nonprofit purposes, including fundraising and as gen y’s come into their own as donors. Some of the new tools now being launched to create a single profile that can be used across social networks will as analysts predict make social networks like air. We’re still in the early stages of social media as in the early days of the web and online fundraising, so, we are in the “it’s hype, and not going to last” phase. We’re still in transition and the transition will take many years, but I believe fundraising with social media tools will not just be a niche source of income or novelty.

Peter Dietz, founder of Social Actions, pulled out his crystal ball last year and wrote: “individuals will come to your organization with the expectation of being full partners in your work, not just dollar wells to be tapped when cash is needed. Donations will be a consequence of meaningful engagement, not a measurement of it.”

So, when nonprofits use the best practices around meaningful engagement they see results. Last month at PopTech, I heard Paula Kahumbu, a PopTech Fellow, talk about her organization’s work and use of social media. Continue reading