September 2, 2014

7 tips for your nonprofit communications plan

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Photo by J.D. Lasica

How to maximize and follow through on your communications goals

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

John HaydonIf you’re like most nonprofit communicators, you have a list of specific quarterly or yearly goals. No doubt they include growing your e-mail list, acquiring new donors and increasing engagement on your Facebook updates.

But whatever your goals are, make sure they cover these seven tips below:

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May 27, 2014

Using POST to create a social media strategy

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The POST method is an easy-to-remember framework for creating your strategy.

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

John HaydonThere seem to be countless tools available for social media marketers. Tools for managing social media, measuring it, and even for creating content that looks amazing!
Yes, technology can seem like a godsend.

But if you don’t have a solid strategy, you’re going to waste a lot of money on a lot of tools that promise a lot of results.

What does a social media strategy look like?

The POST method (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) was originally coined by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their book Groundswell (Harvard Business Review Press) is a proven framework for developing a social media strategy. Continue reading

December 19, 2012

8 questions every social media strategy needs to answer


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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

February 27, 2012

The secret sauce to creating a social media strategy

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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 15, 2012

The 7 elements of a Strategic Social Media Plan


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This is the second part of a two-part series on creating a strategy for your nonprofit or social cause. J.D. conducts two webinars a month on “6 Steps to Create a Powerhouse Social Strategy for Your Nonprofit” at CharityHowTo.

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

JD LasicaHow many nonprofits do you know that have incorporated social as part of their overall strategy, or even their communications strategy? Let’s go further: How many nonprofits really have a strategy?

Apart from the largest nonprofits, the list is painfully small. And that’s too bad, because here is what happens when strategy is not at the heart of your organization’s actions: On a good day, you bounce around from putting out one brushfire after another. On a bad day, the fire wins.

Sound familiar?

At the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco on April 5, my Socialbrite partner Carla Schlemminger and I will be leading an interactive session titled You Need a Strategy, Dammit, Not a Twitter Account (with the Twitter hashtag #12NTCDammit).

And our message will be: Folks, it doesn’t have to be this way. Be proactive instead of reactive. Create a Social Media Strategic Plan to help your nonprofit get aligned, to begin working as a cohesive unit and to achieve real-world impact. Continue reading

November 18, 2011

First impressions of Google+ Pages for nonprofits

Google Plus pages

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A look at the significance of Google+ Pages for brands

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, businesses, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

Debra AskanaseGoogle+ launched Pages last week, a move many of us have been looking forward to since the launch of Google+ itself. Within days, stories of unintentional G+ personal posting, problems sharing admin oversight, and issues with merged profiles were shared on the web. However, during that same time frame, hundreds of nonprofit organizations worldwide created and launched Google+ brand pages.

Google+ Pages are little SEO beacon lights

Two nonprofit motivations are apparent. A primary motivation seems to be related to search engine optimization: Google is the largest search engine by far, and Google Pages will certainly benefit from Google’s search algorithm (see why). I wrote that Google’s+1 button will change search, and so will Google+ Pages. The second motivation seems to be that everyone wants to get in on Google+ Pages early enough to start figuring out the medium. And maybe get a head start.

Does using Google+ Pages makes sense for your nonprofit?

Strategy: Think strategically about what the conversation should be about on Google+, how you might use Google+ to meet your SMART goals, and how it will help your organization further its mission.

In her blog post, Beth Kanter suggests that nonprofits might want to think about strategic ways to use their Google+ Pages, such as for community cultivation or as a focus group. Are you a resource-driven organization? Make your page the “go-to” resource. Are you an advocacy organization? Engage with your G+ Page fans, find out why they are so passionate about your nonprofit or a cause, and move them to action. Are you a volunteer organization? Make this the place where people share volunteer opportunities and experiences. Have fun thinking about Google+ features, your own objectives, and how you can use those to meet your goals! Continue reading