The Anatomy of a Great Twitter Post

Crafting an informative and engaging piece of writing isn’t always easy. It gets even harder when you only have 140 characters to do it.

Twitter is often a medium where only the strongest survive. Understanding the make-up of a powerful tweet is important to standing out from the crowd, catching your members’ attention and providing the best content you can.

We took a look at some well-received tweets and broke down what made them successful.

Tweet #1

Great Tweet Example 1

Tweet #2

Great Tweet Example 2

Tweet #3

Great Tweet Example 3

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Great tweets are built on strong content, a desire to help improve the lives of your followers and a focus on promoting engagement. By examining those tweets that encompass these factors you can emulate them, develop a strong following and attain an even stronger return on investment.

What other factors go into making a great tweet? Let us know in the comments!

 

Which Social Media Platform Should Your Non-Profit Be On, Part 2: Four Key Questions to Ask

Last week, we gave a quick guide to determining which social media platform might be the best fit for your organization by posing a series of questions. Determining beforehand which platform will be the most beneficial for your organization is important as it takes resources and dedication to consistently follow-through on social media. With that in mind, here are four more questions every non-profit executive should be asking themselves before they decide which social media platform their organization should be active on.

What Are Your Goals?

Determining what you want to achieve with social media is probably the most crucial part of this decision. What your finish line looks like will have a huge impact on which path you take towards it.

Twitter is Perfect If: You want member/community engagement. If you want to share information and news quickly. If you want to reach out to new people.

Blogging is Perfect If: You want to be considered an expert on an issue. If you want to use lots of different media or authors. If you want to tell a story or go in-depth on issues.

Pinterest is Perfect If: You want to drive traffic to your website or other websites. If you want to appeal to your connections visually/emotionally.

LinkedIn is Perfect If: You want to give networking opportunities to your community. If you want to help your connections grow professionally. If you want to start conversations about industry-specific issues.

Facebook is Perfect If: You want to engage with members/community. If you want to share news and information. If you want to be less formal and more relatable. If you want to conduct contests.

YouTube is Perfect If: You want to expose a new side of your organization. If you want to provide your community with tutorials or learning opportunities. If you want to be a visual storyteller.

Who Is Your Audience?

It’s important to know who you’re trying to reach with your social media efforts. Connecting with the right people will help you achieve your organization’s goals much faster and more efficiently. Each platform draws a unique audience and understanding these demographics is key.

Twitter is Perfect If: Your audience is almost anyone. If you want to attract businesses and people of all demographics. If you want to make new connections and build on old ones.

Blogging is Perfect If: Your audience is people who are already interested in your cause or industry. If you want to attract those searching for information on your area of expertise.

Pinterest is Perfect If: Your audience is creative or responds to and provides visuals. If your audience are women (80% of Pinterest users are women). If your audience are members of the wider community.

LinkedIn is Perfect If: Your audience is made up of professionals from the same industry. If your audience is looking to network, gain experience and connect with similar individuals.

Facebook is Perfect If: Your audience is, once again, almost anyone. If you already have an established audience. If your audience knows to look for you.

YouTube is Perfect If: Your audience is, for the third time, almost anyone. YouTube is used by a broad demographic and its videos can be posted to other platforms.

What Does Your Organization Do?

Your organization’s identity is oftentimes tied to its cause and how its community works toward it. An organization’s identity is the key to drawing in supporters. Certain platforms showcase an organization’s identity better than others.

Twitter is Perfect If: Your organization helps members. If your organization sends out calls to action. If your organization wants to create awareness.

Blogging is Perfect If: Your organization tells stories. If your organization works towards its cause by informing people. If your organization studies ongoing issues.

Pinterest is Perfect If: Your organization invites the community to get involved. Advocates for other businesses, individuals or organizations. If your organization evokes emotion.

LinkedIn is Perfect If: Your organization helps people grow professionally or connect with educational and volunteer opportunities. If your organization advocates for an industry.

Facebook is Perfect If: Your organization does almost anything. If your organization connects with many stakeholders as well as the general community.

YouTube is Perfect If: Your organization engages at the grassroots level. If your organization and its community hosts or partakes in a lot of events.

What Resources Do You Have?

It’s common knowledge that non-profits have finite resources and have to use them the best way possible. All social media efforts take time, know-how and some money to be successful, but some fit into an organization’s overall strategy better than others.

Twitter is Perfect If: You have the personnel and time to invest in tweeting several times daily, comb through trends, find the right content and engage with followers.

Blogging is Perfect If: You have the time to invest in researching, writing, editing and promoting a consistent blog. If you have the money to invest in creating a decent looking page for your blog.

Pinterest is Perfect If: You have the time to search out visuals and links for pins. If you have the time to research trends on the platform. If you have the money to invest in photo taking and image making equipment and software.

LinkedIn is Perfect If: You have the time and money to write posts, check in regularly, create networking opportunities and look into paid job postings and promoted posts.

Facebook is Perfect If: You have the time to invest in posting multiple engaging posts a week, follow up with engagement and contests and maintain other features such as photo albums.

YouTube is Perfect If: You have the time, money and expertise to invest in equipment and planning, filming, editing and uploading a video or multiple videos.

Social Media Spring Cleaning for Non-profits

Do you hear that hubbub out on the street? Can you feel the warmth of the sun through the window? That’s spring calling you to celebrate its arrival! But before you run through the door, rip off your winter coat and enjoy the sweet freedom from winter’s iciness, you might want to consider doing some social media spring cleaning for your organization.

Just like a house or an office needs a cleanup every once in a while, so to do social media accounts, especially those of a non-profit or professional association.

Doing a bit of social media spring cleaning takes a little time and makes a big difference down the road. It helps you be more efficient, make a bigger impact and better plan for the future.

So get out your digital dish clothes and social media sponges, because here are a few tips for cleaning out your accounts.

Facebook

The first course of action for cleaning up your organization’s Facebook page is to review and refresh its profile. This includes changing the profile pictures, updating the ‘About’ section and adding or subtracting tabs. This updates any out of date information and gives a fresh look to the page.

It’s also useful to go back over your past event pages and delete any old ones. When people search for your organization and find old events instead, it may seem like your non-profit is unorganized and not committed to the platform. Deleting old events ensures a cleaner, sleeker look.

Twitter

Start your Twitter spring cleaning by looking through the list of accounts your organization follows and unfollow any inactive or irrelevant ones. This includes those that haven’t tweeted in far too long or have no connection to your cause, industry or audience. This will help you curate content more efficiently, engage with the followers that matter most and determine which accounts you haven’t interacted with in a while.

Take some time and update your bank of popular hashtags. Do some research and check to see which hashtags are still popular, which ones have fallen out of use and which ones have emerged as a great way to connect with members or those interested in your cause.

Pinterest

Your organization’s Pinterest account can get cluttered and inefficient if you’re not careful. That’s where a bit of spring cleaning comes in handy. Review the boards you follow and disconnect from any that are irrelevant or inactive. After that’s finished, it’s a good idea to turn your attention to your own boards. See which ones can be split into separate or new boards and which ones can be joined together. This eliminates overcrowded and redundant boards and makes things easier for current and potential followers.

Blogs

With a bit of spring cleaning, you can raise your blog’s profile among members and others in the online community and eliminate some backlogged headaches for yourself.

Take some time to go over some older posts and update them. Write about what has changed or what hasn’t. You could always ask a quest blogger to contribute and give the issue a new perspective. Another way to update a post is to address it with different media, like an infographic or video.

Go back over your comment and weed out the spam and any inappropriate responses. This will help you keep track of which blog posts are getting the most meaningful engagement and will rid your comment section of eyesores and headaches for both yourself and those looking to contribute to the conversation.

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Social media spring cleaning isn’t always the most fun activity, especially when all your want to do is enjoy some time in the sun, but it’s necessary in order to keep clean, efficient and engaging platforms your members, staff, volunteers, etc. can use to interact with your organization.

Do you have any other social media spring cleaning tips for us? Let us know in the comments!

5 Reasons Why Non-profits Should Use Pinterest

If your non-profit or association hasn’t taken Pinterest seriously yet, it should now.

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform at the moment, according to a Pew Research Survey. The photo pin-up site saw a spike is users, from 15 per cent of American adults in 2012 to 21 per cent in 2013. That’s more than Facebook, more than Twitter and more than LinkedIn.

But what can Pinterest offer non-profits? Well, if we told you all the benefits the platform can bring your organization, we’d be here for a while. That’s why we looked through the maze of photos, infographics and stunning images and picked out five of the best reasons non-profits will love Pinterest.

Images evoke emotion

Emotional responses lead to a deep connection and more engagement. People are more likely to contribute, share, interact and join a cause or organization if they feel an emotional attachment. Images create this emotional response because they are not as abstract or easy to ignore as print. They put a face to a name and an image to an explanation.

Pinterest’s whole structure is based on creating, curating and sharing photos. Non-profits are made up of a community of people and thus have an almost unending source of great photos. There are also events, field work, projects and initiatives that provide opportunities for photos and great content to link to.

Pinterest drives traffic to your website

Pinterest takes regular, old links and spruces them up. Instead of words on a page linking someone to a website or blog, Pinterest displays photos that link to an organization’s pages. This drives traffic to your organization’s pages more effectively than other social media sites.

Your non-profit’s website is your organization’s online HQ. Much of the giving or membership purchases come from your website. Any traffic will help raise awareness, money and membership and Pinterest brings you lots of this beneficial traffic.

Pinterest turns history from boring to beautiful

History is an important part of any organization, especially non-profits. History gives members and contributors a shared experience. History also lends credibility to a cause or an association. Showcasing your organization’s history highlights its triumphs, the important people that were dedicated the cause and how the organization’s goals have evolved and will continue to evolve.

The only asterisk beside ‘History’ as a tool to boost engagement and interest is that many find it dry and dull. Photos help liven up history and evoke nostalgia. They take dates, numbers and anonymous names and turn them into a picture of the passion your organization has for the cause or industry.

Pinterest can highlight trips to the field

People don’t just want to read about how your organization is making a difference, they want to see it. Pinterest allows your non-profit to show contributors and members that it walks the walk.

By pinning photos showing your organization’s activities in the field and their impact, contributors and members can see your non-profit is making a concrete difference and, by being part of the effort, they can have a hand in creating this positive change.

Pinterest gives stats with flare

Stats can be a non-profits best friend. They take all sorts of information that may be crucial to your cause, contributors and members and package it into easy to comprehend numbers. But, like history, stats can be boring, dense and come across as a wall of print and percentages. Pinterest has the power to take these stats and present them into an infographic to appeal to a broader audience. Infographics are graphs that take an audience on a visually-appealing journey of an issue using statistics. Pinterest and infographics go together like good wine and cheese and can be a great way to convert an on-the-fencer into a loyal member of your organization.

Pinterest is a fast-growing social media platform that offers lots of helpful, not to mention fun, ways of engaging current and potential members and contributors for your non-profit. Do you know any organizations doing a great job on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments. And keep it social!

Converting the Skeptics: How Social Media Can Help Change the Minds of Non-Profit Naysayers

Non-profits are great. You know it, we know it, but, unfortunately not everyone feels the same way.

We hear the same reasons for not being part of a non-profit over and over again. Good, old-fashioned, one-on-one conversations can help turn the tide and make people realize professional associations, charities or other organizations are worth investing in. But sometimes people need more convincing. Sometimes your organization needs a way to reach not one, but tens, hundreds or thousands of potential connections consistently.

That’s when social media can play a role in turning even the most ardent disbeliever into a loyal member, volunteer, contributor, etc. We looked into a few of the more common situations where social media can help turn the tide, banish myths and highlight the benefits of being part of a non-profit.

Situation #1- The Investment Conundrum

Many people point to high membership dues without upfront value as a main reason for not joining their industry’s association. Many people only see the price tag of membership and not the benefits of it. Helping those in your industry see the true worth of an investment in membership can be done almost every day with social media in both big and small ways.

Let’s start with the small, or indirect, ways. By tweeting, posting, pinning and uploading frequently, your organization becomes the go-to source for information for your industry. All roads to knowledge go through your association. This shows people that it is worth being part of your association for its potential to unlock lessons that could bring their career to a new level.

On a larger, more direct scale, social media is a great outlet to promote events, draw attention to association services and map out exactly how an association plans to meet the needs of its members. Blogs are a great way to achieve this aim in detail and Twitter is a great platform to boost both reach and frequency of your message.

Situation #2- The Effort Theory

Social media is a great tool to show that making a difference is fun, flexible and has a huge impact.

For example, Nonprofit Technology Network announced a creative incentive via a blog and video post to raise $10,000 in scholarship money for people to attend the annual NTC conference. Executive Director Holly Ross let donors vote on which one of three embarrassing things she’d do if NTEN reached their goal. They quickly raised the $10,000 and donors voted for Holly to do a Single Ladies Video.

Using Instagram, Vine or Twitter to highlight the fun and inspiring moments of an event or fundraiser in pictures does more to change peoples’ attitudes than words can ever do.

Showing the extraordinary benefits of contributing can be done very effectively with Pinterest. By pinning an infographic of where someone’s money or time is going as it travels from their pocket to the cause is a great way for people to visualize how they personally are helping out.

Situation #3- The Generational Anomaly

Yes, associations have been around for many a decade and any institution that has been around that long is going to risk being called out of date. But the truth is every new generation breaking into an industry is going to benefit from joining an association more than their more experienced colleagues. Social media can put this into perspective.

Networking is a key ingredient to any young professional’s success and forming social media communities on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is a great way to encourage communication between members and show potential members the benefits of joining.

Similarly, highlighting the achievements of young professionals on blogs, Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms may encourage others to get involved in your association and work to get recognized.

Situation #4- The Transparency Factor

When anyone gives money, or even time and loyalty, into an organization or a cause, they want to know where it’s going or have a say in the services that organization is providing. For example, many people want to know how much of the money they donated to charity is going to administrative costs and association members want to have a say in the education topics of a conference they are paying for. This is where social media steps in to lend a hand.

Social media gives the public easy access to organizations and makes it simple to start engaging and informative dialogues with the non-profits they get involved in or are thinking of getting involved in. That’s why providing information on spending or impact is easy for charities through Twitter or Facebook and pooling ideas on products and services is a piece of cake for associations on many different platforms.

More transparency means more trust and more trust means a loyal base of members, donors, volunteers and customers.

Battling myths is a past time of social media. That doesn’t mean every naysayer out there is going to turn into your biggest fan just because they are following your organization on Twitter. But a strong social media presence is another tool in your non-profit’s toolbox that be used to encourage participation, conversation and a more informed and active membership.

If Social Media Platforms Were Superheroes

There are many heroes in the non-profit world.

There’s the staff member, who works tirelessly to make sure every event, every initiative and the everyday functioning of the organization runs smoothly and effectively.

There’s the member of an association who volunteers for committees, is dedicated to his or her craft and strives to be a model in the community and the industry.

There’s the donor, who gives time or financial assistance to organizations that would not be able to function and do good without their contributions.

Wherever you look within a non-profit, a hero is waiting, many times looking more like Clark Kent than Superman.

But social media platforms can also be like superheroes. Name the network and they have the ability to bring amazing powers to any organization.

We thought it might be fun to imagine some of the most popular social media sites as some well-known superheroes. We’ve managed to get these cyber superheroes to don their masks, capes and the almost too-tight pants and show off their feats of strength, skill and daring. We hope you enjoy.

Twitter

Alter Ego: Superman

Powers: “Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

How They Use Their Power For Good: The resemblance between Superman and Twitter is uncanny. Twitter is fast. It can get a message out to all corners of the world in 140 characters and a couple of minutes. It is powerful. On December 3, 2013, the hashtag #GivingTuesday reached 2 billion individuals on Twitter and helped raise an incredible amount of funds for charity. Twitter helps people leap obstacles easily and collectively. Twitter can act as a giant online telephone, relaying information to your association’s members in one tweet. From there, it’s easy to help members with questions, dilemmas and getting the information or recognition they deserve.

Facebook

Alter Ego: Batman

Powers: Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any superpowers: he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and an indomitable will.

How They Use Their Power For Good: Both Facebook and Batman have some of the coolest tools around that help them do good. Facebook is almost constantly coming out with new features, apps and styles that make the site a classic. Whether it’s taking advantage of an old favourite, like photo albums, or newer tools, like the Donate Now button or the trending topics feature, Facebook makes it easy for you to connect, engage and evaluate areas of success and potential in an easy and diverse way. This gives your organization flexibility, strength and efficiency.

Pinterest

Alter Ego: Spiderman

Powers: Super strength and agility, the ability to cling to most surfaces, shoot spider-webs and react to danger quickly with his “spider-sense.”

How They Use Their Power For Good: Everything from the cool red and blue suit to the giant webs serves to make the ordinary, teenagers and spiders, into something extraordinary. The same can be said for pins on Pinterest. Images have been shown to be the strongest way to engage an audience. They also give you the ability to be creative and think outside the box. Pinterest allows your organization to track the trends of donors, members or society in general, giving you a “spider-sense” of your own and the ability to anticipate the best way to build a loyal base to help achieve your non-profit’s goals.

Blogs

Alter Ego: The Hulk

Powers: Possesses near limitless superhuman strength and great invulnerability, attributes that grow more potent the angrier he becomes.

How They Use Their Power For Good: Big, strong, passionate and invincible; all words to describe both the angry green superhero and blogs. Blogs often provide a more in-depth offering than other social platforms and can therefore be bigger. With more detail comes more information and a better opportunity for story-telling, making its readership both a call to action and a guide to following through with it. And, as we’ve said before, the blog doesn’t go down easily.

Instagram

Alter Ego: The Flash

Powers: The ability to run and move extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes and seemingly violate certain laws of physics.

How They Use Their Powers For Good: The Flash is quick, but can have a huge impact. The same goes for Instagram. While crafting the right combination of photo, caption and hashtag(s) can take creativity, timing and smarts, a well put together Instagram post can take a quick action and turn it into a powerful moment. Instagram puts a twist on the old cliché a picture is worth a thousand words and make it worth a thousand interactions. A powerful picture with a simple call for input, action or even a laugh can have people spreading the word, helping members connect with each other or come out to a fundraising event.

 

Social media platforms often look exactly like every other citizen of the online world; humble, normal, workman-like. But over time, these tools can help your organization with their tremendous powers to do good. So next time you’re looking for a new member for your non-profits team of superheroes, take a look social media, it won’t let you down.

Do you agree with our social media alter egos? What superhero matches your favourite platform? Let us know in the comments! And remember, keep it social!

What Non-Profits Can Learn About Using Social Media From The Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics brought with them two things, a collection of medals and a collection of lessons.

No matter what country you call home, how much you know about sports like curling and the biathlon, or what you do for the living, the Sochi Games could teach all a thing or two.

As the athletes leave Russia and the flame begins its four-year journey to Pyeongchang, we believe there is lots to learn from the Olympics that can help non-profits on social media. We decided to look at three of these lessons a little more.

Being a Part of a Community Feels Good

Canadians from coast to coast packed pubs and bars as early as 4 a.m. to watch the nation’s men’s hockey team play for gold. Why did they do such a thing? While the one-day loosening of liquor laws was a factor, the main reason was that Canadians felt like they belonged to something bigger than themselves. They felt like they belonged to a community.

Creating a similar community online for your organization and its members will help yield similar results. Giving your staff, volunteers, members, donors, etc., an opportunity to get involved and be part of an experience will help generate pride, passion and ultimately a loyal and engaged community. Conducting a Twitter chat about a recent event, offering a chance to contribute an article for your blog or giving an opportunity to share a song on your organization’s Spotify playlist are all ways to use social media include your customers and build a community.

Handle Mistakes With Care

The first images of Sochi were not of picturesque mountains or triumphant athletes, but rather horrible hotel rooms and undrinkable water. These pictures, made famous by reporters, spread through social media. Instead of addressing these problems, Games’ Organizer Dmitry Chernyshenko responded by telling journalists to “turn back and look at the mountains.”

Social media comes with greater interactions and greater transparency, but this also opens your organization up to greater scrutiny and potentially greater criticism. The best way to handle this criticism is to face it head on. Have a plan in place to address mistakes made or complaints received. Don’t be confrontational or flippant. Find a solution quickly and use social media to improve your organization, turning a displeased customer into a loyal community member.

Gold Medals Don’t Always Define Greatness

Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris won bronze in the slopestyle competition, but in a post-event interview he had this to say about the third-place finish, “It feels like a gold medal to me.” Considering McMorris had broken his ribs just a month before Sochi, a bronze medal was a tremendous achievement for him.

Many organizations, not just non-profits and associations, can get caught up in getting a ‘gold medal’ in social media, i.e. a large number of followers/fans/etc., and lose focus on other important indicators of success. Measuring social media ROI success is based on many factors and indicators, including how big your organization is, how new the organization is to social media and how many interactions the account is receiving. The most important thing to keep in mind is to build on recent successes to increase not just the quantity of engagement, but the quality as well.

The Olympics have come and gone for another year. The lessons that the world-class athletes have taught us can be applied to our everyday lives. What transpired in Sochi can especially be applied to non-profits and associations on social media. Remembering that community, transparency and patience can often be the best tools for success is important.  All are characteristics that will take your organization to the next level.

What do you think organizations can learn from the Olympics? Let us know in the comments! And remember, stay social!

Top of the Crop: Social Media Highlights for Non-Profits

These last five weeks have been a whirlwind of social media news and analysis, a diverse and very exciting whirlwind! We decided to compact our last five posts into our favourite five points. From a big birthday to an intriguing new mobile app, it’s a good time to be a non-profit on social media and this recap goes a long to proving that. Enjoy!

Don’t Print The Blog’s Gravestone Just Yet! 

Blogs aren’t dead, they’ve just crawled in a cocoon and emerged different in the last few years. Diversity, creativity, consistency and quality all go into making a great blog that will help the community and your members.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Twitter’s mobile app-in-testing, Nearby, could be a huge advantage for non-profits and associations. However, the app is just the beginning. It’s all about using the local to appeal to and serve members and the wider community. Utilizing local platforms or features on social media can connect your organization to its members’ problems and their solutions in a more efficient, engaging way.

The Slacktivist Handbook

Slacktivism doesn’t need to be a dirty word. Your organization can harness the power and momentum of slacktivism to create long-lasting, win-win relationships with the community or members. It does, however, take patience, consistency and persistence.

One Small Step…For Everyone

Making your social media efforts accessible to everyone is important to spreading your message and setting your organization apart from the crowd. One great tool to make this possible is Storify. Storify helps you create an engaging archive of conversations or postings on several social media platforms. This archive is available and easy to access to everyone from social media whizzes to internet newcomers.

Make A Wish

Facebook turned 10 a couple weeks ago and we marked its birthday by jotting down 10 ways the social media giant has benefited non-profits. Out of this set, the “Donate Now” button has been a revelation to many non-profits, large and small. The ease with which people can contribute to a cause has meant more opportunity for non-profits to engage those that are passionate about growing and strengthening an organization.

There’s plenty more to come as non-profits are one of the biggest benefactors, and innovators, in social media. Let us know what your favourite post was. And remember, keep it social!

Facebook Is 10: Why the Social Network is Still Near the Top of the Class

In social media circles, Facebook just became a senior citizen.

Facebook turned 10-years-old last Tuesday, a monumental milestone for the social media giant. Facebook has paved the way for a new wave of networking platforms and has changed the way companies, organizations and individuals connect to others in its decade-long reign as one of the internet’s titans.

Amidst all of Facebook’s past triumphs are recent questions about the site. Many are wondering if Facebook is in a permanent decline and the social network is fending off attack after attack on its future.

We still think Facebook can be a great tool for non-profit organizations to connect with the community, build relationships and grow. So in honor of Facebook’s 10th birthday, we’re bringing you 10 ways the platform can benefit organizations.

1. Photo Albums

Images can inspire many emotions and effectively send important messages. Both of these are beneficial to non-profits who want to draw new connections and serve current ones. Facebook gives a lot of flexibility when it comes to posting photos, allowing users to upload whole albums, tag people, caption the photo (including hashtags), share them and set the location. Numerous studies also show that Facebook posts generate the most engagement and click-through rate.

2. Contests

Contests can be an interesting and engaging way to connect with members, donors, volunteers and the community and increase awareness. Facebook is a great platform to launch social media contests, especially with its new rules, instated last year, that make competitions easier, cheaper and more effective.

3. Mobile Capability

Mobile usage has exploded in the last couple years and it only keeps growing. More than 50 per cent of mobile users use their mobile device as their primary internet source. Appealing to mobile users is, or should be, a big consideration for organizations.

Facebook has a strong presence on mobile with an easy-to-use app. The social network also develops and releases new apps often. This makes the social experience even easier and more engaging for users and more important for organizations looking to build connections.

4. Videos

Videos are a great way to tell stories and the popularity of Vine, Instagram and YouTube underline how important they are to social networking.

Facebook allows organizations to upload videos to their page, capitalizing on the effectiveness of the medium. Combined with the ease with which connections can comment and share on posts, Facebook’s video capabilities measure up quite well against those of other platforms.

5. “Donate Now” Button

Facebook introduced its “Donate Now” button almost two months ago, making it easier for people to give to non-profits and charities. Online giving increased by over 20 per cent in the last year and it continues to trend upward. The “Donate Now” Button helps organizations capitalize on this trend, makes giving easier, and strengthens relationships between non-profits and the community.

6. Event Planning

Getting the word out and coordinating the details of an event can be difficult. That is why Facebook’s event feature is so effective. It enables organizations to plan gatherings and convey information quickly and simply. It also allows attendees to spread the word themselves, helping initiatives grow and thrive. Last, but not least, Facebook’s event feature is unique among social media platforms. No such thing exists on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

7. Hashtags

Hashtags help organizations appeal to a wider audience and gather great content to share to members and their other connections. While Facebook hashtags took a little while longer to catch on than their Twitter cousins, they are seeing wider acceptance in recent months. Facebook hashtags also keep them level with other social networks that also use hashtags.

8. Networking

Having a space to network with others is the big reason for people to be on social media. Giving people that space will draw people to your organization. Facebook is one of the best platforms to achieve this. Conversations on your organization’s page can be vibrant and sharing the contributions of others can be done in various, engaging ways. At the end of the day, your organization isn’t the only one who will be gaining new friends on Facebook, so will your members.

9. Turning Negative to Positive

Sooner or later, your organization is going to receive some negative feedback. Whether it’s blunt or thinly veiled, criticism is a way of life on social media. The real key is knowing how to deal with negative criticism. Facebook provides a great space to turn that negative into a positive. Other platforms are limited in the amount of characters or the medium you can use and this often limits an organization’s response. Facebook has very few limits and thus provides a forum to turn that frown upside down.

10. Promote Other Platforms

Many non-profits have a multi-faceted approach to social media, using several platforms to serve the community or members. Facebook is a great way to let others know about these other platforms. Promoting your blog, Twitter feed or an infographic you pin on Pinterest is just a click away on Facebook.

Facebook may be getting up there in years, but the social network hasn’t lost its appeal or its effectiveness for non-profits. Happy belated birthday Facebook!

What do you like about Facebook? What non-profits use the platform best? Let us know in the comments!

Three Ways for Non-Profits to Make Social Media Accessible

The world is smaller than it’s ever been and it keeps on shrinking.

Social media has played no small part in bringing the global community closer together. It seems everyone and their uncle is tweeting, posting on Facebook, reading blogs, pinning photos and creating Vines. And for good reason. Learning, networking, giving, sharing, talking, progressing; all are done easier and more engaging on these platforms.

But there are some missing out on this tech revolution. Although it may seem like everyone is signed up and tuned in to social media (and a great many are), there are those who either have no interest in it or do not consider themselves tech-savvy enough to start up an account.

These are the people in your organization, members, donors, volunteers, staff, etc., that are missing out on some of the initiatives your non-profit or association can make happen on social media. So how do you make your efforts accessible to more people and keep your community in the loop? Here are three ways to do just that.

Storify

Storify is a social network that lets the user create archives of conversations had on other social platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. By threading together comments, posts or pictures on a certain topic, Storify enables you to create an informative, interesting and coherent story for those reading it.

Storify doesn’t require a log in or a sign up, so it is easy and requires no set up for those who are social media-adverse. Put together a Storify stream after a Twitter chat or if you’ve documented an event and let your members or community where they can find it. It will allow members who may not have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., to get a recap of important conversations and participate in your organization’s initiatives.

Blog

If your members can access a website, they can read a blog. It’s that easy.

A blog is an easy, no-fuss way to share lots of quality content with your members. Blogs are versatile and can switch from news bulletins to conference updates and in-depth analyses of issues affecting a cause or an industry.

The best part about blogs is their accessibility. Adding a blog to your organization’s website it simple and makes a big impact. Having a blog on your website drives traffic to other parts of your online HQ and promotes conversation between members. But it also gives members who don’t quite have the hang of social media a chance to keep up to date on your content sharing, keeping them just as engaged as the rest of your organization’s community.

Live-Tweet at Events

Some of your members may not have Twitter, but it doesn’t mean they need to miss out on some great tweets during an event.

Hooking up monitors in the room(s) holding your event and setting it to your Twitter feed will expose all attendees to your updates. This low-maintenance strategy, for both your members and your organization, is eye-catching, info-packed and engaging for all in attendance. It may also encourage those who may not use Twitter to get on board with the platform. Don’t be surprised if your organization’s Twitter account has more than a few new followers the next day.

Social media makes information accessible to your association or non-profit’s members or community. But none of this matters if your social media channels are not accessible to all your members. Using the strategies above will help to ensure your whole community is aware of all your efforts online and build connections with those who make your organization thrive.

What tools do you use to make social media accessible? Let us know in the comments! And remember to stay social!