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 This updates any out of date information and gives a fresh look to the page.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!