Last week was the Super Bowl of Social Media: Social Media Week. Social Media Week is a worldwide biannual conference that brings hundreds of thousands of people together every year through learning experiences that aim to advance individuals’ understanding of social media’s role in society. In my role here at Taproot, part of what I do is drive social media strategy for the organization. Needless to say, with hundreds of panels, workshops, mixers and more happening all at once, I was in hashtag heaven.
Here are four jewels from the week that I want to share with you:
1. Three’s a Crowd
About a month ago, our founder Aaron Hurst predicted the demise of some third party fundraising Web sites. I couldn’t agree more. Right now there are thousands of tools/sites that were all created to basically do the same thing–fundraise. There are many issues regarding these, but one that bugs me (and many other nonprofit professionals) most is that most organizations don’t have the bandwidth to use these tools/sites effectively, let alone sit down and craft a full social media strategy, which would help the process along. The best advice for organizations who are using (or want to use) social media for fundraising or brand awareness is to pick at least one (free) tool, attach no more than three objectives, and build a simple strategy from there. That way, you’ll be able to manage it and have the numbers to back up your ROI.
2. Link, Link and Link Again
Fifty percent of all Facebook posts have a link attached to them. Almost every post that an organization broadcasts should have a link attached to it. I’ll go a bit further and say that these links should all be tracked and point to the same destination. Finally, I’ll add that an organization should pay close attention to the links that their friends are sharing. Are there themes to the content? If so, that’s an indicator of what your organization should be speaking to and sharing online.
3. LinkedIn is For Nonprofits Too
Most people think of LinkedIn when they want to find a job, advance their professional careers, or find new employees. But LinkedIn is also a great place for nonprofits. There are 80 million affluent, influential professionals from 200 countries on LinkedIn. Our LinkedIn group for active pro bono consultants is a great space where they can connect based on a current interest, giving back using their current skills. Furthermore, an organization can host a free banner add, upload their Twitter Stream and place video all on LinkedIn, and all for free.
4 . Sometimes, Social Media Just Doesn’t Fit
My last event of the week was the Jazz Social. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market, it featured two jazz performances that sandwiched a discussion from industry and social media professionals on the use of social media within the space. The defining moment of the event was when an older woman stood up at the end and commented, “I don’t Twat, Tweet, Facebook or any of that stuff, and I never will. I come to these Jazz events every month because of word-of-mouth. My friends tell me where to go.” This comment was met with applause. She’s right. What I got from her comment was that audiences are being social in so many ways, not just via the Web. It’s our job as nonprofit professionals to pay attention to the vehicles that our supporters are using and build from there.
Dupe Ajayi is the External Affairs Manager for the Taproot Foundation.