− Social Media for Nonprofits

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Social Media for Nonprofits

Social Media for NonProfits LogoLast month, I attended Social Media for Nonprofits Exit Disclaimer in San Francisco, a conference series taking place in cities across the country. The conferences bring together social media experts and nonprofit leaders to share what’s working in fundraising, marketing, and advocacy. I learned about several social media tools and tips relevant for the AIDS community.

Guy Kawasaki
Exit Disclaimer, author of Enchantment Exit Disclaimer, gave the keynote presentation Exit Disclaimer and emphasized how to maintain your social media presence by answering (fast, flat, frequent), disclosing, thanking, repeating, and commenting. In the HIV community, there are opportunities to participate on Twitter with hashtags (like #30Years Exit Disclaimer for the conversation on 30 years of AIDS, or the CDC’s National Observances Web Community on Ning. As a non-profit, joining the social media conversation is an opportunity to contribute to the larger conversation of your cause, create partnerships in that community, and give yourself visibility.

Meet your audiences where they are.
Comments on Facebook for Facing AIDSGuy also talked about how each social medium is unique, and how it’s important to take advantage of each medium. For example, Twitter and Facebook have different purposes and audiences – a few speakers advised not posting Foursquare check-ins on your Twitter feed or using selective tweets on your Facebook page. Guy emphasized that the Twitter economy is based on linking (to other sites, articles, blog posts, event information) while Facebook is great for posting photos. We saw powerful responses from Facebook users when we posted photos and messages of people Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day 2010.

Create or curate.
Facebook question about HIV testingCharles Porch from Facebook Exit Disclaimer had many examples of using Facebook for good Exit Disclaimer to create content and engage your audience. Make your supporters the stars. Feature personal storytelling. Use visuals. Ask questions. Get creative with features, like Facebook groups and places. One feature we used recently on Facebook was Facebook questions Exit Disclaimer. We posted two polls on our Facebook page Exit Disclaimer about HIV testing and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and saw a larger response to these questions than we do for an average Facebook post.

If you’ve run out of things to say, Susan Tenby Exit Disclaimer of TechSoup Exit Disclaimer recommended curating content Exit Disclaimer. Retweet, reply to conversations by using hashtags, and share widely. Stay on top of your cause by following related blogs and social media spaces.

There are some great tools out there to gauge how your audience is responding and to guide your social media strategy. A few presentations mentioned Twitter dashboards like Tweetdeck Exit Disclaimer and Hootsuite Exit Disclaimer, which can help monitor the conversation on Twitter, schedule tweets, or even create analytics reports. There are also tools that can create customized alerts (Tweetbeep Exit Disclaimer, Social Mention Exit Disclaimer) and show you where you rank (TweetStats Exit Disclaimer, Klout Exit Disclaimer). Many URL shortners, such as Exit Disclaimer, let you see how many clicks a link receives, and Facebook and YouTube Insights are other useful free tools.

Leverage existing resources.
If you’re from a nonprofit in the HIV community, remember that there are free resources out there, such as the conference presentations Exit Disclaimer, this list from Socialbrite Exit Disclaimer, and the new media toolkit. Beth Kantor Exit Disclaimer, author of The Networked Nonprofit, talked to the audience about etiquette between nonprofits and free agents, another resource to leverage (read her blog post about the conference Exit Disclaimer).

It’s not too late to register Exit Disclaimer for Social Media for Nonprofits in some cities, and the conference is scheduled to make its way back through some cities, dates TBA. Also mark your calendar for the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference Exit Disclaimer, April 3-5 in San Francisco. They’re currently accepting proposals.

If you’re just getting started with social media, make a strategy (here’s ours). If you are a nonprofit working in HIV, what are your tips and tricks for success? How do you manage your social media?