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5 Social Media Tips for Beginners

Nancy E. Schwartz | Getting Attention

July 08, 2010

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2. It’s not about us – The days of one-way communications are over. Jessica Kirkwood of Points of Light Institute suggests thinking of social media like a cocktail party. You can’t just walk in and expect people to listen to you. You need to introduce yourself and ask questions – engage in a conversation. If you do it right, you’ll get a chance to share your own story in a context that matters to people you meet.

3. Measure – Many organizations – mine included – got into social media because it seemed like the right thing to do. Now my team and I are looking hard at what we do, why we do it and results we get, e.g. ROI. I’m interested to learn more about low-cost dashboards like Spredfast to automate measurement across channels.

4. No silo zone – Don’t silo social media with one person or department. Embed it in everything you do and empower people to participate, internally and externally. Set policies and guidelines, appoint owners, then mobilize your community to tell your shared story. Nonprofit leaders should lead by example and use the tools themselves.

5. Tone – Personalize, humanize, be transparent, and above all, be authentic.

The Case Foundation’s Sokunthea Sa Chhabra did a great summary of a session called ‘Social Media for Social Good.’ Check out conference hashtags on Twitter (#NCVS and #SM4SG) for notes and links on getting started, and more.

Do any of these topics resonate with challenges you’re facing? How is your organization using social media to advance mission?

This article was originally published on Getting Attention.

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Featured Author: Nancy E. Schwartz
Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications as the publisher of the Getting Attention blog and e-newsletter, and as president of New York City-based Nancy Schwartz & Company (NS&C). Nancy and her team at NS&C provide marketing planning and implementation services to organizations as varied as the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Environmental Health Coalition, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the National Center for Biking and Walking. For more nonprofit marketing resources like this, subscribe to her e-update.

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