Three Key Aspects of Nonprofit Social Media

RELEVANCY — Content and conversations must be of interest to the intended audience. The content must be interesting, stimulating, and persuasive – but more importantly it must provide value.

In other words, if all you provide are updates on your latest Starbucks purchase or the fact you are tired and going to bed early on a Friday night, your followers are going have limited value to you and you are going to have limited value to them. You will be fair weather friends, but that’s about it. As a nonprofit you need to expect much more from all your social media outlets including your blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts among others. Content must provide value and be relevant — it’s that simple.

LISTENING — You’ve heard it a million times, perhaps from your mother, but it’s true — you need to listen instead of talking. No one likes or enjoys someone that only talks about themselves. Additionally, no one likes a lopsided conversation; even the incessant talker likes some feedback now and again; even a simple nod of the head in acknowledgment of what was just said. Nor does a talker like to think they are speaking to a brick wall and the listener doesn’t want to be lectured or spoken down to either. Follow the simple axiom of listening first and talking second. It will serve you well. This will help you foster a compelling dialogue between you and others.

ENGAGEMENT — Providing relevant content while fostering a compelling dialogue are two key steps to improving your social media presence. But creating engagement is the glue that holds it all together. Engaging means sharing ideas, exchanging knowledge, creating two dialogue of interaction, encouraging innovation and providing thought leadership while helping others to improve their own knowledge and form their own views. Engagement means fostering an atmosphere that transcends the simple exchange of information and somehow digs deeper into something that bonds you, the nonprofit and those you are in dialogue with. People have a hunger to learn more and the engagement you create will be the catalyst for this effort.