One of my absolute favorite clients to work with is the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties here in New Jersey. Obviously, my food influence through JerseyBites.com is a perfect fit for this nonprofit and hunger relief is a very important cause to me, which makes my work with them that much more enjoyable.
When the Foodbank first came to me to start a Social Media program, I am fairly certain that they had no idea just how powerful these tools were going to be for them. I knew, and I was excited to help them launch and build their program.
What we’ve learned in working with them is boilded down into My top 10 tips for any Nonprofit.
1. Own your social media accounts, especially Facebook. Do not let volunteers create your Facebook page through their own personal accounts. This can lead to quite a mess when you find that you have several different Facebook pages or a volunteer set up a personal profile instead of a page for your organization, and heaven forbid registered your URL, making it totally unavailable to you. We know they mean well, but your organization needs to be the administrator and to have control over what gets published and how it is managed.
2. Use the tools to their fullest. Use the apps on Facebook to highlight your most important objectives. Each app should click through to more information about each of them. As you can see, we created 3 pages for each of the important objectives to the Foodbank; Donate, Volunteer and Get Help.
4. Pay attention to questions and comments on your Facebook page and respond promptly. This is true for every business. We love comments and questions from fans. It means they’re interested and engaged. It is critical to encourage this by being responsive.
5. Use your calls to action. Ask your fans to Share and Retweet your information. People love to do good on Social Media. That’s why non-profits are such a great fit. Give everyone the chance to be generous.
6. Make getting involved easy. The “Volunteers Needed” post to the left supplied direct phone numbers to the people who can assist. We also made sure that questions were answered about the program as they were submitted.
7. Ask Volunteers to share your news with their connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any other platforms they use. If you have some connected volunteers, ask them to help you spread the word and think about forming a social media marketing committee to take it to the next level.
8. Partner with supporting businesses for Like Campaigns. We’ve conducted two like campaigns on behalf of the Foodbank, one with a local bank and the other with a Health and Wellness facililty. Create a custom Like Campaign app on your Facebook page and promote the heck out of it.
9. Call on the owners of other very successful Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups and Twitter followings and ask for their help in spreading important messages. (Don’t over use this or you will start to annoy these folks.) We reached out to the owner of a very popular page for the Jersey Shore when we ran the first Like campaign for the Foodbank, and it resulted in a huge tidal wave of Likes for the Foodbank’s page.
10. Grow your social media antenae. I encourage all of our clients to think like a journalist and get comfortable with your camera skills. There are so many shareable moments happening every day in your organization. Pay attention. They don’t have to be big moments. Just two volunteers stuffing envelopes makes a great picture to share on your social platforms. It makes the volunteers feel special and your fans and followers will definitely Like and comment when they see it in their news feed.