The New Wild West – Staffing Nonprofits in the Age of Social Media

What skills are now necessary for nonprofit professionals navigating the new Wild West of virtual communications? by Jennifer Thorne In a recent survey of 266 nonprofit organizations conducted by association management company Virtual, Inc., 82% of respondents reported having a presence on Facebook. 54% were on Twitter, with LinkedIn and YouTube also popular, at 49% and 42% respectively. And M+R and the Nonprofit Technology Network's 2014 Nonprofit Benchmarks Study of 53 top nonprofits revealed that online giving rose 14% in 2013, making it the best year ever for social media messaging. With results like those, it's no wonder that communications and development departments are investing more and more in internet-savvy staff members. But amid a constantly shifting online landscape of … [Read more...]

Informing Ourselves: The 2014 Social Media Marketing Report

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I love benchmarks - it guides our industry and those of us working in it. A good set of benchmarking data informs future social media marketing decisions and helps us to rethink others. Social Media Examiner recently released the 2014 Social Media Marketing Report detailing how 3,025 business marketing professionals conduct social media marketing activities. The report reveals what platforms marketers are using, how much time they are spending on them, the perceived return on investment, what marketing jobs they outsource, and which marketing activities complement social media. How much time should we spend on social media? I’ve written that the “minimum viable” social media presence for an organization is a .25 FTE. NTEN’s 2012 Nonprofit Social Benchmarking Report confirmed that the majority … [Read more...]

The Ten Commandments of Social Media

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Reinventing my Social Media Presence: A Jewish Educator's Rant by Rabbi Arnold Samlan A hallmark of my work as a rabbi and Jewish educational leader has included the use of social media, be it as a blogger, and as a user of Facebook and Twitter. Social media gives me the tools to stay in touch with colleagues and former students, to share and learn from others, and to test out new ideas. At the same time, I use it as a social network and have developed some meaningful friendships that have become part of my “real life.” Over the period of a few months, I became increasingly sensitive to the “dark side” of social media. In a few seemingly innocent discussions, friends of mine were told that they were behaving “Nazi-like” or “like Capos”. And I noticed that more frequently posts or comments … [Read more...]

The Role of the Educator and the Selfie at Auschwitz

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by Sharna Marcus A headline in an Israeli news website today reads, “Facebook page ridicules Israelis’ selfies at Auschwitz.” Someone created a Facebook page filled with pictures of Israeli teens taking either photos of themselves or others posing at death camps. The photos were taken from social media sites and then added to this page. I went to the page itself and expected to see documented evidence of inappropriate behavior, but I was wrong and so is the person who launched the page to mock the teens and so are the commentators who are using this as ammunition for the tired cliché, “What is wrong with this generation?” A little background: Many Israeli and Jewish teenagers from all over the world make a pilgrimage of sorts to sites in Europe where Jewish communities existed and to the … [Read more...]

Using POST to Create a Social Media Strategy

The POST method is an easy-to-remember framework for creating your strategy.

by John Haydon There seem to be countless tools available for social media marketers. Tools for managing social media, measuring it, and even for creating content that looks amazing! Yes, technology can seem like a godsend. But if you don’t have a solid strategy, you’re going to waste a lot of money on a lot of tools that promise a lot of results. What does a social media strategy look like? The POST method (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) was originally coined by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their book Groundswell (Harvard Business Review Press) is a proven framework for developing a social media strategy. People You can’t achieve even a basic level of success on social media if you don’t understand your people. No one will like, retweet, or repin your blog post if … [Read more...]

#Selfie or #Unselfie?

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By now we're sure you’ve heard of the selfie fad sweeping social media that has everyone from kids to celebrities jumping in on the fun. This trend got The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews wondering what it would look like if instead of putting the focus on ourselves the trend began to focus on the needs of others. They invite you to join them in their quest to reinvent the selfie and celebrate selflessness. #selfie #unselfie: bit.ly/QFX77q … [Read more...]

Mass Mob

by Ross Kasper and Bryan Schwartzman Most Sundays, about 100 worshipers show up for Mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, an ornate structure built in the 1890s that sits across the street from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. But last Sunday, at least 400 people filled the pews nearly to capacity. Once upon a time, this trendy, gentrified neighborhood was a working class, Irish-Catholic community. Now, on a Sunday in the neighborhood, one is more likely to encounter a jogger on Kelly Drive or someone sipping a cappuccino on a Fairmont Avenue sidewalk café than a parishioner coming out of church. For those of you still doubting the power of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, a powerful social media outreach campaign known as a “Mass Mob” was responsible for the high turnout. So, … [Read more...]

It’s Not About The Likes. Reach Higher in Your Online Alumni Engagement.

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by Lisa Colton As part of the #NetTalks Alumni Engagement Webinar Series, Beth Kanter, nonprofit social media and engagement guru, taught an important lesson during her recent presentation: you must invest in building your online alumni ecosystem, and then you can turn to activating it to achieve your stated goals. You don't just want people to "like" you. And you don't actually want them to start engaging the moment they become alumni. And you don't really want to share information about your program with them. Really. Why? Because "liking" your Facebook page or your content is just the beginning. It's potential, but it's not the goal. You want alumni to follow you, engage, advocate for you, and donate. The "like" is merely one early step along this path. Because beginning to engage … [Read more...]