10 Tips to Jumpstart Your Nonprofit Social Media Plan

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Judy Chang of PayPal and Debbie Swider of the ASPCA on “10 Tips to Jumpstart Your Nonprofit Social Media Plan” with examples of some of the amazing success the ASPCA has seen through growing its social media plan.

I started off laying the groundwork for developing a social media plan and strategy with the first 5 tips, and then Judy shared the last 5 tips, focusing on nonprofits and raising funds. Debbie helped wrap up the dicussion with some of the phenomenonal results the ASPCA has experienced.

Our top 10 tips included:

  1. Listen – Learn about supporters, hear what they are saying about you and equip yourself with the tools to help do both.
  2. Test your messages – use different messages and calls to action, track trends and iterate the most effective techniques.
  3. Make a calendar – outline all activities you want to share, plan activity that integrates with overall organization messaging and schedule them in advance (tip: make a calendar).
  4. Measure – look at social activity data to learn who you are influencing, what is causing activity, what content is effective and what you can optimize.
  5. Integrate – as in, integrate social media with other channels such as email, direct mail, web content and offline activity to maximize success. 
  6. Not all fans are equal – fundraising differs between different channels and demographics so stay in tune with where the opportunities and right audiences are.
  7.  It’s a long term commitment – you need to stay engaged and create a base of supporters before you can really start seeing huge gains in fundraising or advocacy
  8.  Set realistic fundraising goals – social media fundraising is still in its infancy so don’t expect huge gains right away
  9.  Be authentic, be yourself – supporters care about you and your cause, so don’t get caught up in the celebrity spokesperson hype if it doesn’t make sense for you
  10. Start small and iterate – don’t bite off more than you can chew in the beginning, start with a little and grow as you go

For a more in-depth look at the tips, ASCPA results and details on tools and examples of these concepts, check out the presentation below or the tip presentation on the Slideshare site.

Have a favorite tip for getting started that you don’t see above? Leave a comment or @jordanv me on Twitter to share!