In Social Media, Is Less More?

twitter_cupcakeAllison Fine recently interviewed Kivi Leroux Miller, president of Nonprofit Marketing, for The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Social Good Podcast. They talked about ways to use social media for social change, and ways for organizations to improve their social media presence. Here are some of the highlights:

In order to be effective and focused on social media your organization needs to first answer this question: “What does your organization want to be known for?”

  • Gain traction by focusing on key messages for your organization and continually communicating those messages.
  • Don’t cut and paste the same information, but rather focus on repurposing content in different, interesting ways and using visuals where possible
  • Be selective and decide where the focus needs to be for your organization and then stick to it. It requires discipline and a thoughtful approach.

To help tackle internal capacity issues, volunteers can be utilized to assist with social media but need to be trained and understand the organizations messaging, plan, values and approach to the issues in order to be effective.

What are the trends in social media in 2013?

  • In addition to using Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs and their websites, many nonprofits are planning to explore Pinterest in 2013.
  • Miller believes that more nonprofits should be utilizing video for their messaging, but nonprofits are discouraged, thinking that it’s complicated and expensive.

Is social media effective for fundraising?

  • Miller believes it’s time to stop treating social media as an add-on to other fundraising channels, but rather put all the cards on the table (direct mail, email, social media, etc.) and integrate them for best results.
  • The other challenge for nonprofits is to figure out how to develop direct relationships with friends of people that support the organization. For example, if you donate to an organization on behalf of friend who is doing a fundraiser, does the nonprofit ask how the donor wants to be communicated with or give the participant control over how the organization relates to their friends? The core power of social media is relationship building, but it needs to be harnessed effectively.

Listen to the whole thing on The Chronicle of Philanthropy website, or through iTunes.

– Megan Sullivan, MCF operations and publications coordinator

Photo cc M i x y

3 Responses to In Social Media, Is Less More?

  1. Megan Sullivan says:

    Thanks, Cary! Kivi was answering a question about internal capacity, and using volunteers to help take some of the load off communications staff. But I agree, having volunteers, donors and other stakeholders use their own social media networks to get the organization’s messages out to a broader audience would be beneficial.

  2. Nice pots, Megan! I agree with Kivi’s tips to stop the copy and paste, and to take a look at all of your communications to create alignment across them. I’m wondering if she mentioned anything about engaging volunteers not to broadcast from behind the logo, but instead to tap into their own networks to extend the message of the organization?


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