Doing More With Less: How Nonprofits Build Social Media Armies
Nonprofits can be some of the most innovative and creative organizations because they often have to make the most of limited resources. This is particularly true when it comes to marketing and PR, where some have figured out how to turn employees and volunteers into an army of advocates and supporters using social media. Leveraging employee PR power isn’t a groundbreaking concept, but its potential is higher than ever thanks to the proliferation of social media.
According to a social networking benchmark report released by the Nonprofit Technology Network, only 69% of nonprofits have at least one staff member working part-time on social media. While many nonprofits have plans to increase spending on staffing around these resources, the ability to empower all their staff to help them amplify their work via social is invaluable. Not only does it spread the responsibility of content creation and distribution across multiple people, it also allows their most committed ambassadors, their employees, to share their passion for the brand.
Whether you’re a nonprofit with a workforce of 4 or 400, below are some tips on how you can build your own social media army.
Recruit your army
To recruit this army, it’s easiest to start with the people that are already on social media. Create Twitter lists of all your staff to identify employees who are naturally attune to utilizing social to support their roles. Once you’ve identified the social media rockstars, you can start pushing content to them to amplify.
Dress in uniform
Consider creating a hashtag for your employees to rally around. At Hootsuite, employees use #hootsuitelife to share their experiences across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It’s our way of sharing our culture with current as well as prospective employees globally.
Train your troops
Before you send your troops out on the frontlines, you’ll want to provide training. Hootsuite has an educational platform called Hootsuite University that provides video-based courseware consisting of webinars from industry leaders to help get your employees effectively managing their social media efforts.
Just as social media allows you to leverage employees’ personal networks to reach new audiences, the same is true of volunteers. A study from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society showed volunteers make up 44% of the nonprofit workforce. The steps to building your internal army of social employees can also be applied to this often untapped resource.
The way organizations communicate is changing and there is huge opportunity for those who embrace this change. Once the exclusive domain of digital gurus, social media is increasingly becoming embedded throughout the organization and gradually becoming everyone’s responsibility and this notion of the marketing department owning social media is dead.
Written by Aki Kaltenbach, Corporate Social Responsibility Strategist at HootSuite Media Inc.