By Lauryn Rosinski – Marketing and PR account coordinator
During my time as a marketing and PR account coordinator for Dot Org Solutions, I have had the opportunity to consult with many clients about the ever-changing world of social media. Some clients will contact me with technical questions about their organizations’ accounts, from how to set up a Facebook business page to how to deal with spammers. Others will ask about marketing through social media and how they can effectively communicate to target audiences through certain platforms.
Some will ask me for best practices on creating and maintaining impactful, personal social media accounts – with good reason.
It is important that employees of nonprofit organizations, particularly those in leadership positions, have engaging, professional social media accounts. As representatives of their organizations, they serve as public examples of their organization’s core values. A personal social media account gives them a communication platform to demonstrate their thought leadership; connect them to their organization’s target clients, donors and partners and give an inside, humanistic perspective of their organization and the nonprofit sector.
With these factors in mind, here are some tips for creating impactful social media accounts that portray you and your organization in the best light.
- Make relevant Facebook posts public.
As an employee of a nonprofit organization, audiences on social media want to hear what you have to say. They want to learn more about your organization’s work, its impact on the community and its partners and clients, all from your unique perspective. They may also want to share your posts on upcoming community events, resources and referrals.
Since Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, your Facebook account is one of the best places to share organizational and nonprofit information.
For this reason, make sure that personal Facebook posts on your organization, fundraisers and other relevant nonprofit topics you want audiences to see are public. You can do this by making your profile public; however, if you want to keep your profile private, you can edit the privacy settings on each post to make sure public audiences are only seeing relevant information(learn how from the Facebook Help Center).
- Treat LinkedIn like an online professional portfolio.
From communicating with friends, peers and even clients, I have found that many people either do not have a LinkedIn account or do not access it frequently. For professionals who are seeking jobs, recruiting new hires or are simply looking for ways to communicate with other professionals in their field, this is a mistake.
LinkedIn is an effective tool for professionals in many industries, including nonprofit organizations. It is a platform of connections – with results. In fact, 91 percent of marketing executives list LinkedIn as the top place to find quality content; 90 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn regularly and there are 590 million LinkedIn users overall.
If you do not have an account, I recommend creating one. And don’t just create it – use it. In fact, I recommend you treat your profile like an online professional portfolio.
Here are some tips on to how to accomplish this:
- Share articles with important nonprofit and organization information.
- Create posts with insight into your work.
- List your experiences and takeaways in your profile as though it were a resume.
- Upload and include some of your best work on your profile.
- Use a high-quality headshot of you in professional attire (profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more professional views).
A special thanks to Omnicore for these LinkedIn statistics.
- Think before you tweet.
Twitter can be a great resource for nonprofit professionals who are looking to share their personal brand to the world. However, Twitter can also be damaging when used incorrectly.
Many users treat Twitter as though it were a personal diary and others view it as a forum for funny thoughts or observations. Sometimes there is not a ton of introspective thought behind tweets – which can be catastrophic to brands and personalities. I am sure that we can all think of a brand, celebrity or user who has ruined their reputation because of a 280-character post. Additionally, tweets cannot be edited – so, if your tweet is controversial or incorrect, you cannot change it.
So, think before you tweet.
(On a personal note, I try to use this rule of thumb before tweeting – if I would not say it to my grandma, I won’t tweet it.)
- Follow the right people and pages – and share their content.
As someone who develops marketing content for nonprofit and health organizations, I use my social media platforms to follow organizations I am passionate about and representatives of these organizations. I do this to stay up-to-date on important policies, get advice and, overall, be inspired by driven professionals.
You should also find users and pages to follow – however, it is important to make sure they are the right users and pagers.
Some examples of organizations and people you should be following and connecting with include:
- Your organization (if you don’t already)
- Partnering and local nonprofits
- Board members and volunteers
- Community and industry leaders
- Larger nonprofits with similar missions
- Speakers from nonprofit professional development events
Finally, once you follow these audiences, don’t forget to share the social media content they are creating or distributing. After all, what they have to say can benefit your audiences too.
As professionals representing nonprofits, we can make a big impact for the organizations we support – and we should communicate that impact. By actively using social media accounts, we can educate others about our businesses, learn from colleagues and become more well-rounded professionals.
Our personal social media accounts are not the only places to do this – but, they are definitely a start.
Want to learn more social media best practices? Contact us at [email protected] and 330.247.2180 for more marketing and social media insight.