Social media management requires focus, understanding

February 11, 2014

Social media management requires focus, understanding

Proper understanding and connectivity of social media platforms is essential to improving donor relations and spreading awareness about an organization. However, many nonprofits may not have properly trained or dedicated staff and are operating social media silos, according to Nonprofit Quarterly.

Because of social media's beginnings as a personal networking site, many organizations may struggle to determine who should oversee its use. In some cases, it is simply delegated to a person who takes an interest in it, but it is not seen specifically as a job task. Given the importance of social media for engagement and awareness, it should not be written off as "other duties."

Using social media platforms appropriately
Effective use of multiple social media platforms requires communication. One employee should not handle Twitter while another separately oversees Facebook. Organizations must discuss campaigns as a whole to avoid sending significantly different messages through various platforms. If it there is room in the budget, social media management should be the job one department with access to the proper resources.

Another risk with simply allocating the duties to a random employee is that his or her posts might represent the views of the individual more than the organization. What an individual might believe is appropriate or interesting for social media could go against the values and goals of the nonprofit. Personal use of social media rarely requires a lot of thought. Users tend to post what's on their mind without regard for whether or not others will find it interesting. 

When used as a marketing tool, much more thought should be given to what is considered engaging content. Nonprofits should share uplifting stories about the communities and people they serve, announce fundraisers and engage donors. To avoid fans hiding the feed or glazing over it, the organization should avoid posts or content that will be of little interest to followers.

Proper training on social media
If trying to utilize social media more effectively, organizations should look for someone that has some past experience managing a feed. If the organization is not currently hiring, it might be worth looking into sending an employee to a training course so they can learn how to properly use different platforms. The most logical choice would be to choose an employee who is already involved in donor outreach and fundraising campaigns. It's important that the person behind the controls of a social media platform is familiar with the nonprofit's audience.

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