The end of the year is a time for reflection, for relaxation and for introspection.
In the fast-paced, minute-to-minute, rapidly-changing world of social media, taking the time to see the bigger picture becomes especially important.
Nonprofit professionals should take a moment to take stock of their social media marketing efforts in 2012 and ask themselves the following questions:
- How did we succeed in the past year?
- What channels did we use effectively?
- What were the challenges?
- What could we have done differently?
- What changes could we make going into 2013?
Another one of my favorite year-end aspects is planning for the New Year. I use the New Year as an opportunity to start fresh, to try new things, to take risks, and to get renewed energy and motivation.
In the spirit of planning for next year, I wrote down 13 Nonprofit Social Media New Year’s Resolutions for 2013. I hope you find them helpful as you create your kick-butt social media strategy for 2013.
13 Nonprofit Social Media New Year’s Resolutions for 2013
1) I will participate. Resolve to participate to the fullest extent possible. Remember, social media is just like exercise – you get the results out based on the effort that you put in.
2) I will be helpful. Stop only pushing out information and asking for things. Be helpful, courteous, resourceful and valuable to your online community.
3) I will ask questions. That’s what social media is all about right? The give and take – asking for feedback, advice, opinions from your community is important.
4) I will get training. Acquiring the skills necessary to effectively use all the social media tools at your disposal is crucial. Don’t think this can be done overnight. Any social media expert you know has spent countless hours reading (and writing) blogs, taking webinars and attending conferences and trainings.
5) I will read. A lot. This goes with #5. Find a few blogs to follow on a regular basis (here are some great ones) but do not let yourself get overwhelmed. Read a book a month on social media and nonprofits (there are a ton out there). Take notes.
6) I will be accessible. Answer questions, acknowledge comments and likes, engage with your fans and followers. Address blog comments. Show that there is a person behind the Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest board.
7) I will invest in good visuals. Visuals are one of the most important weapons in your emotional arsenal – show your impact through pictures! They really are worth a 1000 words. Invest in great eye-catching graphics, develop interesting infographics and take compelling photos of your nonprofit in action. With the staggering rise of Pinterest and Instagram, the photo is king, and the power of the visual is only increasing.
8) I will allow creative freedom. If your nonprofit needs a cohesive social media policy for employees and volunteers (and what nonprofit doesn’t need this?), establish one. But don’t stifle people’s freedom to express themselves on social media sites – simply establish guidelines, provide training and support and answer questions. You cannot prevent your employees and volunteers and clients and donors from using social media. But you can assist them in making good decisions that will benefit your organization.
9) I will plan. That includes making a calendar of posts, a spread sheet for blog post ideas, a folder of potential images to pin on Pinterest, a task list with important events, deadlines and tasks. It also includes delegating the work if you do not have a full time social media person.
10) I will measure. Determine the goals, establish benchmarks, and then measure. For more on measuring the results gained from your social media campaigns, check out Beth Kanter’s blog.
11) I will celebrate. Celebrate accomplishments, benchmarks, funds raised, successes. Celebrate your volunteers and your donors who give of their time, expertise and money. Most of all, celebrate the impact that you are having on the world.
12) I will not get discouraged. It is easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged. There is always a new social media site to discover and read about. There is always a new blog to post, a new tweet to send, and new video to post to YouTube. Social media work cannot be crossed off the To Do list – it’s not something to finish and walk away from. Look at it like a garden – cultivate, weed, shed light, water – and watch it grow!
13) I will have fun. Nuff said!
You have my sincere best wishes for a happy, healthy and productive 2013!
What are your resolutions for using social media in 2013? Please leave me your thoughts in the Comments section or on my Facebook page. Thanks for reading!