Charlene Li, founder of the Altimeter Group and co-author of Groundswell, outlines what the panel will discuss: social media strategies, best practices, and how a non-profit should start to utilize social media to benefit their organization.
The panel includes non-profit and PR veterans, who offer advice to non-profits looking to establish a presence online. Susan Tenby is the Online Community Manager at TechSoup.org, a one-stop technology resource for non-profits. Jason Mandell is the Co-Founder of LaunchSquad, a PR firm in San Francisco. Stacy Bond is the Executive Director of AudioLuxe, which produces original audio programming. The panel also includes Eastwick’s own Jennifer Lindsay, Director of Digital Services.
The panel discusses the first steps a non-profit should take when entering the social media domain. First, look at the content your organization already has and begin repackaging it for the online world. Choose one social arena to enter, such as Twitter, Facebook, or Delicious, and progress one step at a time to other sites.
Also, when starting out, be sure to ask yourself: Who are you trying to reach through your social media channels? What is your audience’s expectation of your organization online? What do you want your audience to do? Remind yourself of the larger story you’re trying to tell.
The panelists discuss how first time Twitter users can benefit its services and offer some best practice tips. They recommend adjusting to the language and atmosphere of Twitter by listening in for awhile users with a large following. Learn from those who have successfully established their presence and effectively make their own voice known. They warn that who you follow on Twitter sets a tone about your organization.
Using Twitter allows you and your organization to build a larger, more interactive, community. It is cheaper and faster than other marketing methods and helps you to bring your community to the online world.
Panelists also list several Twitter applications non-profits might find useful: TweetDeck, Twhirl, and TwitterPacks.
Panelists explain that Twitter is not only about having your own voice online, but also listening in to others’ conversations. It is an easy way to listen into the buzz of a community in a quick, adjustable format.
Panelists recommend building an online community and interact with the media you’re consuming. In our world where information is so easily accessible, it is also important to be mindful of what you are saying online and responsible for the image of your organization. Panelists urge the audience to listen, support, and innovate by taking advantage of the social media tools available to them.