Many volunteer groups are so busy doing good work, sometimes they forget to engage with their social networks. However, using social media can be a great way to share information about your cause and simply sound the trumpets a little bit about what you are up to. An added bonus is that it’s free! That said, there are some “dos” and “don’ts” associated with all social media use, so here to clarify are a few social media best practices for volunteer groups.
Do Your Research
When looking to expand your social media presence, it is a good idea to research the various channels. Spend some time on them to see how they work. Follow groups that are like yours or even groups that are unlike yours but do a good job with their social media messages.
With such a variety of social networks it is not a surprise that they all have their own unique strengths. While some are a great way to share video, like Facebook, others like LinkedIn are better to share informative articles. Twitter is great to start conversations, join in on conversations and share news.
Grow Your Network
Utilize your network. Capitalize on well-known Board members, organization members and volunteers. Even supporters and potential supporters can get caught up in sharing an exciting message! Encourage folks to share information about your group, link to your messages and tag you in photos. You can even draft messages and bullet points of items that you would like board members and other stakeholders to share.
Make sure to integrate your social network channels wherever you can. Put social media buttons on your website and your blog. They should also be on your email, near your signature as well as your digital newsletters. Also, it is a good idea to cross promote channels on each network. For example, add your Twitter address to your Facebook profile.
Have a Plan
Put together a road map for future social media use. This is a great idea if you are short on time or have difficulty crafting regular posts. Sometimes called an editorial calendar, you can draft messages in advance while keeping in mind major holidays and events that are important to your cause. You can also schedule messages in advance on Facebook and some other applications like Hootsuite and Buffer. Both of which both offer free plans.
Getting “social” can be a powerful tool. With a few savvy tips you can really utilize social media to amplify your message to the world.
Huffington Post Media Cause