7/29/2010

Getting involved in social media can increase awareness, support, and funds for your orgs mission. But signing up is only the first step! What's next? Letting your existing communities of supporters (volunteers, staff, donors, etc) know you're out there, and giving them reason to get connected with you on the web.  First you've gotta get the word out, then you have to convince your supporters to join in on the conversation.

Getting The Word Out.

You may be posting messages and tweeting like crazy, but if no one knows about it, there's little benefit to you. You have to let people you've joined in on the social media frenzy! Here's how:

1. Incorporate a link to your Facebook fan page or to your Twitter handle in your e-mail signature:

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2. Add individual Twitter handles to employee bios on your orgs website, and also add your org's Twitter handle.

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3. If your org has a newsletter, make a brief (but enthusiastic) announcement that you’re on Twitter/Facebook.

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4. Lastly, you may want to add your twitter page url, Facebook page url, and/or Twitter handle to your business cards.

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Encouraging Interaction.

Even if you’ve announced your new status in social media, people might not be convinced that it’s worth it to follow you. It’s your job to persuade them! The options for encouraging social media interactions are endless, but here are a few examples of orgs and websites you can borrow ideas from:

The American Red Cross. They have a whole web page dedicated to explaining why social media is important to them, and why you should get involved.

Save Screen On The Green. They show you where to get connected, and ask you to join in on a conversation.

Smithsonian's American Art Museum. They've created tools like "Ask Joan of Art" on their Twitter page to engage their audience, and they've explained these new features on their website. They've also posted a live Twitter Update feed on the side of their web page. This allows their audience to check out what's going on on Twitter and get connected with the people that are tweeting.

The Humane Society. They have constant updates from their Twitter and Facebook pages -- posted right to their website's home page -- to engage viewers and point them towards their social media pages.

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Betty Crocker. The company started a contest that engages their audience by requesting those who wish to enter the competition to follow them on Twitter.

A Random Blog About Cars. "Jalopnik.com" knows the value of live-tweeting. It's a great way to engage supporters who may not be able to attend an event, but want to hear all about it. The key is advertising the "When, What, Where" of the live tweeting festivities on your website, so your audience knows how to join in!

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