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Presentation and Workshop on Social Media with Interchange

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources No Comments

Interchange is a member organisation that provides family support and social opportunities for children and young people with a disability. As an organisation focused on younger people, the use of technology as a communication tool, is becoming increasingly important.

I was invited to discuss the role of social media, as a community engagement tool, where we explored both current and emerging platforms.

Platforms, such as Facebook, are utilised across all demographics, providing an opportunity to reach not only young people, but other family members. Facebook is useful in reaching a broad demographic through an organisational page or group. Instagram is an increasingly popular social media tool for under 30 year olds, and is a mobile based platform. Organisations that can document their activities through photos can extend their reach through Instagram and other targeted tools.

Each social media platform has its own target markets and use cases, it is imperative to use the right tools to reach your communities.

We also covered safeguards on social media. Topics included the need for policies that outline acceptable usage of social media and the need for consistent communication. An organisation is responsible for any content that is published on its social media pages. It is imperative there is a proactive response to managing and fostering communities.

Social media has the potential to extend the reach of organisations and foster the development of communities. Like any communication platform, social media requires a strategic approach to deliver positive outcomes to an organisation.

Introducing Kevin Cahalane – Membership Strategies with Social Media

By Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities 5 Comments
Kevin Cahalane

Kevin Cahalane

Kevin is a membership recruitment specialist who will be sharing his expertise with Syneka Marketing and our clients. Kevin has worked with some of Australia’s top Associations, Clubs and other non-profit Organisations including CPA Australia, Financial Planning Association of Australia, Kindergarten Parents Victoria, Deakin University and Zoo’s Victoria.

Kevin will be sharing his insights through blog posts at Syneka Snippets.

Kevin’s first Syneka Snippets Blog Post is a recent interview with Alex on using social media effectively in not-for-profit organisations:

Kevin Cahalane
You are heavily involved in developing social media for not-for-profit organisations … what are some of the key requirements for a nfp to develop a social media strategy?

Alex Makin

A not-for-profit organisation, like any organisation, needs to know what they are seeking to achieve from social media. Social media is a communications tool to achieve your marketing objectives. Your messages and brand need to be consistent across all forms of marketing.

Kevin Cahalane
Put up a Facebook page … and you’re on your way, right?

Alex Makin

While it may sound this simple, there is to more to social media than simply putting up a Facebook Page or creating a Twitter account.

Firstly, social media, like a website, is only effective if it regularly updated. The best way to achieve this is to integrate social media with your website. Updated website content should be posted automatically to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email subscribers and other social media tools.

This approach ensures that you have consistent communication across your online marketing tools. Your goal should be to ensure that someone who connects with your organisation is able to receive the same content, regardless of whether they visit your website, Like your Facebook page, or follow you on Twitter.

Also, do not neglect email subscribers, email is still a very effective form of sharing content and should be utilised along with social media to ensure that you engage with your community.

Kevin Cahalane
What are some of the issues and pitfalls they face?

Alex Makin

You need to make sure that your social media presence is continually updated and maintained. An empty Facebook page or a lack of Tweets will deter people from connecting with your organisation.

Your website should be continually updated, add regular articles, such as content from your newsletters and media releases to demonstrate that you are an active organisation. The branding and identity of your organisation needs to be consistent across all forms of marketing including social media and your website.

Social media and the Internet is essentially a marketing and community engagement and exercise. If you do not engage your online community then you will not be effective in harnessing social media.

This does not need to be time consuming. If you integrate social media with your website then you only need to write content once and it will be replicated automatically through Facebook, Twitter and other tools.

Consider the information you currently develop, such as brochures, newsletters and factsheets and use this information for your website and social media.

Kevin Cahalane
If an organisation does not currently have a social media strategy, what are their first 2 – 3 steps?

Alex Makin

  1. Make sure your brand and messages are consistent across all your marketing materials. You should be able to easily add and maintain your own website. If you cannot do this, then it is time to consider a redesign with a content management system. This will enable you to maintain and add content to your website, as easily as typing a document on a letterhead.
  2. Create a Facebook page, Twitter profile and other social media tools. Make sure you know who is authorised to speak on behalf of your organisation.
  3. Integrate social media with your website and engage your online community. Make sure you regularly add content and promote your social media presence in your newsletter, website and other forms of marketing.
Kevin Cahalane
What do you find are some of the biggest obstacles to successful social media implementation?

Alex Makin

Organisations need to remember that social media is a marketing activity and its use needs to be effectively planned and developed.

An ad-hoc approach with irregular updates is not going to be effective.

Integration is the key to social media success so that you write content once and replicate it across your networks. This saves time and ensures ongoing engagement with your online community.

Kevin Cahalane
Any other advice for those starting out or those who have some social media (eg a Facebook page) plans in place, but are struggling?

Alex Makin

Remember that social media is widely utilised across all demographics. Facebook and Twitter are no longer just used by younger people. In fact, the fastest growing Facebook demographic are people over 55 years old.

Also, do not neglect LinkedIn as it can be a very useful tool to strengthen and build connections between your organisation and other like minded organisations.

If you are struggling then it is time to consider what goals you have for social media and develop a strategy to work towards these outcomes. Social media should complement your marketing activities.

Marketing your Organisation - promoting and growing not-for-profit organisations

NfP Revolution – Marketing your Organisation

By Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations, Resources 3 Comments

The Not-for-Profit Revolution was a one-day workshop held in Sydney and organised through the Not-for-Profit Network. The workshop aimed to enhance the sustainability of not-for-profit organisations through focusing on sponsorship, fundraising, membership, marketing and emerging technologies.

Marketing your Organisation - promoting and growing not-for-profit organisations

Marketing your Organisation – promoting and growing not-for-profit organisations

I was one of six speakers for the workshop and was the final speaker for the session. I covered the need for strategic marketing, consistent messaging and how tools such as the Internet and social media can reinforce this approach.

The presentation began by exploring the various marketing tools utilised by not-for-profit organisations, such as brochures, websites, newsletters, information sessions and correspondence. It is important to remember that marketing encompasses all areas of contact, including phone and email enquiries.

A marketing plan helps identify the priorities of an organisation, by establishing objectives and identifying the actions that are required to achieve this vision. Importantly, a marketing plan will assist in ensuring consistent communication, by emphasising the importance of branding and key messages.

Organisations need to ensure that technology is considered in the context of their marketing strategies. The Internet and social media can be an effective marketing tool, but only if it reinforces the branding and key messages of the organisation.

Internet websites and social media tools need to be designed with similar branding, colour schemes and content to other forms of communication. Fortunately Internet content can be easily replicated. For example, new content on a website can automatically generate updates on social media tools, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

This approach saves time and also ensures that content is consistent across these tools. This means that someone will be able to receive updates from your organisation regardless of how they choose to connect.

Alex with Peter Buckley (event MC) and session speakers Kevin Cahalane (Membership Growth) and Evelyn Mason (Evelyn Mason and Associates) at the NfP Revolution 2011

Alex with Peter Buckley (event MC) and session speakers Kevin Cahalane (Membership Growth) and Evelyn Mason (Evelyn Mason and Associates) at the NfP Revolution 2011

One of the key themes of the workshop was to highlight new revenue streams for not-for-profit organisations and a consistent marketing approach can achieve this aim.

The Internet and social media should be considered when developing sponsorship and partnership packages for businesses and other partners. Websites and social media tools, provide metrics that can assist in demonstrating value to partners.

Web based metrics include the number of times pages have been viewed, readership of e-mail based newsletters or the demographics of followers on Facebook or Twitter. This enables an organisation to extend its reach and provide additional value that can be measured by sponsors.

In addition, technology can often reduce the costs and time associated with marketing activities. For example, e-mail based newsletters reduces costs compared to posting content and online donations can generate automated receipts.

The Not-for-Profit Revolution will hopefully lead to more effective and consistent marketing for not-for-profit organisations.
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