March, 2012In a paper released today the Rita Allen Foundation and the Bridgespan Group provide a framework to help smaller nonprofits plan, execute and assess their social media strategy. Recognizing the need to build the social media capacity of nonprofits, the foundation engaged The Bridgespan Group to help six smaller-sized nonprofit grantees plan effective social media strategies.
“Together, we identified several key elements that any organization needs to get right if it wants to use social media effectively, and these elements are described in our jointly published article, “Tweeting for Better World: Essentials of Social media Strategy for Smaller Nonprofits,” said Sivan Nemovicher, the Bridgespan partner who led the work with the Rita Allen Foundation. “The paper offers real world examples of organizations implementing their social media strategies and sample charts outlining what metrics and costs might look like.”
Among the most important sited in the paper:
Link social media goals to organizational goals and audiences: Social media goals should not only support organizational goals such as fundraising, but also should encourage authentic interaction through conversation with the audience.
Define and understand your community: Identify your target set of stakeholders and determine what you want this community to do in order to achieve your social media goals.
Determine what to measure:Measurement can seem easy, for example, tracking how many people are following you on Twitter, like you on Facebook or are commenting on your blogs. But, because social media goals connect to things in the “real world,” it is important to understand what these social media measures tell you about what you are actually seeking to achieve and then you can set measurable goals for improvement.
Allocate the resources to get the job done:For most organizations a custom-built set of social media tools will not be needed. Facebook and Twitter are great places to start and carry no price tag. However, there are ongoing costs driven by staff time, and if organizations are looking to attract mass followership, they will need to invest in a more sophisticated website, Facebook applications and also may want to add video editing services, and freelance writers if articles and videos are part of the your social media strategy.
About The Bridgespan Group
The Bridgespan Group (www.bridgespan.org) is a nonprofit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists. We collaborate with social sector leaders to help scale impact, build leadership, advance philanthropic effectiveness and accelerate learning. We work on issues related to society’s most important challenges in three primary areas: pathways to opportunity for disadvantaged populations, environmental sustainability, and civic engagement. Our services include strategy consulting, executive search, and leadership development, philanthropy advising, and developing and sharing practical insights.