(Note from me: I'm a general PR person working for a nonprofit and social media is relatively new to me. So I really need your help. This is a proposal I plan to submit to our nonprofit to bring us into the social media realm. Please take a look -- it's unusually long -- and let me know what you think. Let me know what I can nix and what I'm missing. Thank you!)
Social Media Strategy: Why start? How do we get in the conversation? What’s the plan?
I. WHY START?
We’re on YouTube now and will soon have an athlete blogging. And there’s more we can do to draw in more participation and donations. Here are the numbers we can eventually reach: Blogs in general receive 77.7 million unique visitors in the United States (source: comScore MediaMetrix (August 2008); Facebook has 41 million viewers, YouTube gets 10 percent of all internet traffic (Ellacoya Networks). We’re always looking for new supporters – this would open up our access. We could even e-mail some after developing relationships and ask if we can have their e-mail addresses so they can receive our monthly e-newsletter and e-mails from us.
II. WHAT ARE WE STARTING?
The biggest sites we should target are Facebook, Twitter, and Flikr all of which are offered for sharing on the Good 2Gether program. We should also try a fundraising site called Chip In for one or several small fundraising goals throughout the year.
About Facebook www.facebook.com Launched in 2004, Facebook is the second largest social network on the Internet. Users have profiles, where it’s recommended that even for organizations, to post a photo of the actual user instead of the organization so people aren’t turned off. You can add friends. You can post updates to what you’re working on or what’s happening, post photos and comments on other people’s pages. Users also post events and invite friends online where friends can RSVP. We can also post comments on friends’ pages, answer and ask questions, and hopefully friends (or “advocates”) will post good comments on our page. Every time either you or a friend posts, all of their friends and yours see the post. Users can also download blog posts. And as we join groups with similar interests and make comments on pages, our name gets out there even more.
About Twitter www.twitter.com Social media observers estimate 3 million people use Twitter, which debuted in March 2006. Industry influencers, press, analysts, celebrities, authors, politicians, businesses, consumers, and professional communicators, are on Twitter.
Twitter users are asked “What are you doing?” when writing a 140-character message letting people know about an event, or reinforcing your brand, or links to tips for your audience, a relevant video or blog of interest. This taps you into the community you want to reach by providing helpful information and not just making an ask.
We can link back to articles in the local media or our supporters’ blogs, and introduce potential story ideas about new programs or an athlete’s achievement.
About Flikr www.flikr.com Flickr is a popular image and video host mostly free Web site. Users share photos. Bloggers can also use Flickr and post a stream of photos on their blogs and Web sites. We can even get a Flikr badge for our Web site where people can click on it and see our photos. It also has a friend aspect to Flikr where your Flikr friends have access to your photos and they can make comments.
This is a site where nonprofit groups, especially small ones, can set and broadcast fundraising goals to friends in its social network. We create an account, fill out an online form stating what we’re collecting for, how much we want to raise and state a deadline. Organizations are required to have a PayPal account. We can insert the html of donation forms in our Web site or create a ChipIn page at specialolympicsga.chipin.com. The idea is to set small goals. We could do this on our event pages for something specific or just post one fundraising goal at a time. This isn’t meant for huge donation campaigns but still can be profitable. (Maybe Susan can spearhead this part of the social media plan??)
III. HOW DO WE GET INTO THE CONVERSATION? (From Social Media kingpin Chris Brogan
1. Find the constituent: Assign two people to build listening queries, daily update pages and regularly measure social media efforts (explained in section V).
2. Announce the new rules for employees: Create a one page outline of SOGA guidelines (and insert it in the employee handbook) for building employee profiles on social platforms like Facebook. Work with IT on firewall concerns. Determine a fair use policy during work hours.
3. Empower the person making the social media updates: Write a one page blogging policy (no more strict than the e-mail policy). Create policies on comments (including how to handle negative comments). Build a strategy on the types of posts, ideas for outreach, promotion and finding similar blogs and people in the space.
4. Shift Behavior: Demonstrate through case studies and pilot efforts how to empower employees to be helpful. Share examples and ideas on how these efforts can positively impact marketing/sales efforts.
5. Warm up the funnel: Build a way to report the multi-touch approach of using social tools to reach out and maintain relationships with prospects and customers.
6. Measurement: Improve current reporting to include the social elements such as comments, inbound links, search term value, etc. (Tools will be discussed in section V.)
IV. How much time will it take?
Recommended time it takes from Beth Kanter who helps nonprofits fundraise through social media. We can cut it down significantly and practice successful time management. J
- Listening to what is being said about Special Olympics Georgia, SO in general, pro sports and intellectual disabilities (through Twitter alerts, Technorati and others) 5 hours per week
- Participate and connecting with others online and communicating with bloggers first and then ask some of them to write about SOGA. 10 hours per week
- After we earn credibility and trust (by not making huge asks right off the bat) we can start spreading buzz. 10-15 hours per week.
Listening and updating Twitter 15 minutes per day
Facebook: Set up page 20 minutes; listening and updating 20 minutes per day.
V. How do we measure our efforts?
The results will be small at first but will grow over time with the more connections we make online. Every week we can listen to what people are saying about us through:
tweetbeep.com Alerts will be e-mailed when someone mentions our organization.
We’ll record findings monthly and report twice a year to CEO and possibly at staff meetings.
VI . What’s the plan?
(The action items listed each month isn’t everything. Also sprinkle in thank you’s during golf tournaments and tweet about check presentations and athlete stories that you hear about.)
December 2008: Announce social media rules to staff, give policy to comments and posts to social media updaters.
-Create Facebook page. Use your photo for the organization’s profile. May need to nix the Facebook profile page, and stick to creating and updating an organization fan page. Post photos of last year’s Winter Games and events, and start making friends.
-Create SOGA Twitter page. Mix in personal messages with work or issue related ones. Personal musings are good too, just remember you’re representing our company. Be mindful of tweets, updates and posts. For the profile photo, choose one from the person in charge of posting.
Stuff to Tweet about: personal thoughts or reflections that suit our brand, events, contests, reply to other people’s tweets, blog posts, also promote others’ blog posts (this is a good relationship building tool), announcements, funny things you overhear people say at the office, link to fun Internet games, and lyrics or quotes (This comes from the CEO of Zappos, who loves Twitter!)
-To find friends: Whoshouldifollow.com allows us to find friends based on keywords and certain networks
-Twubble http://crazybob.org/twubble/searches for people you know and recommends people you may want to follow.
-Ask CEO to create her own Twitter page. Comment a few times a week. She could post when she’s speaking at a conference or to a civic group, when she wants to thank a sponsor or company for anything or kudos to a company (sponsors) project or a headsup when she’ll be on the radio or TV.
Here’s what the CEO's Twitter page could look like:
You follow zappos
On Off Receive zappos's updates via SMS or IM (activate).
January 2009: -Facebook and Twitter: Tweet about how great it is to be a fan in the stands at one of our events. Tweet about fundraising program for the month. On Facebook, invite people to the February event.
-Record company mentions and traffic.
-Tweet about athletes heading off to World Games. Tweet as a headsup of TV news stories, link to stories
February2009:- Create Flikr account and start inviting friends
- Post photos of Winter Games on Flikr, Facebook.
-Tweet updates of athletes’ competitions at World Games. Share photos.
-Group Tweet http://grouptweet.com/ allows us to broadcast and share tweets (messages) to a specific group. And it’s free. Group tweet about the statewide March event or link to Flikr photos from Winter Games.
-Remember to monitor organization mentions in blogs and on Twitter.
March 2009-Post a badge of Flikr linking to our photos on the company Web site. Also post a stream of photos on our Web site, possibly replacing the photo gallery
-Tweet and Facebook about the March fundraiser, post event photos on Flikr and Facebook.
- Wendy needs to visit Twittertise http://twittertise.com/ and see how we can advertise on Twitter and track the success of branded communications with our constituents. The platform helps us track technology to measure the effectiveness of our traffic driving ability.
-Post event on Facebook about the bocce fundraiser. Post a quiz on Twitter where the winner wins a free ticket to the event.
April 2009 – Follow-up with Facebook on possibly having a $1 free gift a duck or medal where a portion of the amount collected goes back to our company.
- Check into Chip In and create an account, also with Paypal. Consider either creating a fundraising goal for one event or for each event during the year. It might be better to run a pilot in one fundraiser in 2009. Possibly, post a fundraising goal for State Summer Games and link from several locations on our Web site. Also can post link or embedded donation form through Chip In for events for the remainder of 2009.
- Make an announcement about the Chip In campaign on blog, or note in Facebook and Tweet about it.
- If we choose to have a Chip In campaign for each event, the event’s organizer should e-mail contacts, letting them know about the new campaign.
- Remember to monitor and measure social media efforts with the sites listed in section V.
- Remember to add friends in Facebook and Twitter.
- Link video from last summer games to Flikr and Facebook.
May 2009-Continue to build relationships on Twitter, Facebook and invite more friends into Flikr. Post photos of Summer Games 2009 on Facebook and Flikr.
-Tweet links of Summer Games news stories
-Link to Dutch Walters site of Summer Games photos.
-Start tweeting, writing about Duck Derby in Facebook. Invite people to Duck Derby on Facebook.
-E-mail 10 people in each event (not the same people) to donate $10 each to help complete the Chip In campaign.
-Send e-mail thank you’s to people who donated through Chip In. Include photos in the thank yous.
-Remember to thank everyone in a blog and Facebook note when a campaign ends.
June 2009-Post Master Bowling event on events, tweet about it.
-Prepare a social media status six months report for CEO. Invite SOGA friends on FB to DSA.
-Invite people to Duck Derby again on Facebook. Tweet updates on duck sales, or where we’re selling ducks.
July 2009- Post photos of Masters Bowling on Flikr and Facebook; tweet about Masters Bowling.
-Tweet links of athlete news stories.
August 2009-Post some photos of DSA winners on FB and Flikr, tweet some of the sweetest moments.
- Post an event about the Duluth Tournament, maybe Tweet about how we’re doing on golfer numbers.
-Record results of media efforts.
September 2009-Post event about the DinoDash, tweet about a sponsor and or/product, post event about State Fall Games. Invite people to volunteer on Facebook.
- Post a note about the October golf tournament a Georgia golfer’s group page on Facebook.
October 2009-Post photos of Fall Games on Flikr, Facebook.
-Tweet some of the athlete’s accomplishments at State Fall Games in Statesboro, say something nice about Statesboro.
-Record results from social media measurements.
-Tweet about athletes preparing for the State Horse Show, Sailing Regatta and Powerlifting
November 2009- Post photos of athletes from the Horse Show, Sailing, and Powerlifting
-Prepare report to CEO on the year’s efforts in Social Media.
-Tweet some inspiring athlete stories.
-Write a status update letting people know they can make a donation in memory or in honor of someone.
-Present the year’s report of our efforts with social media.
In 2010 check out BrightKite. It’s kind of a new type of social media like Facebook and Friendfeed. But is expected to be very useful later on.