COMMUNITY IMPACT PROGRAM Communications tools for grantees

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1 COMMUNITY IMPACT PROGRAM Communications tools for grantees CREATING A SOCIAL MEDIA FRAMEWORK Your social media framework is the roadmap for social media activity related to the Community Impact project. Where social media guidelines (for tips on how to create your social media guidelines, visit shape overall tone and process, the framework helps define the who, what, where, when, why and how behind what your organization does online. Why should you have a social media framework? Creating a Facebook Page or Twitter account isn t an achievement in itself; maintaining either one takes time, energy and commitment. You ll only know whether it s worth it or not if you know what social media success looks like for your organization. A framework sets out the checkpoints that will help you determine what s working and what needs improvement. Creating the framework should be a collaborative process with everyone involved in social media efforts (i.e. at least the social media lead and his or her supervisor) to ensure clarity around roles and responsibilities and provide a reference point for people who may get involved in the future. Your social media framework should cover seven key areas, specific to this initiative: 1. Internal organization 2. Goals and objectives 3. Audience groups 4. Social media channels 5. Social media content 6. Editorial planning 7. Tracking results Internal organization This section identifies the key people connected to the project s social media activity, their roles and responsibilities. It should mirror the details under Where to go for help in the Social Media Guidelines (available at 1

2 For example, the social media lead may be responsible for finding effective ways to share and promote the work that s being done, but it may be up to the project team to collect videos, photos and stories that can be shared through social channels. Goals, objectives and tasks Goals are general intentions for the work you re doing. They should be focused, but aren t directly measurable. Objectives are the tangible and precise milestones that will help bring you closer to your goals. They are specific enough that you will know whether they ve been achieved or not. Tasks are the specific steps you need to take to achieve your objectives. Example Goal Objectives Tasks To build stronger relationships with faith groups in our community. To connect with 5 faith groups by the end of April, o Create a list of related organizations and faith groups in our community. To foster communications across related organizations and faith groups throughout the project (ends August 2014). To increase the number of people from other faith and secular groups who participate in our events by [add percentage]. o Connect with identified groups via social channels and introduce ourselves/the project. Once we ve connected with identified groups and organizations o Proactively identify different ways we can support each group online (i.e. cross promotion). o Interact with each organization at least every two weeks (i.e. promoting their information, responding to their posts). o Regularly invite groups to participate in events, provide feedback about what we re doing, ask for their support by cross promoting our events. 2

3 25 SMART Social Media Objectives By Beth Kanter A list of sample objectives that focus on results, tactics and capacity. Audience groups Audience groups are the specific groups of people you want to reach through your social media efforts. You may reach beyond these groups, but to meet the goals for your project there are specific stakeholders you need to reach. These might include: Project participants Young people of different backgrounds and beliefs in your community Project partners (i.e. other organizations) Project supporters Describe each audience group in as much detail as possible. This will help create a clear picture of who your organization wants to reach and what interests and motivates them. The target audience for the project, for example, isn t everyone, or even the people who show up your target audience is the type of people you want to show up. For example, your project participants may be: youth between the ages of 18 and 24 who live in the Surrey, B.C., area. interested in learning more about youth from other religious and cultural backgrounds. likely involved with other community organizations and faith-based groups. excited about art, music, environmental issues or social justice. What other commonalities might your participants share? Then, describe what action(s) you ultimately want each group to take. There may be overlap across your audience groups, but chances are that you ultimately want each one to do something different. For example: 3

4 Your objective for project participants might be to get them to register for and attend events, and provide feedback or input afterwards. The main action for your project partners might be to help promote upcoming activities and events. Your objectives for project supporters may be to keep them in the loop, show how you re recognizing their support, and encourage their help in promoting activities and events. Nonprofit Marketing Personas Workbook [FREE] By John Haydon Helps you figure out who your audience is and more effective ways to reach them. Avatars, Ecosystems and Watering Holes By Pam Slim Explains why describing your target audience in as much detail as possible can help you communicate better and generate new ideas. marketing-planning-in-a-nutshell-avatars-ecosystems-and-wateringholes/ Social media channels Consider the channels your organization currently uses, or intends to use to support your project. Which channels are most effective for which of your audience groups? How can each channel support targeted actions for each group? For example, you may observe that youth in your community use Facebook or Instagram more than Twitter, but a lot of organizations and local businesses actively use Twitter. If you re not sure which network will bring the best results for which group: Share a variety of information for each audience group using each social network. Which network consistently brings the ideal response for each type of message? Ask for feedback! How do people find out about your events? What s their preferred way to communicate and/or receive information? 4

5 How do your project partners prefer to receive information? Don t forget to include any distribution in your plans, if you have the capacity for it. For example, may be the best way to share project updates with stakeholders to ensure they re kept up-to-date. Use a Social Media Cheat Sheet By Flowtown A helpful overview of six top social networks, including pros, cons, and how to get started. Social media content There are two types of information you can share through social media: Curated content, which is information created by other people or organizations. Created content, which includes news, images, videos and stories created by your organization. It s very typical to share a mix of curated and created content through your social channels in fact, that s the best approach to take, as long as the information is relevant to the people you want to connect with. How do you decide what content is relevant to your project? 5

6 1. Start by identifying the themes that support your project. For example: pluralism and diversity, the arts, the environment and/or accessibility. 2. Brainstorm relevant topics within each theme. This might include tips and advice, research, statistics, news, videos, photos, stories, or links to other interesting social media accounts and pluralism projects. 3. Find sources. This will include your project team, participants and organization: stories, photos and images, videos, action plans created by the young people in the project, event details, and event feedback. However, it may also include newspapers and magazines, other organizations, blogs, related social media channels, or newsletters. Don t limit your sources to social media channels where you re active; your organization may only actively use Twitter and Facebook, but there s a wealth of information that you can discover through other sites like Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, or Instagram. To avoid the confusion of having people follow your organization on a network that you re using for your own research, consider using personal profiles rather than one for your organization. 4. Plan to check each source on a regular basis. This might be by monitoring their social media accounts, or you may monitor blog updates (i.e. using RSS or their blog feed ) and subscriptions. Keep track of updates to blogs and other websites using Feedly Feedly is a service that makes it easy for you to keep an eye on multiple blogs and websites through one website. It s also easy to share interesting info directly through the Feedly site. Editorial planning While much of what happens on social media is spontaneous, having an editorial plan guides your overall social media activity, encourages you to plan ahead, and helps ensure that nothing is missed. Ideally, try to start planning at least three months out, so you will constantly be looking ahead and have time to plan or adjust as needed. Remember: your plan can always change due to external circumstances, especially a significant event like a local or international tragedy. Be prepared to halt your plans or adjust as appropriate. 6

7 Your editorial plan should consider things that will influence your schedule, like: The overall project plan. If your project includes events (workshops, focus groups, digital storytelling, café nights, visits to places of worship, a play, a photo exhibit, a spoken word event), for example, what can you do in the weeks before to help promote it and generate interest? What can you do during and after the event to encourage feedback and participation? The public calendar. What holidays, religious celebrations or local events might impact your social media activity? Your own calendar. If you have any vacation time or competing commitments coming up, ensure there s a plan in place to keep the momentum going online. Your editorial plan should also consider what you will share, like: Information generated by the project. Work with the project team to collect information that can be shared online, then create a schedule to ensure you have that information when you want to distribute it. Consider contests and other ways to encourage involvement or get feedback. For ideas, refer to the Social Media Examples section on page 12. Your social media content. For example, consider designating a theme for every week, and focus the information you share around that theme. Managing your editorial calendar To manage a busy editorial calendar, you need a solution that can track: the date, which social media channel you want to use, the audience group, the actual post, and any links to include (i.e. links to videos or images). Here are a few ideas: Use a spreadsheet (i.e. Excel or using Google Spreadsheet); create a spreadsheet with a column for each piece of information listed above and any other helpful details. Use a task management app like Asana or Trello, which can be very helpful if you re working with a group of people. Add everything as events in a Google Calendar. For example, on the specific date you can note the social media channel in the event title, then add additional information to the note section. 7

8 Measuring and tracking results It s important to note that setting targets is less about celebrating numbers and more about learning what works and what doesn t within your particular online community especially if your social media channels are new and/or your social media leads have more personal than professional social media experience. Set what you feel are reasonable objectives for your community; analyze what works well so you can do more of it, and learn from tactics that fall short. Be willing to experiment: Use different types of posts (i.e. questions, images, links) and note how people respond. Compare messages sent on weekdays against those published on evenings and weekends. Pay attention to which channels are more effective, and what types of information they re more effective for. For example, images generally attract more attention on Facebook than text-only posts. There are a number of factors that will define how you measure your social media success, including how well established your channels already are at the start of the project, the nature of your project, and your specific goals and objectives. Here are a number of suggestions to give you a starting point. Tracking offline and online promotions o Create a list of key organizations (i.e. project partners, related organizations, faith groups) and track interaction and cross promotion through social media channels. What can be done to improve cooperation? o Do you include social media contact information in media promotions (i.e. advertising, news releases)? Do you notice spikes in social media interactions when tracked with publication dates? o On an ongoing basis, ask participants how they find out about events or other announcements. Is it through Twitter? Facebook? Somewhere else? Twitter. There is some information that can be tracked through Twitter, but there isn t a specific section for looking at activity and statistics. Because of this, it can be easier and more efficient to use external services to track activity (see Tools for managing and tracking on page 10). Through the Twitter site, you can track: New followers (on your profile page); activity (by tracking interactions via the Notifications page); and incoming messages (by tracking mentions via the Notifications page) o New followers can help you track: Whether your efforts are building your community. When compared against events and other offline activities, what type of promotion works best to attract new followers. 8

9 o o Activity can help you identify whether people are sharing ( retweeting ) or saving ( favoriting ) your tweets. You can track: What types of posts people respond to (i.e. topic, questions, images, links, opinions, etc.). What days/times people are most likely to respond. Incoming messages can help you follow whether people are mentioning you in their tweets, contacting your directly, or responding to tweets you ve sent. You can track Whether people are contacting you directly for more information. Related organizations and individuals that are interested in the work you re doing. The type of feedback is being received (i.e. sentiment) and from whom. Facebook. It s easier to track what s happening on your Facebook Page, thanks to the free Insights tool which you can access once your page has 30 likes. Through Insights, you can track a wide variety of information, from demographics to actions taken. o o On a regular basis, pay attention to three numbers in particular: Engagement (available under the Posts tab) shows whether the people who currently like your site are acting on the information you share. Engagement tracks the number of people who have clicked, liked, commented on or shared a particular post. Reach (available under the Reach tab, but also shown with the engagement information) shows how many people have actually seen your post. This will not be 100%; in 2012, Facebook cited the average reach as 16% and recent reports say it s less than that now. There are numerous factors that impact the visibility of your posts including each person s level of engagement with your Page so focus more on creating engaging content and use reach as more of a benchmark. Page likes matter, but more as a point of reference than anything else. Use this number to track the size of your community and to consider what activities (online or offline) trigger growth. However, the number of likes won t tell you much about what works or what can be improved. On a less regular basis for example, every three months review the demographic information (available under the People tab). It may be difficult to see trends on a monthly basis, but over a longer period of time you can track: Whether your Page has connected with the right age group(s). What locations are represented by the people who ve liked your page. For example, are the top two or three communities listed within your target area? 9

10 Tools for managing and tracking Sometimes social media channels provide tools for tracking your results, and sometimes not. Here are a few additional tools to help you manage social media accounts and track your progress. Bitly [free] shortens links and allows you to track how many times a link was clicked, who else shared the same link, when the link was clicked, and other details. Hootsuite [free, paid versions available] is a web-based application that allows you to manage and maintain multiple social media accounts from one dashboard. Allows you to preschedule social media posts. It tracks limited statistics for your accounts (unless you pay for more detail). Sprout Social [paid versions only] is comparable to Hootsuite: use it to maintain multiple social media accounts from one dashboard, and pre-schedule posts. Some people find it easier to use than Hootsuite, particularly for teams, and the statistics it provides are notably better and more user-friendly. There is nonprofit pricing available; contact the company for details. TweetReach [free; paid version available but not necessary] allows you to see how many people were potentially reached by one particular Twitter post through your own audience as well as the audience of others who ve reshared your post. The downside: You need to search for each post separately, and the information only goes back one week. For a list of other free reports, check out this list from Simply Measured: 10

11 Other tips and tricks Helpful references: For a great one-page reference, print a copy of the Social Media Posting Guide from Top Nonprofits: To see responses to a particular message in Twitter, click on the date/time of the post. This will bring up a screen that shows just that message with any actions (i.e. retweets or favourites) and related conversation. To preschedule posts to your Facebook Page, use the scheduling tool. It can be found at the bottom left of the Status box on your Page. 11

12 Social media examples and ideas Inspirit Foundation: Community Impact Projects Be sure to connect with each project and its social media team lead! While each of your communities will be different, there is a lot you can learn from each other and your collective creativity. Association of Fundraising Professionals: #SHIFTselfie To build buzz around an upcoming conference, the Association of Fundraising Professionals put a call out for #SHIFTselfies photos of members holding a piece of paper to share what they will change to shift the world. Images were then shared through Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SHIFTselfie. You could do something similar with photos or short videos. Small Change Fund: Seven Small Wonders of Canada When Small Change Fund funded seven very small community projects across Canada, they hired a storyteller to travel across the country to provide a front-seat view of the work being done. Through interviews, videos and photos, this individual reported back to the organization, who then distributed the information to supporters through , their website and social media channels. You can see the collection of posts, photos and videos at sevensmallwonders.tumblr.com. The Remix Project For content inspiration, check out The Remix Project on Twitter (www.twitter.com/theremixproject) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/theremixproject). Their channels are a great blend of information from the organization and the community, all relevant to people who participate in and support their work. 12

13 Need help? Get in touch! This document was prepared for the Inspirit Foundation by Amy Sept of Nimbyist Communications. If you have any questions or would like further assistance, you can connect with her directly at , by at or through Looking for tools related to communications, marketing, social media and storytelling? Visit inspiritfoundation.org/toolkit 13

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