Midterm Essay 1: Social Media for Social Good and Me

In Heather Mansfield’s Social Media For Social Good, she explains that different ‘approaches’ to social media websites and applications work in order to help get the name, mission statement and overall progress of non-profit organizations out to the general public. However, in my time on social media I have learned that some of those approaches do not work for certain types of pages and social media sites, and it really comes down to figuring out what works best for the audience and those that work for the non-profit. If you can find the ‘groove’, the page will flourish and the name and mission will get out to the masses.

While reading Mansfield’s suggestions and tactics to running social media accounts, I used my own personal experiences to tie in her points and ask the question, “Do they really work in the real world?” One of the first to catch my eye was in the Facebook chapter on page 78. The main point is “Have More than One Administrator for Your Page”. In her defense, where I come from is drastically different from a non-profit/social good standpoint, but in my own experiences I have found that having multiple moderators on a page can lead to disagreements, issues when it comes to facts and opinions, and is overall a chaotic situation. By having multiple people running the page, its good in the sense that somebody will always be keeping an eye on it, but what I would do instead is have someone that is solely dedicated to running the social media presence for the nonprofit. That one person will be in charge of community outreach that comes with having a social media presence, and furthermore they will be the one that people online can come to if they have any questions. Granted this can be accomplished by two people that are the similarly trained, but one is nice because it cuts down on the risk between disagreements and differing viewpoints (i.e. Statistics that might be different). Heather described the two person moderator for Facebook, which I will say I am not very up to date with. My experience comes from Instagram, where having two or more moderators means sharing passwords and accounts. In another testament to where I am coming from, most of the pages on Instagram are run by adolescents who may not be as mature as the people running nonprofit social media pages. In the end it really comes down to finding the right person or people for the job and trial and error. I’ve learned first hand that mistakes or user-ability issues will be found, especially on social media, but in time they will be smoothed out and the page will be streamlined for the general public.

The chapter devoted to Twitter featured applications that I had never seen or heard of before, which in actuality is quite telling. For instance, the “Twtpoll” application that allows twitter users to have polls is outdated now that twitter allowed a poll to be used as an actual tweet. From my own personal experience on Twitter, keeping it simple is the best recipe for success. Normally, I view accounts that use all sorts of different widgets and other 3rd party apps as confusing and quite messy, especially when it is the widgets tweeting and not the account itself. An example of this is the ‘fllwrs.com” tweets, which tells everyone that “X amount of people followed me and Y amount unfollowed” Every time I see those tweets on my feed I consider joining the list of people that unfollowed that person, but I of course am too nice to do that. It all comes back to the ‘less is more’ mentality that only posting or tweeting a few times a day is more helpful than posting every other hour, especially in regards to twitter where tweeting more than three times a day (As a straightforward tweet and not a reply or a retweet) is seen as too much. People tend to like not seeing a bunch of stuff from one person or account on their feed; I believe that is what draws so many younger people away from Facebook. I know I like seeing a mix of things and not just the same or very similar posts and adds that are generated for me through the algorithm that Facebook has implemented.

My views on social media are a bit more biased if compared to someone who has never used social media as a way to meet new people and create a hobby or a ‘cult of personality’. Social media has played in big part in my life for the past five years, and I don’t see it leaving anytime soon. I believe there is a major difference between people who make a social media for a company or nonprofit and simply say, “Oh yep we have a Facebook page so go follow us there” and the type of people who are genuinely committed to making the social media page a key party of their organization. One must be truly dedicated to the cause and have a good understanding of online social norms to make sure that a page truly flourishes, as that is what will make people want to learn more about the organization, its mission, and follow and support them in the long run.

Inside #givinghearts16 with The Arts Partnership

I stopped in at Atomic Coffee in downtown Fargo to see how my friend, Dayna Del Val, and The Arts Partnership staff were doing on Giving Hearts Day 2016. They said the right people have been stopping by; they had a computer set up so donors could jump online and make a donation. They were also giving out swag so I got a couple of travel mugs, some window clings, and a very cool set of sushi plates!  I asked Dayna if she would share the The Arts Partnership’s approach to Giving Hearts Day, not just the social media approach, and here is what she said.

4 interesting things about “Best Time to Post” #ec457

I asked you to read the LinkedIn chapter in SMSG this week, but we haven’t talked about and I haven’t received any requests to be Linked (hint hing). But I got a notification from the Social Media for NonProfits group that I belong to on LinkedIn, and that led me to reflect on 4 things about this post, “What are the Best Times to Post on Social Media?

#1. Having this post pushed to me by my LinkedIn group reminds me / you / us that LinkedIn can be more than a place to post your resume. This group hasn’t been very active over the last year, but I usually get quality content when someone posts.

#2. The topic is interesting and important, especially for organizations working towards a big return on #givinghearts16. If a group is primarily using Facebook for promotions, last Thursday and Friday should have been very active days for them, as they are typically the best days to post. Having GHD on a Thursday might help scoop in a few users who haven’t been paying attention, but I’m guessing last Thursday and Friday would be the big promo days.

#3. The article (blog) was written in January of 2015, so it is over a year old but it was found and circulated on a group with about 80,000 members.  That’s a good reason to blog–your content can be found any time.  Unless you are running for President, you old Tweets won’t be circulated a year later.

#4. The article is written entirely as an information graphic. If you are interested in a career in social media, consider learning to master the infographic as a powerful way to communicate in our visual, digital communication environment.

Further reading: one year later, the same blogger (Neil Patel) posted an article with 8 suggestions for using Facebook, and one of the key takeaways is that his 2015 infographic might be giving people bad advice.  Sunday posts lead to the best engagement, “How to Win on Facebook” says, in part because so many people are posting on Thursday and Friday that many posts get ignored or overwhelmed.  How many #givinghearts16 posts did you see Sunday morning?

 

Facebook features for non-profits

The first two features seem most relevant to this year’s students.

Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog :: A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits

collage_facebook-t2Hopefully your nonprofit has grown accustomed to the fact that Facebook is a constant work in progress. That said, some recent upgrades to Facebook Pages have a big impact upon your nonprofit’s presence on Facebook and with the site-wide launch of the new News Feed and Social Graph Search coming soon, many more changes are likely to come. Before you fall behind, make sure that your nonprofit is current with these four recent Facebook upgrades:

1) Turn on “Similar Page Suggestions.”

Facebook now recommends similar Pages when Facebook users like Pages. For your nonprofit’s page to be suggested, you need to go to Edit Page > Update Info > Your Settings > Similar Page Suggestions and turn on the Similar Page Suggestion functionality:

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You can then view the number of new likes your nonprofit’s Page receives through Similar Page Suggestions by visiting your Insights > Likes > Where Your Likes Came…

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‘Pictivism’: Does Changing Your Facebook Pic for a Cause Really Matter? | Impatient Optimists

‘Pictivism’: Does Changing Your Facebook Pic for a Cause Really Matter? | Impatient Optimists.

The Marriage Equality profile pic and all its creative variations now dominates my Facebook feed; I’ve never seen a profile pic make such an impact.  Also  says a lot about my feed.

 

Be sure to check out the link to “Five Types of Nonprofit Tweets Guaranteed to Get Retweeted” as well.

Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog :: A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits

twitter-birds2If your nonprofit is not getting retweeted on Twitter, then you haven’t yet found your Twitter voice. Retweets ensure increased exposure of your nonprofit’s avatar which ultimately results in more followers and click-through rates. Twitter itself has concurred that influence on Twitter is not in how many followers you have, but rather in how often you get retweeted. You have to give your followers retweetable tweets! That said, as a follow-up to Five Types of Nonprofit Tweets Guaranteed to Get Retweeted, below are  five types of tweets that rarely, if ever, get retweeted:

1. Truncated automated tweets from Facebook.
Sorry nonprofits. There’s no short cuts in social media. Folks on Twitter don’t want to follow robots. They want to know there’s a human being behind your avatar.

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2. Automated tweets announcing new photos posted on Facebook.
Who hasn’t seen this tweet many, many times on Twitter? No longer interesting and…

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Impromptu Task: Watch How Local Nonprofits Pursue Impact Foundation Funding

Eligible North Dakota non-profits can have donations made to them doubled, up to $4000, if a donation is made on February 14th.  The Impact Foundation (administering the Dakota Medical Fund) cleverly calls this “Giving Hearts Day.”  Your impromptu assignment is to pay attention to how local non-profits are promoting their cause.  Watch for things like videos tailored to the day, images designed for the day, Facebook and Twitter updates, and  other unique strategies.  Share what you find with the class via Twitter or your blog–remember you can use blogs for more than just blog essays.  I noticed tonight that Hospice of the Red River Valley changed their Facebook cover photo and used the GHD logo. Charism made a Facebook post on January 28th, but they went with a different look and slogan: open your heart. . . . They both use Twitter: see how they both handled the event there; see how they will handle it going forward.

For an incredible list of ND (and some MN) non-profits, check out the Impact Foundation’s extensive database.

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