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.

GHD Nonprofits Analysis

The three nonprofits I followed before, during and after Giving Hearts Day (GHD) are: Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC), American Gold Gymnastics (AGG), and Service Dogs of America, also known as Great Plains Assistance Dogs Foundation.

Last week’s vlog focused on still and moving imagery and their role in promoting nonprofits on social media. With this in mind I wanted to focus my attention on my nonprofit’s Instagram and YouTube account. All three of my nonprofits had low video posts so for this discussion I will talk about my nonprofits’ use of Instagram to promote themselves during GHD.

The most successful group of my campaign didn’t even utilize Instagram but I still wanted to see what kind of impact having an Instagram would create for Service Dogs of America. I searched for a similar organization, and noticed the amount amount of likes on their photos was in the hundreds. Their pictures were professional and eac12717672_779715435492489_893974429491641606_n.jpgh picture had a theme and following tags which spread the pic further. Instead, Service Dogs for America made their own picture using the hashtag #sharethelovesunday mentioning GHD
but did not use a logo so the words did not stick out. Also the pictures were hard to read because of the color choice and amount of text. Their message and service is remarkable and I think they deserve continued exposure, and being a top 10 nonprofit for GHD should urge them to reach an even wider audience.

Ronald McDonald House Charity probably had the second best still imagery posts. Their Instagram contains pictures of families that have stayed at their locations which is a touching addition that they do not link to their FB. Although this may be respectful, I think sharing those stories with other prospective families would increase word-of-mouth and shares in the community. Their campaign used more video imagery last year for GHD which appeared to be unique, engaging and cute! This year they decided to use a giant picture frame for donors to take their picture in. 12705446_10153442715442055_3658337702281805753_n.jpgAlthough it was clever and gave them the opportunity to tag local businesses and people in the community, but the picture frame itself could have been a good marketing tool and instead was fairly plain.

American Gold Gymnastics posted multiple Instagram style photos to their FB page but received very few likes for them. They started the campaign using a rendition of their own logo into a heart for GHD but only used the picture twice. This logo would have been a cute addition to any of their material, signifying it was a GHD post rather than a meet/event post. 10947182_837882686275859_195191420612848953_nThe Instagram account did have quite a few short clips from competitions and events the teams have attended. These videos were not linked to their FB but would have been a wonderful addition to help them promote for GHD, showing where the money raised goes towards.



Cat’s Cradle Update 2

More updates about our progress at Cat’s Cradle HERE

Cat’s Cradle Update

Corky the cat got his NEW LEGS! Also, we are spreading the news about Corky the cat and Cat’s Cradle No-Kill Shelter on Twitter. Check it out HERE