Spreading the Word: 5 Golden Rules of Social Media for Nonprofits
Keep it Simple: Can you boil down your message or call-to-action in less than 120 characters? If you can, is it easily understood by someone outside of your organization? Nobody likes guess work, so try and keep all of your messages concise on social media whether it’s 120 characters on Twitter (120 leaving 20 characters for a Retweet) or a picture and some text on Facebook.
Have a plan of action: People today expect engagement back from the brand/company when they participate in one of your campaigns. Be sure to have a plan of action for the different types of messages and responses you might receive.
Evoke an Emotion: There is a lot of noise on the internet and it’s hard to capture attention, let alone elicit an action from someone. Whether it’s on Twitter or Pinterest or Facebook, be sure your posting will evoke an emotion and thus elicit a response. If it’s interesting to them and they feel it would be interesting to their friends and followers, they will share it. If they feel good or have a reaction they might like or comment.
Optimize for the platform: Don’t just copy/paste the same message from Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr. Each community responds differently and each community has their own types of engagement. If you’re looking to spread a message, setup a Tweet that people will want to retweet. Think to yourself, would I retweet a similar message from someone else? For Facebook, people love to share images, like things that make them feel good and comment when you ask them a specific question you know they’ll have an answer to. See http://facebook.com/dosomething as a great example of how to use Facebook for engagement.
Don’t over extend: One or two platforms might be enough. Just because Pinterest and Google+ and YouTube and Tumblr are great and very popular, doesn’t mean you need to be there. Before adopting a new platform, understand the type of audiences and make sure you’ll have content they’ll want to engage with.