You have now had a chance to explore how social/mobile impacts you as an individual and also corporations. You have successfully examined some of the current issues and non-traditional uses of these technologies that are improving/impacting the world. You have heard of companies like hitRECord.org and Ushahidi, learned about the principles of being a social business in your readings and critically analyzed the effectiveness of a corporate social media strategy.
You will be preparing a strategy brief social business strategy for a not-for-profit organization. This not-for-profit can be of any scale (local, provincial, national or international). You will be required to include an overarching strategy and also at least 1 campaign that they can activate using social (e.g. contest, challenge, event – or some other “call to action”).
If you are working with or volunteering for a not-for-profit, you may want to consider sharing this with them after you complete the assignment and get your feedback to incorporate so that there is an extra value to this assignment for something that you believe in. Traditionally, the non-profit sector has struggled with incorporating a social strategy due to the lack of resources (in terms of staff and knowledge)… You can help fill that gap!
Since social causes and the voluntary sector is a very personal choice, you will have the ability to choose any organization you wish.
Multiple students may have the same organization. While you are encouraged to collaborate, please be sure to ensure that you do not “overshare” information that could result in an academic integrity issue.
Your main guidepost for this assignment will be your readings from both texts, with specific note to the principles found in Shareology by Brian J. Kramer, and the tactics identified and tools described in the Social Media Bible by Lon Safko.
Becoming engaged in our social society carries with it significant responsibility for both individuals and organizations. This assignment will focus on the best practices and considerations for social and mobile technologies for not-for-profits.
Just as businesses build their brand through various methods and touch-points, our non-profit brands are established and projected through our participation in our various social channels. Often, they leverage social and mobile technologies as vital lifelines not only for awareness, but also for their fundraising efforts. As you have discovered, this ecosystem carries with it inherent long term risks if it is not used responsibly. However, when used properly these tools can be very powerful in unlocking a world of opportunity and global reach. The amplification of an organization’s message can be virtually limitless and the potential to engage with key stakeholders and funders from around the globe.
You will need to conduct conduct a critical analysis of your selected cause’s current social engagement strategy using social networking and mobile technologies to create that sense of loyalty and community for their consumers. Look into their current campaigns and past documented successes to determine their effectiveness. Look into their Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, etc. accounts to gain a sense of how they are using these technologies. How could your organization improve in the future? How can/should they measure their effectiveness?
As you go through your assignment don’t forget:
Being social takes time – Realize this when you are getting started. Although there is virtually no barrier to entry, being truly social over the long term requires you to dedicate time and effort to keep producing compelling content.
Be an active user – You need to keep your presence fresh to keep your audience interested. Keep in mind your audience may be friends, potential employers, others with common interests in the cyberworld, classmates, etc.
Measure your success – Understand your reach. Explore social analytics. If you are using tools that have specific social analytics, review those to see how you are reaching others, and what they are interested in. Subscribe two a service like Klout to see how you compare with others in your sphere of influence.
Be authentic – What is your “brand identity?” How to you stay true to yourself in your online interactions? What voice are you using?
Be accurate – Don’t spread misinformation and if you misstate something, be sure your apology resonates as broadly as your first statement. Think of Twitter. If you have in anyway helped to perpetuate a false message, how can you “make things right?”
Be respectful – Social media creates conversations. Encourage conversations and embrace the feedback of others! Respect those who chime in on your topics or that you are responding to. That does not mean you have to always agree, but it does mean that you conduct yourself in a way that preserves your own reputation.
Your social media strategy is to address the following at a bare minimum:
Opting in and Participating – What channels will your organization participate in going to engage in? Why? Why are you opting not to engage in others? (Note: You must participate in a minimum of 4 of the following in your action plan: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, Google+ or a social network of your choice which must be fully described in your paper).
What are the goals for the various channels?
What messages will your organization be projecting?
How will you integrate mobile technology to help your organization sustain its social presence? Which platform have you selected? (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile?) Why have you made this selection?
What aggregation tools might they use to help you communicate more effectively? (e.g. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc.)
How will they measure and manage their success/reach? What social analytics will they measure? Will sentiment analysis play a role?
What “rules of engagement” will they have ? How will they handle criticisms and conflict?
What protections/policies will they have in place to protect from compromising accounts and hence their brand?
If you need inspiration or would like to walk through a good document full of considerations, I recommend the attached resource workbook as well as the attached Sample Social Media Strategy.