Today is April Fools, but instead of giving into temptation to play any tricks, I thoughts I’d focus in on the other April activity: Spring cleaning! When it comes to a big, deep clean in your office, going through files, recycling lots of random print outs, returning long-borrowed manuals, and finding that secret stash of blue pens in the back of your desk drawer are all on the list. But what about taking an inventory of your social media tools? Here are a few ways to get you diving in:
Want to find new followers and receive useful statistics to improve your Twitter usage? Well, that’s what Mr. Tweet was designed to do! It’s easy to use: all you have to do is follow the Mr. Tweet twitter account and messages will be sent to you via DM. Try it out yourself!
If you have been using Twitter for a bit of time now, you’ve probably come to the same realization that many others have—that it sure would be nice to be able to see your follows and those that follow you in any way that lets you really understand and visualize the network. Twitter Karma is a great tool to use if you want to inventory your Twitter community, clean up any nonreciprocal followers, or simply evaluate your lists. You can sort by users’ follower counts, mutual friends, and so forth. Give it a try!
Groups & Pages
Do you have a group or use a fan page to create a community space for your organization on Facebook? There have been quite a few changes to Facebook over the last few months (hey, even days!), so it’s a good idea to log in and see if you are using the applications as best as you can be. Here are a few things to consider:
- are you listing organization or sector-related events within the group or fan page?
- are you keeping the recent news, discussions, and links sections up to date? (an easy way to approach this is by updating information in the group/fan page every time you send out an enewsletter or action alert)
- do you link to your group/fan page from your website?
Facebook Causes offers a few different ways for individuals to show their affinity for nonprofits, fundraise for them, and spread the word about the work they do. These are people who may not be on your newsletter or in your Facebook group, they may not follow you on Twitter or even be in your database, but they like what you are doing and want to show it to their friends. If you work for the Red Cross, as an example, you can search in Causes for “red cross” and find groups that are focused on the Red Cross but also those focused on specific disaster relief efforts and international projects. Searching for “blood” lets you find groups working on blood donation efforts and local programs – could be great, connected, passionate advocates to connect with!
Spring cleaning definitely applies to your Google Alerts! Have your key public-facing staff members changed? Do you have any new partners or programs? What about legislative or policy concerns? Be sure to update your Google Alerts to include:
- the names of staff members who may be in the news or lead your programs (like your Executive Director, Communications Director, Fundraising/Development Director, any program-related staff, and so forth)
- the names of your organization and programs/projects
- the titles of bills, policies or other political items affecting your organization
- the key words for your sector (like “blood drive” and “disaster relief” if you are the Red Cross)
Delicious / Bookmarks
Check in on your tags and see if there isn’t any cleaning you can do! If you use Delicious, the social bookmarking tool, you can view all of your tags and how many items have been bookmarked to each of them. Some of the most common issues that people like to periodically clean up include:
- pluralizations (tag for “blooddrive” and “blooddrives”)
- dashes (tags for “blooddrive” and “blood-drive”)
- numbers (tags for “district10” and “districtten”)
- names (tags for “amy-speaking” and “asw-speaking”)
Social Actions is an aggregator of 50+ social action-related sources across the web. Much like searching on Facebook Causes to find groups who are interested in your work, searching on Social Actions can help you find indivudals and passionate communities working on similar issues around the world. You can use the advanced search to find specific actions (like petitions) or key words. Happy searching!
Ning is a platform that allows individuals or organizations to create branded social networks. As part of your Spring Cleaning, visit Ning.com and search for your organization’s area of interest—you may be surprised to find communities taking shape without you! If it is an open network, go ahead and join and see if you can contirbute to the conversation and information exchange.
That’s just to get you started; there’s always so much more you can do with all the options and tools out there. Have you already started your Spring Cleaning? What tips or tricks do you have that you can share? We’d love to hear them!
photo by Collin Anderson