Yesterday was the 2012 New York Cares Leadership Conference, and I had the distinct pleasure of presenting a session to volunteer leaders and inspiring community members. The session focused on using core social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to raise awareness and inspire others as a volunteer. For many organizations, we provide guidance or goals for using social channels to our staff, but this session was for the volunteers who want to make a difference from outside of the organization.
Creating Great Content
When it comes to creating great content, there are four important elements, especially with social media, as you can see in the image at the top of this post. You’ll notice that the goal is in the middle of all three because it is always the core of your success and the first step in any decision. The people you want to talk to are closely connected to the goal and if one changes, the other may react. Your tools are defined both by the goal of what you want to do, but also by the people – are they tools that that audience uses and likes? And the content – is that a platform or application that supports that kind of content? Similarly, the content is defined by the goal, but also by the tools at your disposal and the people who will consume it
So, what is the content you want to share? Do you want to be sharing what you know and learn with other volunteers? Inspiring and recruiting your friends to volunteer with you? Or are you trying to promote the organization? Maybe even using these tools to document and share back with the organization all that you’re doing. What you want to be doing with your voice and story via social media will shape the tools and content. Anyone in here want to share what you are now or want to start doing? Start with the goal, and then complete the circle identifying the people, the tools, and the content.
On Twitter, look up hashtags that your community uses and follow them to track conversations. Be sure to use relevant (but not spammy!) hashtags in your posts to connect them into related topics. Consider participating or even starting a Twitter chat – the Association Chat is a great example of a weekly chat with an online archive. Be sure to use @ replies to bring people into your conversation directly or thank them for engaging with you. Here are some Twitter-specific tools:
- Bit.ly, goo.gl, t.co, TinyURL, youtu.be, s.coop
- Tweetdeck, Hootsuite
- Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear how you’re using social tools to support an organization you volunteer for, or how you share your knowledge and experience as a volunteer with others!