I promised to put some information on here about Social Media following the recent Volunteer Managers’ Forum, so true to my word, here are my 25 top tips for using Social Networking in Volunteer Management.
25 Ways to Use Social Networking in Voluntary Organisations
Before You Start
- Be prepared to invest time in social networking
- Connect and share with others
- Stay out of trouble by reading the Facebook, Twitter, etc rules.
- Social Networks are public places.
Setting Up Your profile and Privacy Settings
- Fill out your profile completely to earn trust.
- Keep any personal parts of your profile private through Settings.
- Create friends lists such as “Work,” “Family” and “Service User” for finer-grained control over your profile privacy.
- Limit work contacts’ access to personal photos.
- Upload your contacts from your email client to find more connections.
- Post upcoming events including ones where you or someone from your organisation will be present.
Using Social Media
- Short updates to Facebook, Twitter, etc. In depth social networking on a blog.
- Add your Facebook, Twitter, etc URL to your email signature and any marketing materials (business cards, etc.)
- Post organisation updates on your wall.
- Share useful articles and links to resources that interest current and potential users.
- Share survey or research data to gain credibility.
- Use Network, Group and Fan Pages
Integrate Your Different Social Media
- Install appropriate applications to integrate feeds from your blog and other social media accounts into your Facebook, Twitter, etc profile. (Although you should be careful before integrating your Twitter feed into your Facebook profile, as a stream of tweets can seem overwhelming to your contacts.)
- Combine Facebook, Twitter, etc with other social media tools like Twitter. For example, when someone asks question on Twitter, you can respond in detail in a blog post and link to it from Facebook.
- Use Facebook Connect to add social networking features to your web site.
Build Your Social Network
- Use Find Friends for suggestions of other people you may know to expand your network even further.
- Look for mutual contacts on your contacts’ friends lists.
- Suggest Friends to clients and colleagues — by helping them, you establish trust.
- Start a group or fan page for your organisation. Unless you are already a household name, a group is usually the better choice.
- Add basic information to your group or fan page such as links to your website.
- Join groups related to your organisation.
I’ve also uploaded a Powerpoint Presentation “What’s Out There” that suggests a few good online resources for us as Volunteer Managers.