Digital Influence Weekly – The Social Profit Nonprofit Social Media


TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has just released a cool new tool called TED Ed which allows you to add commentary and create interactive lessons around their YouTube videos. If you’re a fan of TED Talks, you’ll really enjoy this as you can utilize it for giving context to your favorite videos. Even better, you can use this tool with ANY YouTube video online. For fun, for business, for a mission – for anything! Watch their video tour at and begin thinking about how you can add more commentary and context to your videos with or without this tool.

And now, the Digital Influence Weekly…

Last Sunday, I gave a presentation at the Jewish Family and Children’s Service Agencies Annual Conference held in Houston. The room was filled with people from various departments at these social service agencies including development, marketing, programs and public outreach. They were all interested in learning what they should be using social media for in regards to their nonprofit. Often organizations or companies don’t know what they can actually get out of social media, which is why looking at competitors and colleagues can help you set benchmarks. Even better is when someone does the research for you. This information can be found in two studies I’ve linked to below.

The studies on nonprofit use of social media and the presentation brought up some interesting questions to ask yourself:

• How many people in your email database are also connected to your social networks?

• If more people are getting on Facebook or Twitter as time moves forward, are you seeing comparable growth in your organization’s accounts?

• Are you working with partnering organizations to strategically plan cross promotional efforts?

• When you compare your social media strategy and activities to competitors, do you include organizations larger or smaller than yours? What tactics are you failing to learn about out when you don’t?

Some other lessons from the presentation that we discussed were:

• Give more information than they asked for. When replying to a public question on Facebook, for example, never leave the answer at Yes or No. Give more detail to entice further discussion or to educate others who might also be interested in your answers.

• If you’re not sure if you should engage in new networks like Pinterest, do a search for the topics you usually discuss. If you find that people are talking about your services or products, it might be worth joining the conversation.

• Ask your fans and donors to promote your organization. They connected to you for a reason and should be more than happy to help.

• Give people a personal connection that’s worth sharing. As I first saw at SXSW Interactive, one panel had shown us Charity Water Thank You videos. Staff recorded funny ‘thank you’ videos telling donors, teams and partners what their contributions helped achieve. While directed to a particular individual, these YouTube videos were viewed hundreds to thousands of times.

Here are links to the two studies I referenced earlier. Please download them as they provide some revealing stats on social media for nonprofits.