Measuring Your Nonprofit’s Impact on Social Media
These days most people have come to grips with the notion that they need to have some kind of active social media presence. The internet is constantly evolving, and you need to keep up with those changes.
We saw it with websites. Remember the days when just having a website was a cool thing? Then came the days when you had to have something online to let people know you existed. Now days though, just having a site up isn’t enough. It has to be responsive, and you need a version that looks just as good on an iPhone as it does on someone’s laptop or desktop.
The same process has followed on social media. In the early days, you could “get away with” just having a personal Facebook account. Then you needed a business account … now you need a marketing strategy specifically for social media, or you are already falling behind the competition.
Social media is exactly that. It’s meant to be engaging and connective. You need to do things that grab attention, start conversations and keep people talking. Sometimes, though, it all just seems too overwhelming. All these new tools pull us in so many different directions it’s hard to know where to invest our time. To get an answer to that question requires tracking. But what do you track? Great question. Let’s look at some aspects of online connectivity your nonprofit needs to keep a close eye on.
Does your social media strategy inform how you further those campaigns? If you are just doing it and watching the results, you will never have any good reason to do anything different, and you won’t know how to get better. You need to frequently and effectively track what you are doing on social media. Then do less of what’s not working and more of what is.
Once you are tracking the effectiveness of your actions and campaigns on social media, you need to see how that translates to your overall marketing and advertising picture. If you aren’t making gains, you need to know why. If you are making gains, you need to see how and where, as well as when and how much. Just asking these questions is not good enough. You need to go after concrete answers.
Most importantly, you need to see how well your campaigns define who you are, communicate what you’re about and spread that vision among your fans online. If your online presence, including social media, isn’t building your brand and drawing people to your cause, then something is missing. If that’s the case, you need to find out what’s not working and make immediate changes. And remember, this is not an “end goal,” this is an ongoing operation that will need to evolve along with the ‘net.