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Create Your Social Media Strategy - Checklist

Social media sites and especially social networking sites are a great tool for getting information to large groups of people.  Your social media strategy can have a profound effect on your ability to create awareness for your cause and on your fundraising efforts.

Using social media can be fun, but when using it for business purposes it should be taken quite seriously. However, be prepared to let go of control just a little bit, because after all, social media is all about conversation and engaging with others! This also means that if you encounter any type of criticism, don't take it personal - take it as feedback.

This checklist can help you define your goals and also helps you decide on such basics like who can post what on which social media site. It is focused on managing social networking sites, but it can also be used for defining general guidelines for posting comments, creating blog posts, or taking part in forums and discussion sites.

 

Define Your Social Media Goals: What Do You Want To Accomplish?

 

Awareness:

  • Do you only want to create more awareness, or do you want to use the account to solicit donations?
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  • Would you like to attract followers who become more directly involved in your cause and fundraising efforts? 
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  • Do you want to build an online community that is ready to be mobilized when you do have events?

 

Trust:

  • How will you create trust in your group's efforts? 
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  • Do you have previous achievements that you can tell people about?

 

Increased Donations:

  • Are you drawing attention to your cause in general or are you promoting specific fundraising events as well?
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  • Do you want to directly raise money for your cause? 

 

Getting Started:

    As you define all the points below, be aware, that it's impossible to undo anything in social media. Posts on social media sites are usually visible to everyone and may also show up in Google searches. Even though it is possible to change privacy settings to allow only a defined group to see your posts, it is to everyone's advantage to create your social media policy around the assumption that everything you post is publicly viewable.

     

  • Who is going to be in charge of overseeing all the social media efforts, including training others to update and run the account(s)?  Who will set up the accounts and keep login information available for others? What email address should be used and who else should have access to it?
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  • What is your mission statement, core message, and the tone that you want all your social media pages to share?
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  • Who will create specific messages and/or videos to be posted?
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  • How will you encourage participation with your new social media pages? A contest to kick things off? Your website? Other accounts you may have? Your e-mail list or newsletter?
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  • How large can our social media strategy be realistically? Do you have enough volunteers/resources to accomplish all our goals, or do you have to start smaller?
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  • How does our social media strategy fit in and can be connected with our traditional marketing strategies? (Read Connect Online and Traditional Marketing Efforts For Your Fundraiser.)

 

 

Decide On The Specifics Of Posting:

  • How often will social media sites be updated with new information and posts? Is it necessary to post more than once a day or more than once a week outside of campaigns?
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  • What is your strategy for handling complaints and criticism? Complaints should be acknowledged as soon as possible, but who should be consulted first about resolving them? Can the complaint be dealt with publicly, or should the follow up be private?
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  • What about monitoring the accounts? Is it important to answer every question immediately? Maybe the account should be continuously monitored during campaigns and less between campaigns?
  • Will one person be in charge of setting up and updating social media pages, or will there be multiple individuals?
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  • Many people already have their own personal social media accounts. Do you know the people who may be tweeting and posting for you? If their current social media pages are filled with obscenities and political opinions, do you really want them posting for you?
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  • Set parameters for anyone posting on your pages and also posting on their personal pages about your group. For example, when posting on Twitter, what #hashtags will you allow? Can you come up with a hashtag for your own campaign? Is it OK to use general hashtags to create awareness? (Read more about hashtags on Twitter Support.)
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  • Where do you keep your social media rules in writing? Is there a file where others can inform themselves about your core message and mission statement, and also see examples of what to do or not to do when posting on your behalf on on their own personal accounts? (This info can be kept with your swipe files.)
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  • What about posting photos and videos? If there are kids in the images or videos, do you have permission from parents to post these images? When you can't get permission, are you sure the faces of the kids in the images are unrecognizable?

    Even if the faces are unrecognizable, is there anything else that may make the person in the images and videos identifiable, like a logo on a t-shirt, a street sign or the school name in the background? Be sure to avoid adding names or tags to the images. Safety and security should always come first, no matter how useful or 'perfect' the image or video appears to be.
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  • Should you have anyone who will post on your group's behalf read and sign a statement of conduct? Standard rules should be considered: be respectful, no personal attacks, no political opinions, no personal attacks. Each person has to be responsible for their own postings.
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  • How will you keep the message and tone of all social media pages cohesive? Is there room for personalities to shine through?
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  • Will you update all social media pages with the same message, or is there a need to tailor the message to different groups of people? For example by default Twitter updates can be seen by everyone, whereas updates on LinkedIn are visible only by your contacts or group members.
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  • Do you have guidelines in place for posting about upcoming events? Should you post about them before all the details have been decided on?
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  • Do you have guidelines in place for posting about upcoming events? Should you post about them before all the details have been decided on?

     

  • For financial information and detailed group information: is there a page on your website to refer people to?

 

Evaluating Your Efforts

  • How will you measure the effectiveness of your social media pages? By increased visitors to your group's website? Increased donations? Increased awareness in the media? (This is directly related to your goals that you have defined in the first section of this checklist.)
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  • At what intervals will you gather information on effectiveness and decide on changes? Will you meet with your team once a month, once a week, or once a quarter, or does it make more sense to meet before and after your fundraising events, or all of the above?

 

A final tip for anyone posting: if you're not sure whether to post something or not, always consult others in your group first. You can't undo anything in social media!

Your social media strategy could have a dramatic effect on your group's fundraising efforts. Take your time and create a well thought out strategy in order to get the most benefit from your efforts! For more on creating a social media strategy, read Does Your Group Have A Social Media Strategy?

For an example of what not to do, click over to Beth Kanter's blog.


Additional Notes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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