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Allyson Kapin 6 min read

First the Book, Then the Movie: Convio and NTEN Share Social Media Insights

There’s a broad spectrum of savvy among nonprofits in social media – organizations of all sizes, some just starting out, some with programs under way but still making the case to stakeholders, and many with years of planning and successful execution under their belts. Last week was a potential goldmine for those of you looking for resources, advice, and inspiration that will help you develop or improve your nonprofit’s social media presence.

First, Convio published their new guide, “Going Social: Tapping into Social Media for Nonprofit Success”. Then Holly Ross of NTEN stepped up and shared “How to Develop a Social Network Strategy for your Organization,”  the first of two webinars that show NTEN’s real-world example of how their organization’s strategy is developing.

The Convio guide has something for all of you – for newcomers and for stakeholders who need convincing, you’ll find rationales for launching a social media program, along with a useful overview of current social media types and the ways they are used. Included in the overview are some thought-provoking insights into how different generations among your constituents are engaging online, and changes in the types of communication they’re most likely to find compelling. Here are a few:

  • across all age-groups, peer-to-peer approaches continue to be the most effective way to ask for support
  • social media multiplies this effect by engaging your supporters to spread your message
  • for younger supporters, this increasingly means using online and social media
  • use of social media is not limited to younger generations – 50% of people born before 1945 are on Facebook, and 17% use it regularly.

Once you’ve decided (or persuaded your colleagues) to take the leap, the Planning, Tactics, and Measurement sections of the guide provide tips and checklists for assessing your engagement goals, advice on strategies and tactics for meeting them, and suggestions for measuring and reporting your program’s impact. Tactics tips include ways to listen, share content, engage, drive action, and raise funds, while the Metrics and ROI section provides a wealth of examples and resources for monitoring your progress. Tips are broken down into basic and advanced ideas, so if you’ve already built up some steam, you’ll find suggestions for building a more comprehensive program and getting more out of the data you collect.

Throughout, the guide points out ways you can continue to make an internal case for your social media program and its value to your organization. This is particularly true in the first two sections, but do check the “Making Social Media Scale” section, where you’ll find advice on integrating several different social media outlets – with each other, and with your overall marketing strategy and communications calendar.

The last sections of the guide feature short case studies and “advice from practitioners” in the form of quotes that will keep you inspired and help you stay on track.  Which brings us to our point of synchronicity with NTEN and Common Knowledge: last Friday’s webinar, “How to Develop a Social Network Strategy for your Organization,” seems like a great follow-up to what you’ll learn in the Convio guide.

Here you can get an inside look at how NTEN’s strategy is evolving. You can see Holly and Jeff discussing NTEN’s “thoughtful experiments” and their emerging strategy to bring their website community together with their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn presences. Each is different – reaching different segments of their community and doing different things to build the organization. The question is – how does that inform a social media strategy? You can tune in on October 15 to find out more!


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.