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04 Jun 15

#GetTheTeamOnBoard: Charity Staff On Social Media

It’s 2015 and we all know how influential 140 characters can be! Beth Kanter has examined how and why charities should be utilising their staff’s presence on social media in her blog and presented on the subject at the United Way Community Leaders Conference earlier this year. Here are our thoughts on why and how charities should be taking advantage of this!

Why you should do it:

When talking to not for profit and charity marketers the same problems always come up; small departments and tight budgets. However this doesn’t mean you need to have a small social media presence. Your staff can extend your reach to people who would not actively seek you out and who aren’t already engaged with your cause. Studies done in the USA suggest that the average charity only has an 8% cross-over audience with it’s staff. Meaning that 92% of the people your staff reach on different social media platforms are people that you aren’t getting to on your own!

Why you shouldn’t be scared of doing it:

There will always be an element of fear when handing over the reins of a brand you have worked tirelessly to build over to a company full of people that you don’t really know – but, don’t let that stop you. You will still be in charge of the content produced and can keep full control over the brand values. All you will be doing is encouraging your own staff to become invested in spreading the message of their charity outside of office hours. Which will take a load off your plate – work smarter, not harder.

How you can implement it:

Start with targeting the right departments and then; training, training and a little more training. Sending a companywide email asking people to get involved on social media will elicit two negative situations: 1) you will be ignored, or 2) Johnny in accounts will have a few beers and start tweeting about how ‘people don’t care enough’. Neither of these outcomes will have the desired effect. Try starting with the rest of the marketing department and move on the people in fundraising. It is likely that they are social media savvy and already have a good grasp on the organisation’s message. Make sure you sit down with them to demonstrate what you want from them and invest in regular feedback.

Staff engagement on social media is manageable, cost effective and has huge audience potential – so what are you waiting for?