How Nonprofits Are Building Their Social Media Community

September 16, 2014


Guest Blog by Gayle Carney, Principal, Center for Community Technology Services (CCTS), Member of Maryland Nonprofits 

When it comes to your nonprofit’s social media, do you ever feel like a NASA scientist experimenting with interstellar communications? You’ve tried different radio frequencies and even dabbled with laser technology, yet the question persists, “Is anybody listening out there?”

Last week, at a Tech for Social Change Meetup (TFSC) in Baltimore, nonprofits got free, one-on-one coaching on their social media challenges at a Social Media Surgery. Experts (Surgeons) offered a lot of valuable advice with this tip heard most often:

The Ultimate Social Media Tip: Start with Meaningful Connections!

While you’re doing all of this tweeting, posting, and linking, you want to make sure that you’re actually connecting with others.  How?

  • Think about your personal and professional network… Are the right people liking or following you on your social media platform(s)? And, are you liking and following the right folks?

    • For example: Organizations that you partner with…. “like” them on Facebook!  Re-tweet their tweets about upcoming events!  Then, find out who they like, and like them, too. Look for groups, people, and organizations that share your mission in some way. Remember, birds of a feather flock together.

  • Maximize face to face engagement to build online engagement. Recently, nonprofit staff attended a Social Media Surgery in Baltimore to get some one-on-one coaching on their social media challenges from area experts.  They created a “Like me @” list, as a way to share their Facebook and Twitter accounts with one another.   

  • Now that you’ve made all of these great connections, stay in touch! Like and share status updates that resonate with you. Comment on an article that another organization posts. Sure, you want to share your own content, but make sure that you become a part of the conversation that’s happening around you!

  • Use FREE analytics to track your connections online. Facebook will provide a summary of your “reach” and even give you stats that tell you about your most popular status updates. Twitter provides an alert when someone is interacting with you, so that you can keep the conversation going! Manage your account settings to make sure that you get these alerts right away!

  • Still not sure where to get started with all of this? Connect with some of our “Social Media Surgeons” such as:

Did you know… Recently, MD Nonprofits reached 10,000 Twitter followers. In a follow up post they’ll tell you how they did it.

In the meantime, join Tech for Social Change to catch our next nonprofit technology learning and networking event.  

Gayle Carney, one of the convenors of Tech for Social Change, is Principal at the Center for Community Technology Services (CCTS).  CCTS specializing in technology consulting and website development for nonprofit organizations.


Join Maryland Nonprofits’ 2014 Annual Conference “Connecting for Impact!” November 5th at the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville, MD. 



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