By now it seems that nearly everyone is in on the secret - that using social media is key to building your "tribe," in essence, building and maintaining the communities that support your nonprofit.  But keeping content fresh and timely, responding to comments from your followers and tracking results can feel like an overwhelming task. However, these are all elements of an effective media plan.  And who has the extra funds to invest in a social media consultant or even the extra personnel time available to manage all of those tasks?  Before you throw up your hands in defeat, know that there are a number of online tools (a handy link list is below) that can not only help you save time, but also simplify your online presence and help you to effectively manage your social media plan.  So why use social media management tools?  

Reason #1:  The right tool is a "One-Stop Shop"

With the right program, you have the ability to manage multiple social media accounts from one program, with one password.  Yes, that is correct.  You can open one program, and manage your Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest board, Google+, and others with full (or close to full) functionality, including the ability to reply to comments, forward, retweet, repost, and repin what have you.  And, with all of your accounts connected, you can easily share the same post in multiple locations, saving a huge amount of time and energy.  

 Reason #2:  Timing is everything

You can use each and every one of these tools to preload your social media postings to be published at a later date and time.  This means you can do all of your social media work when it is convenient for you and maintain consistent activity on your accounts - even on nights and weekends when you are not around!  Even better, the tools track your followers and most offer to help you decide when your posts are most likely to be read by your followers, rendering your efforts that much more effective.

Reason #3:  See what's happening across the social media sphere from your very own personalized "digital dashboard"

The easiest way to get social media content (and followers) is to share what others have posted.  The only way to do that is to track what others are saying and doing.  This can be a full-time job in itself. Social media tools have functionalities that will help you identify and track what others are saying so that you can incorporate important news into your own social media activities.

 


Reason #4:  You can easily track your results

To be blunt, unless you are tracking your results, you are just spinning your wheels.  Social media tools will help you to know what people are saying about you, tweets that were retweeted, comments that were made, reposts, etc., so that you will be able to pinpoint where your efforts and messages are most effective.  

Reason #5:  They won't cost you a thing

Seriously. It hardly seems possible, given the functionality, but Hootsuite has a completely free option, as does tweetdeck.  Sproutsocial has a free trial. iTweetLive and Tweetbig? Also free. Perfect for a non-profit on a tight budget.


 For more tips and tools on how to supercharge your nonprofit by acting like a tech startup, please be sure to contact us today at www.e-samaritan.net.  We're here to help.