Sometimes you don’t know where to start…so you never do. Here are 10 things you can do right now—this very moment—that will help you jump start your organization’s social media effectiveness in 2010. You can do all these things in less than one hour! Think how productive you’ll feel when you’re done!
1. Define a Goal
You can’t figure out how to do something until you decide what you want to do. Keep your goals simple and be specific. For example, “get more volunteers” is a pretty nebulous goal. If you say “I want to recruit 5 new volunteers this month,” that is specific, you’ve given yourself a time frame, and now the task of figuring out HOW to accomplish this goal is more achievable because you know WHAT you want to do. Now is the time for new year’s resolutions, so why not go ahead and set one goal that social media can help you accomplish. Do it right now! Why not?
2. Join Facebook
Maintaining an effective Facebook presence for your shelter or rescue group does take a bit of time and effort over the long-term, but you can JOIN Facebook right now if you’re not already a member. It’s free and really easy. You have to have a personal account on Facebook (whether you use it or not) before you can set up a Page for your organization anyway, so go ahead and join.
3. Create a Facebook Fan Page
After you’ve registered with your personal profile on Facebook, you should go ahead and take a few minutes to create a “fan page” (usually just called a “page”) for your organization.
It only takes a couple of minutes to create your page. Go ahead and create it; you can always come back later to edit and refine your content. (don’t forget to do it, though!). if you need help creating a facebook page, see my tutorial on how to create a facebook page here.
4. Register at TechSoup.org
Techsoup.org is truly “the technology place for nonprofits.” Registration is free. Techsoup’s main goal is to provide information and products (software and hardware) to 501(c)3 nonprofits at a discount or for free. Subscribe to their newsletter to keep up with their latest offers. They believe technology can make nonprofits much more efficient and effective, and aim to make it easier for nonprofits to obtain technology (usually in terms of software). You can get some really good deals!
5. Put a Donate button on your site
It’s free and easy to put a “Donate” button on your site. Make it as easy as possible for people to give you money! You never know what they may see or read on your web site that spurs them to make a donation, and you want that button to be prominent and visible as soon as that urge hits.
The easiest way to make a donate button is to use Paypal. Set up a free Paypal account, and people can donate to you via credit card or a bank account transfer. The best part is you never see or handle their credit card information; it’s all handled by Paypal.The downside to this is that Paypal charges you a transaction fee for every donation (around 3%), but no matter what, if you accept credit cards, you are going to be charged fees in one way or another. Paypal makes it very easy (and free) to transfer your donations from your Paypal account into your bank account, too. If you don’t know how to create a Paypal donate button, see the video tuturial on how to create a Paypal donate button. Best of all, you can put this on your Facebook page as well (see that tutorial here).
Check back in the next day or two for Part 2 to see the other five things you can do right now!