BERKELEY—After learning the hard way what does and doesn’t work in social media, The Greenlining Institute has channeled its experience into a new guide for nonprofit groups, The Art of Listening: Social Media Toolkit for Nonprofits, whose lead author is Filipino-American J.C. De Vera.
The new guide is designed to be useful for small nonprofits seeking to make an impact with limited staff and resources, as well as for larger organizations.
“We started out in social media the way lots of organizations do, thinking we could just throw a few posts on Facebook and Twitter and it would take care of itself,” said Greenlining Institute Communications Director Braelan Murray. “We quickly learned that you need to think strategically, just like with any other form of communications.”
The toolkit walks readers step-by-step through the process of building a social media strategy, from how to design goals and objectives through the nuts and bolts of identifying buzzwords and influencers to constructing tweets and Facebook posts, all the way to troubleshooting and damage control. The toolkit is filled with examples and illustrations and includes an extensive glossary and resource list.
“To use social media effectively takes thought and planning, but the paradox is that social media can also be a lot like a conversation with a friend,” said lead author De Vera, Greenlining’s communications coordinator.
“No one likes to be with someone who always talks and never listens. We’ve tried to make the process of listening and engaging via social media as simple and user-friendly as possible, so that even small organizations or those without large budgets can use these tools thoughtfully and effectively.”