Whether or not your nonprofit is already plugged in to social media—and if it's not, it should be—there is always room for growth in terms of your org's sphere of influence. How you go about achieving that growth can have varying degrees of impact on your resources.
Automation, for instance, might save you time while allowing you to send out more Tweets, but it also runs the risk of appearing impersonal or creating distance between you and your supporters. Conversely, hiring a social media manager or simply shoving the task at a current staff member costs in both time and money. And, the fact is, there are only a certain number of hours in a day, which means there's a maximum level of outreach your human Tweeter can accomplish, while still having time to complete the critical but often overlooked step of measuring social media impact for future campaigns.
There is another option, one that allows for exponential growth in reach and an easier way to get data from it. It's one that nonprofit Global Citizen has activated in planning its annual Global Citizen Festival, held in New York City's Central Park and featuring big-name artists like Beyoncé and Coldplay. The idea is fairly simple: rather than working within the bounds of what one or two people on staff can accomplish, empower supporters to execute social strategy on behalf of the organization.
To that end, Global Citizen has created a set of incentives called Action Journeys, which, when completed, allow supporters to earn a chance at tickets to the festival.
Each Action Journey, hosted and tracked via the Global Citizen website, consists of quick and easy tasks like tweeting about the org's mission and the global health, poverty and sanitation problems it seeks to address; signing petitions; and making phone calls.
And as it turns out, people will do a lot for free concert tickets. Last year alone, 100,000 "global citizens" completed Action Journey tasks around education, 65,000 on sanitation and 85,000 on vaccines. That doesn't even begin to account for the awareness value created by each one of those tweets and YouTube video shares. All in all, it's pretty significant social ROI, especially considering that each social action was tied not to the festival itself, but directly to Global Citizen's mission goals.
The takeaway: Nonprofits with limited resources should consider alternatives to throwing time and money at their social media strategy. Instead, look for ways to incentivize your current base of support—with or without Beyoncé—to take on the task for you.
The preceding is a guest post by Josh Mait, Chief Marketing Officer at Relationship Science LLC (RelSci). He is responsible for guiding the overall marketing strategy and its application across all communication channels for the 2013 launch of the ‘ultimate business development tool’. Prior to RelSci, Josh was Head of Marketing at Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) where he was responsible for organizational brand strategy, sales enablement, visual and verbal identify and online and offline campaigns and communications. Previously, Josh held the position of Chief Strategy Officer at Tattoo Brand Strategy. At Tattoo, Josh ran new business efforts and strategy development for all client relationships for brands like Cadbury, Starbucks, CNN and Chanel. Before joining Tattoo, Josh was Director of Marketing at Sullivan in New York. Josh has spent his career understanding and developing the consumer and client relationship. Josh is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. He lives with his wife Kira and their two children in Brooklyn.