How to Use a Social Media Committee to Create Buzz for Your Non-Profit

There are lots of ways to build awareness for your non-profit organization. Community events, an e-mail newsletter, and good public relations campaigns are all effective ways to make sure that donors, volunteers, and prospects hear about your work.

Most nonprofits also use social media to create buzz around their programs and fundraising campaigns.

Unfortunately, many organizations miss out on one of the best ways to increase the impact of social media: the creation of a social media committee.

The Purpose of Your Social Media Committee

No matter your mission field or the size of your non-profit, the best way to gain new followers on social media is to get your supporters on social sites to help promote your organization. The more people that like your updates or retweet your links, the more new prospects will come into your orbit.

The purpose of your social media committee is to build a team of supporters who agree to amplify your message on social networking sites. A committee is a group of supporters who promises to regularly retweet your messages, like your updates, and post good news and links about your organization. It’s that simple. Your social media committee becomes evangelists for your nonprofit.

Finding Committee Members

The best social media committee members are strong supporters of your organization and very active on one or more social networking sites. Obviously, the larger a person’s online network, the better prospect they will be for your committee.Equally important is that each committee member is willing to spread your non-profit’s message on a regular basis. It’s of no help to have a committee member with 50,000 followers if they never like an update or retweet a link from your organization.

Equally important is that each committee member is willing to spread your non-profit’s message on a regular basis. It’s of no help to have a committee member with 50,000 followers if they never like an update or retweet a link from your organization.

When approaching potential committee members, be clear about the goals of the committee. Outline your social media plans for the coming year, tell the person what will be expected of them and how important their role will be to your success, then make a clear ask. Don’t be wishy-washy and ask people to “support us on social media.” Instead, ask a definitive question. “Would you be willing to serve on our social media committee this year?”

Setting Goals and Deadlines for Your Committee

Treat your social media committees the same way you would a fundraising event host committee. This means that you should be in regular contact with your committee (including in-person meetings or conference calls) and provide them with clear goals and deadlines.

For example, depending on your non-profit’s communication calendar, you might ask that your committee retweet and/or like at least one of your organization’s posts per week, or that they help you build an on-site conversation about your brand-new capital campaign by posting comments about it before a certain deadline.

Be sure to provide your committee with everything it needs to be successful. This includes scripts/templates for posts, regular updates on your work, and reminders about upcoming deadlines.

Recognizing Your Committee’s Work

Remember that your social media committee is composed of volunteers who are using their time and resources to support your work. Like any volunteers, they should be thanked and recognized for their work. Consider holding a free thank you event for your committee each year, as well as acknowledging their support in your annual reports and newsletters

A solid, well-run social media committee can significantly boost your organization’s online presence. If you don’t yet have one, now is the time to approach your supporters to ask to serve this vital role.

Joe Garecht is a non-profit fundraising consultant, author, and speaker and is the founder of The Non-Profit Fundraising Digest, which is updated daily with the best articles on non-profit development from around the web.

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