Earlier this spring, I gave a talk on nonprofit social media to the DC chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Now, I'm a tech guy, so it was a little intimidating -- and fun -- to speak to a houseful of marketing folks. (I'm still not sure I was their first choice... :)) 

But it was a great crowd, and Em Hall provided counterpoint from the messaging perspective. We were even asked to present again at at #DCWeek a month later, which we happily did.

The slides from that talk are worth sharing because they start from a point that is too often overlooked as nonprofits scramble onto Facebook or Twitter or what-have-you. 

There are lots of examples here of high-impact campaigns. Some, like Pepsi Refresh, take lots of money. Some, like, invisiblepeople.tv, run mostly on passion. 

In approaching social media, the most important question to ask about your organization is "What are we trying to accomplish?" 

Here are some perfectly good answers --

  • More donors
  • Press coverage in local outlets
  • Press coverage in national outlets
  • Better search engine positioning
  • More traffic to our website
  • Collaborators
  • Ideas for how we can work better
  • More email list subscribers
  • Evangelists for your cause

It's so important to ask, though, because different social media tactics can accomplish different things. A dynamite Facebook following, for example, won't improve your website's search engine positioning.

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