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Quick Tips on Social Media Engagement

Nov 8

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011 12:06 AM  RssIcon

Nonprofit Webinars recently offered a free webinar entitled “Bootstrapping Your Social Media Engagement, “ which was hosted by Debra Askanse.  I’ve attended NTEN conference seminars that she has presented, so I immediately signed up for this webinar when I saw that she was the host.  She’s has a wealth of social media knowledge, and she’s always willing to answer everyone’s questions.

Engagement - Trust is Key

You’ve heard it a hundred times before, it’s about engagement.  When you are engaged with your constituents, they are more willing to help out.  It’s like anything else in life, it’s all about the relationships that you have with people that matter.  
One reason I like Debra, is because she tells you how to start out on social media, or how to improve your online presence.  Below are lists her social media research, tips and explanations of how and why we should be connecting online with our followers.

How to Engage Online:

  • Retweet other posts from people you trust
  • Ask others to post on their FaceBook page
  • Facebook is about the conversation and the value added content, NOT broadcasting
  • Ask questions on Facebook – for example, “Why do you volunteer?” – comment on the answers
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Come up with two or three conversation starters
  • Offer regular programing – Nonprofit Webinars is a great example – free webinars on a weekly/monthly basis
  • One Nonprofit asks on their Facebook page, “What are you going to do this weekend to make a difference?”
  • Check out Beth Kanter ‘s social media engagement link that she recently posted on her Facebook page. 

Why do we or should we want to share online?

  • To bring valuable and entertaining content to others
  • To grow and deepen our relationships
  • To define ourselves
  • To market your cause or organization

How do you get started?

Debra recommends reading The Networked Nonprofit (and so does the staff at Green Moon Solutions). 

Ask yourself:

  • Why are people interested in our cause?
  • What content creates conversation?
  • What content could create conversation?
  • What can your community create for your content? (photos, links on twitter, provide a hash tag)
  • What ideas can you open up?

Create a content calendar

  • Daily content – within your message – Facebook 1-7 times a day
  • Tweet – a message on certain days of the week
  • Facebook – Ask fill in the blank questions and the answer with the most “likes” receives a prize

Social Media Science

  • Best time to Tweet – 5pm
  • How many Tweets day?  1-4 tweets an hour or 7-14 a day
  • Midweek and Weekends are the best time to get a better click through rate
  • Noon and 6 pm are the best time for click throughs
  • 60-30-20 Law – 60% of your tweets should be retweets of information you find valuable for your followers – 30% should be original content and 20% is your own news (these are rough figures, Debra says that 40-50% of your original content is good too.)
  • Post to Facebook on Saturday at 12pm and you should see higher  “shares”
  • One post a day is also considered a good rule to follow- Debra says, “Putting something up  every day makes a big difference, engagement may go down, but if you only post once a week then it’s easier to forget about you.”


  • Posts should be 80 characters  or shorter
  • Post should be made outside of business hours
  • Increase engagement seen on Thursday or Friday
  • You’ll see increased engagement when a post ends with a ?
  • if you run a contest, use the words  “winning” or “event” as opposed to “contest” or “promotion”

How do you measure your success?


  • Start with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – Do one and do it well
  • Facebook really doesn’t take that much time, devote 5-10 minutes a day
  • Be personal
  • Research who you want to be in touch with and make a personal conversation list with those individuals.  Start talking to them and retweet them.  (Your list is a private list)


  • Have your name listed on your blog and underneath it have your twitter ID or hash tag to let your audience know who you are.  Include a picture.
  • recommends:  Know what your goals are and you will have more success on Facebook
  • Add personal touches – on Facebook send personal messages to your fans – Thank someone for volunteering or sharing your content
  • Always be commenting and answer everyone – to let them know it’s  person at your organization commenting use -  after your post to add personalization
  • Have people sign up on your Facebook page for your email newsletter
  • Thank donors in real time or have a member appreciation month

Good luck and have fun getting to know your followers.  


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