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How ‘tweet’ it is: Panel talks social media best practices

The Providers’ Council recently held a Social Media Best Practices roundtable that brought together communications and human resources professionals to share tips and tricks for navigating the constantly changing online arena.

Guest panelists Giuseppe Marraccino of NuPath, Inc.; Katie Ardrey of Doc Wayne Youth Services; and James Harder of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries led the roundtable, with each discussing their organization’s approach to social media and the different ways in which they use it.

Some takeaways from the event include:

  • Most members are using Facebook and Twitter; many use YouTube and use of Instagram is growing. LinkedIn shouldn’t be overlooked as it can be especially effective for posting jobs and recruiting. Doc Wayne is starting to experiment with Snapchat!, which may be the next frontier for nonprofits.
  • Utilize your content across all your social media channels. Information sent via email should in most cases be posted on your website and links should be shared via all your social media pages. (Character limits and different audiences may require messages to be modified for each page).
  • Few member organizations have staff dedicated only to managing social media, making it important to schedule posts in advance and to create a messaging strategy.
  • There are a number of free apps and tools available that let users do everything from manage multiple platforms at once to create images and graphics, track analytics and more.
  • The 24/7 nature of social media creates challenges, especially as it tends to be geared toward photos and videos. Work with program staff to get consumer/client consent forms in a timely fashion by presenting a clear understanding of how social media helps move your mission forward.
  • It’s OK to encourage (not force) staff to like and share your organizations’ posts, but remember they’re likely using their personal social media accounts to do so and not always focused on whether something is appropriate in a work environment.

You can engage with the Providers' Council on Facebook and Twitter (@MassCouncil), and with The Caring Force on Facebook, Twitter (@TheCaringForce) and Instagram.