Webinar – Social Media for Volunteer Managing and More – 2011-04-14
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Webinar – Social Media for Volunteer Managing and More – 2011-04-14

Welcome to TechSoup Talks. Today’s webinar is
Social Media for Volunteer Managing and More. My name is Kami Griffiths. And today’s
presenters are Erin Barnhart and Jayne Cravens. Before we get started I want to say
just a quick word about TechSoup. We are working towards a time when every
nonprofit and social benefit organization on the planet has the technology,
resources, and knowledge they need to operate at their full potential. I want to show you a quick
screen grab of our homepage. If you haven’t yet spent any time on TechSoup,
I want to point out a couple of things I think you will find pretty great. We
have a Learning Center with articles. And you will also find all of our
recorded webinars in the Learning Center. You can request donations from companies
like Microsoft, Adobe, and Symantec. And we have a couple of newsletters that you
can subscribe to. We have a weekly newsletter, By the Cup, and a monthly newsletter
called New Product Alert that comes out. So feel free to subscribe to those, and then
you can stay in touch with all the things that we are doing. There are a bunch of other
things on our site, so check it out; TechSoup.org. So I’m hoping we have our
second presenter un-muted. Erin: I believe so. Can you hear me? Kami: We can hear you. Wonderful. So
welcome, and thanks again presenters for taking the time to put
together your presentations. So I’d like to start. Erin, would
you mind introducing yourself? Erin: My pleasure, and thank you everyone for your
patience with our technical difficulties there. My name is Erin Barnhart. Some of
you may know me from my former role which was a Director of Volunteers
and Initiatives with Idealist.org. These days I am the principle and
founder of Effective Altruism, LLC where I am doing work to develop
tools, resources, and training to create meaningful effective
engagement, to help support rather, meaningful effective engagement.
I am also the Managing Director of the Building Bridges Coalition which is
a consortium of individuals and organizations working to promote and
facilitate international service. You can learn more about me on my website.
But for now, I will pass the microphone as it is over to my co-presenter Jayne. Jayne: Hi, I’m — wrong slide. I’m Jayne
Cravens. And a lot of you already know me. There is complete information about me
at my website, CoyoteCommunications.com. I have been affiliated with TechSoup for a long
time now as a volunteer, as an online moderator for their Volunteers and Technology forum. And if
you want to read more about me please feel free, but I really want to get right
to the presentation. So let’s go. Kami: Excellent. And I’d also like to thank
Elliot for helping out on answering chat questions and facilitating the chat questions we
have, about three or four other folks helping out with Second Life and looking at Twitter
and answering questions there. So there is a lot of other stuff going on in the background.
So thank you all for helping out in that way. Our quick agenda, we are going to first
talk about the definitions of web volunteers, and what is social media just
so we are all on the same page. We are going to talk about the tools that
are available and show you some examples. We are going to talk about getting started
and what you need to do for planning, as well as going over some resources,
and hopefully at least 10 minutes for questions and answers. Quick poll, please take a minute
to check as many boxes as apply. What tools are you currently using
to recruit or support your volunteers? So take a minute to select all that apply
and hit submit. I’m going to skip to results so you guys can see in real-time what people
are saying. So lots of folks using Facebook. So I’m going to give you five more seconds,
four, three, two, one, and close. Very good. So there you see who is in the audience.
And we do have around 277 people. So here is a little landscape of
what people are currently using. So why don’t we jump right in? What do we mean by “Volunteers?” Jayne: I think it’s very important to do this
right up front, what do we mean by volunteers? We mean anyone who is working for your
organization that you are not paying. That is who we mean. So we mean board
members, we mean committee members, we mean pro bono consultants, all those
people who you aren’t giving any money to. That includes people who are assigned by the
court or a high school to do community service. So that is what we are talking about
today. Now your definition can be different, but I wanted to sure you
understood where we were coming from when we use the word volunteer. And next, what do we mean
by social media, Erin? Erin: That’s a great question,
Jayne. What we mean by social media, we are talking about online tools that allow
people to show their connections to each other, share and discuss photos,
information, forwarding information, commenting on each others’
photos, messages and status. It’s basically an online space where news and
ideas and events are spread by word of mouth, trusted networks that we have developed with
people we already know in our regular lives, people we’ve met through online connections.
It is a place to develop friends of friends. And for volunteer programs it can be a space to
find new volunteers. Recruitment can be active. It can be posting volunteer opportunities
through social media. It can be passive. It can be building word of mouth and
letting people know what’s going on so that they can seek out opportunities to
serve. It can be communicating with new, current, former volunteers and the broader community,
keeping them up to date what is happening at your organization, connecting them to
a broader movement or the greater world, inviting their feedback and ideas, and then
also building community between new, current, and former volunteers, and again,
your broader community of supporters. It is giving them opportunities to get to
know each other, strengthen those bonds, and build relationships,
become your allies. “Friend raise,” which is a term that is
sometimes used to help develop supporters rather than funds. And then demonstrating
ownership in the work of your organization, so again, in a nutshell these are word-of-mouth
sites and these are friend of friend sites. Jayne: So what Erin is talking about is
something different. Some of you are saying we use our website a lot or we use ads in the
newspaper to recruit volunteers. And that is great. You should keep using those things. But today’s
discussion is specifically about social media. And as you see from this slide you have a
lot of options when it comes to social media. And it is impossible to use everything even with 2
“Es” in everything. There is just no way to do it. So we are going to focus on just 4
tools today. And with those 4 tools, you can use these to adapt to any tools
that come around. Facebook is hot today, but you know, back in the Middle Ages,
America Online was the hot social media tool. Whoa — another misspelling. Sorry about
that. But what we want to talk about today are these 4 tools. But I really
want to emphasize that you can use what we are going to talk about today
with any social media du jour sites that come up now and in the future. And so what does Facebook look like from
a point of view of someone who is using it to look for volunteer opportunities, or
looking to reconnect with an organization that they are volunteering with? Well, here is what
my Facebook page might look if I was doing that. So instead of updates about where I am getting a
coffee right now, or that I am seeing a great band, or whatever like here are some pictures from
my wedding, well here are posts from UNDP, and from an organization in
India called Responsible Charity, and the Kentucky State Park. Three organizations
that use their sites to talk about what volunteers are doing and that both recruits new volunteers
and makes their volunteers feel like hey, this organization really cares about
me. Look how they are talking about me. Or maybe you look at a site like Twitter, and you
see here that this is somebody who uses the site. It’s actually my Twitter feed. I use Twitter to
look at what organizations are doing with volunteers. And look, here’s the State Department
recruiting volunteers to help with technology in the developing world. Here is
information on Crisis Camp. So as you see, here are two examples that a variety of
organizations using their Twitter feeds and their Facebook feeds to get people
excited about what volunteers are doing, and that could lead to
more volunteers joining. LinkedIn, here is how it might look if someone
were using it to connect with potential volunteers or potential organizations to volunteer
with. A dear friend Martin Cowling there with a great resource about volunteerism,
some other great information, Robert Weiner a TechSoup volunteer.
And so I put those three examples there and more LinkedIn pages as well, if you wanted
to stalk me you could see what I was doing. To show you that when you use social
media from a volunteer’s perspective it can look very different. And when you
use it from an organizational perspective your message is very different than what you
usually think with social media which is hey, I’m having lunch with somebody really great
like Erin Barnhart. But if we dig a little deeper we can look at Erin Barnhart’s connections
and see some people that she knows that might be great for our board.
So I wanted to just give you a taste of what these pages could look like. And I just wanted to say one more thing
about LinkedIn. LinkedIn uses social media, but it is actually a professional networking
site. And these are three ways that it is used. It is used a little differently than blogs, and
Twitter, and Facebook. But I wanted to make sure that you knew that it is a social networking
site in the sense that it uses those tools that Erin just summarized earlier. But you need
to think of it more as professional networking focused on people’s credentials rather
than they had beer last night somewhere. So with that said, I’d like to get into some
examples. And I promise Erin will get to talk. I think I just talked over one of her
slides. But anyway, let’s dig a little deeper. Let’s look at some real examples of
organizations using social media to recruit and involve and support volunteers. Peace Corps is one of my favorites
because Peace Corps talks frequently about what a volunteer is doing right now front
and center. And what do you think this does? This not only makes that volunteer
feel good about being recognized, people look at that and say, I want to be a
Peace Corps volunteer. That’s what they do, I want to be involved. So just by talking
about what a volunteer is doing in the field, Peace Corps is creating excitement in
people who now want to be a volunteer. And it never says hey, come be a volunteer. But
their messages really make you want to do that. I know I have that experience. Another example from Facebook is the University
of Oregon Alliance for Happy Atheists. And I put this in because they are a very
tiny organization, but they use Facebook to energize their current volunteers,
and to increase their profile just within the University of Oregon. So whereas Peace
Corps is trying to reach the entire US, this organization is just trying to reach
people in Oregon and really just the students. But they are a great example of
really energizing people to go, I want to check this organization
out. What are they doing? As well as keeping their current
volunteers up to date on what is going on. So it’s both to recruit volunteers
and to keep current volunteers engaged. I think we need to hear
from Erin now about Twitter. Erin: But I love to hear you talk
Jayne. Why on earth would I cut in? Thank you so much for
passing the microphone. So Twitter, if I remember correctly
from our poll just a few moments ago, it looked like about a quarter to a third
of folks are using Twitter in some way. Certainly Twitter gets a lot of attention. It’s
very popular in the media, in popular culture. And we have even heard about it being used in
political situations, in advocacy situations, protests as a communications medium. But how might we use it to engage volunteers?
A couple of thoughts, first of all, why consider Twitter? Well, it is one of the
fastest growing social networking sites in the world. As was the case with all social media, it
is an opportunity to connect with an audience that you might not otherwise reach. They
may not be the people who have signed u to your newsletter who are actively
seeking an opportunity to volunteer. But they see you through Twitter, they
see through a friend, or a contact, or another organization that they know,
and it peaks their interest to learn more. Twitter is a great way to get the word out in a
viral — and by viral I mean in a good way — style of communications which means that the
word can spread rapidly. It’s very easy for people to pass the word on. And in fact
Twitter is designed to do exactly that. It is about using 140 characters
to share any information you like, and certainly it can be that
personal I’m bored, going to eat lunch sort of the innocuous Twitter post that
people joke about. But it can also be, this is what is happening now, we need
your help. And that type of message, when you have built-up your network,
when you’ve built-up your credibility it can spread very fast. So why Twitter for volunteer engagement? It can
be a great place to announce volunteer training, upcoming events, to do recognition, share news,
share updates. But it’s especially good conduit to finding online episodic
and last-minute volunteers, especially those that may require little advance
training, or little training that has to happen in person in the case
of an online volunteer, as well as perhaps not a lot
of confirmation in advance. So the online volunteer is a
little bit different of an example. Chances are you going to be working
with them by e-mail, by phone. But you can certainly recruit them using an online
post through Twitter of getting the word out there and saying hey, we need a great graphic
designer. And through your network that you have developed with
Twitter, and them spreading the word and sharing it with their friends and
colleagues, you may find that graphic designer a third of the way around the globe and
start to work with them in an online capacity. The example I have on your screen here is
from an organization in Oregon called SOLV. And they have an environmental focus, and
they do lots of community service events like beach cleanups, pulling people together on
a Saturday to help clean up a playground area, a park, to assist with environmental activities
along the river. And these are a lot of activities where they need many people to show up
on the day. It requires minimal training once they get there. They are flexible in
terms of how many people they need for the day, how many can show up. And what
that means is the more than merrier. For that type of event, Twitter
can be a very effective tool. They can say hey, this is
happening Saturday, come join us. I wanted to show you another example.
This is one organization doing that. But even if you just do a quick search of
Twitter using terms like volunteer and Saturday, here are how several organizations are
using Twitter. So here’s one saying hey, we have a volunteer appreciation
and recruitment event. Come show up. And we have another that a training is happening
that Saturday. Do you want to participate? We would love to have you. Another is
they actually need physical volunteers. Please join us this Saturday,
last-minute, come by. At the end there you can see there is a story
that’s being shared about the effectiveness of volunteers. So Twitter limits how much you can
say, but it doesn’t limit how effective you can be. We’ll start to talk a little bit more about how to
get started and how to start building that series of relationships and networks that you have on
Twitter, but keep it in mind as a potential tool especially for online roles and for those positions
where its episodic, relatively last-minute, and doesn’t require a lot of advanced training.
And with that I will pass it back to Jayne to talk about LinkedIn. Jayne: But I’ve got a really
high score on my Tetris game. Alright, LinkedIn as I said, is very different
than the other things that we’ve been talking about. Twitter and Facebook are very much about
updates, quick updates, here’s what’s going on. LinkedIn can be used that way, but the
reality is most people don’t use it that way. Here are some ways that organizations use
LinkedIn to support and involve volunteers. Here is a volunteer and it is actually me
who is volunteering with the Girl Scouts. And this volunteer has chosen to include their
volunteer role with the organization as a job within their LinkedIn profile. Now why
is that nice? It is nice because people when they view that profile say, oh
she volunteers with the Girl Scouts. And it is just another way to make Girl Scouts
on your mind and make you think well gee, if she’s doing it, I didn’t think she would
be interested in an organization like that. Sorry, I think I’m having a power
issue. Just a second. [silence] Okay, can everyone hear me okay? Kami: Yes, we can. Jayne: Sorry about that. Alright, so encourage
your volunteers to put their volunteer role with your organization in their LinkedIn
profile. It’s a great way to increase information about your organization online. And it adds
credibility when people see that someone they know and respect is volunteering with
you. They might be moved to volunteer as well. In addition, you can use LinkedIn to write
a recommendation for one of your volunteers. Here is a recommendation for someone who
volunteered with the Aid Workers Network. And yes, I am the person
who wrote the recommendation, but I thought this was a really great example of
a way to recognize a volunteer. She was honored. She was thrilled that I did this. And it is something
that doesn’t really fit on Facebook or Twitter. I think it fits better here on LinkedIn.
So that’s a great thing you can do. And in addition, LinkedIn is a great way to
look at other people’s connections and see oh, this person knows someone at CPA. I
sure would like to know that person. And again it gets into the friend of
a friend that we just talked about. And with that I will turn it
over to Erin to talk about blogs. Erin: Thank you Jayne. So as you can see we focused first on
2 very mainstream social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. And those are
the 2 big dogs in the field right now. As you saw from our slide earlier with
the plethora of logos, there are hundreds if not thousands of emerging increasingly popular
social media sites. Don’t worry about that. That is a good way to get overwhelmed
really fast. And we wanted to focus on these because we thought these
are a great place to start, and these are where
most people are so far. And we didn’t talk about MySpace. MySpace
is largely declining for most audiences. However there are populations that
are still using MySpace quite a bit. So when we get to talking about getting started,
one of the things we are going to talk about is finding out where your audience
already is. So don’t forget about MySpace if that is going to be a useful tool,
but we are not spending time on it today. These last two though, are a little
different because they aren’t necessarily a social media site, so much as social media
tools. So Jayne just talked about LinkedIn and the second here is blogs. There are two sites
that are the most popular free blog hosting sites. First is WordPress, and the second is
blogger. I have two examples here to show you of what a blog can look like using these
free sites. They’re very easy to set up. They are designed to be easy
to set up. They are free. And you can make them look very
professional with pretty minimal work. The point of blogs is that they can be a
great place to share news, announce events, post your volunteer opportunities, share
your stories, share videos, share photos, as well as invite the voice of
current and former volunteers. This is a space where especially if you work for
a government agency or a very large organization where anytime you want to post something
online, it’s going to take a really long time, or there may be severe limitations around
what you can say when you can say it, blogs can be your unofficial space for
communicating with and about volunteers. It can be the place that you are talking to
your volunteers and you are building community without being under the constraints of being the
quote/unquote, “official” voice of the organization. Now the example I have here is a blogger site
that has been set up by Mount Rainier volunteers. And Mount Rainier is a national park so
this is an example of a Federal organization that if the volunteer program wanted to start
posting information on the official national park service site for Mount Rainier, I’d
imagine they’d have a lot of trouble. You go through Public affairs. It’s a
very slow process. It’s a Federal agency. There are very good reasons for all of these
barriers, but when you are communicating with volunteers it makes sense to
have a space that is much more fluid. They chose a blog, and they have done a really
nice job with it. In fact I encourage you to look them up online and take
a look at this. They have videos. They have volunteer opportunities. They have
stories. This screen shot makes it look like they haven’t updated it in a while, but that
is because I took this screen shot in September. They keep this up to date. It is a really nice
use of a site. There is a calendar of events. There is a discussion space where
people can ask questions, share ideas. Again, this is a complementary site that is made
for the volunteer program to build community. The second example here is a WordPress
side, and this is from Volunteer Wellington in New Zealand. Again, a very professional looking
interface which is very, very easy to set up. And in fact, both of those free
sites walk you through the process. This is a place where they talk about
an upcoming volunteer celebration. This is where they talk about what are
the new volunteer roles, upcoming events. They link to their Facebook page which
they may use as a complementary site. They may use it in an entirely different
way. They put out a call for stories, for people to contribute their voice. And the last thing I wanted to stay about
blogs, these are also a terrific space to create new volunteer opportunities to tap into
the creative side of your volunteer population. You can ask people to be writers. You
can ask people to be photographers. You can ask them to be videographers. You could
ask them to design the look and feel of the blog. And these are the kind of things that
get people’s creative juices flowing and help them take on the mission of your
organization in a way that is also fun and creative. So keep that in mind if you
are considering using a blog. That is something to potentially think about,
to have those volunteer roles available. So with that said, we are going
to move on to our second poll here. So of these 4 that we have spent a little time
with here, which one of these social media tools excites you the most? We’ve got Facebook.
We’ve got Twitter. We’ve got blog. And we’ve got an alternate spelling of LinkedIn.
So go ahead and I will pass the control of the poll over to Kami here. But
we want to hear from you. What sounds like it is going to
be the most interesting for you? Kami: Thanks Erin. Sorry for all the typos.
That’s all on me. Too many things happening at the same time, and being
virtually beaten. So here we have — Jayne: It’s like a word game. I’m expressing my alternative spellings.
I think they should all be seeing this. We’ve got around 40% of folks
that say Facebook, second is blog. You really sold the blogs to folks Erin. Jayne: Way to go Erin. Kami: And Twitter, not so much.
People aren’t loving Twitter. So we are going to close the poll in five,
four, three, two, one. Okay, there you go. Jayne: That is fascinating. Great,
but you know, to each his own. Erin: I see a comment
here, so I am laughing. Someone said, old people don’t understand
Twitter. It isnt just old people. I can tell you that when I first encountered
Twitter, I was working for or Idealist. I was in my early thirties, and I feel like I am
still getting a good handle on these possibilities. You are not alone. These are
all new languages and new tools. And that is a great segue to talking about our
next piece here which is how to get started. Jayne: So you are now — oh,
sorry. Is it me, or is it you Erin? Erin: Nope, this is me. Jayne: Okay, go. Erin: Okay, so first and foremost start with your
website. Make sure that the website is up to date. This can be the official organization’s
website. This can be a site you have specifically for your volunteers. But where ever it is,
that is your very first starting place online. For anyone who wants to volunteer or
is currently volunteering, start there. If your volunteer opportunities aren’t
listed on your organization’s website, don’t even worry about Facebook yet. Now the caveat to that is if you can’t
get your information on the website because there is a barrier of some
kind, or it is a really slow process, then you can think about developing a social
media platform as a complementary site. But it is important that most
people when they first hear about you are probably going to do a Google search
to see if they can find you online. And if they can’t find the volunteer
opportunity information online, they are probably going
to be a little lost. So the next step is to create that
profile on Facebook or Twitter or a blog, and first and foremost my recommendation
is create one for yourself. Don’t start with the organization, especially
if its a tool you are not familiar with. One of the ways I learned Twitter was
to create my own personal Twitter feed, add a couple of friends that knew what
they were doing, and start to post, start to read how they posted,
start to learn the language. And Twitter especially of these tools has a
language all its own. If you are familiar with it, you probably heard retweets. You’ve
heard hashtags. These are all terms that once you get to know what
they mean are very straightforward. But just getting started can be a little
daunting. So don’t worry about that off the bat. Don’t feel like you have to be the expert and
launch your organization’s Twitter feed today. Instead start one yourself, and start to
play with it. Get familiar with the language, familiar with how people use it, and then
get a sense for how others are using it. In fact I would recommend finding fellow
organizations that you know and respect, see if they have a Facebook page, a Twitter
page, a blog. Find those organizations who do similar work. How are they using
it? Can you get some ideas from them and basically learn
from their practices? And we are also going to talk more about
goals and objectives a little later. But I mentioned before that you want to
think about where your audience already is. You can do a very quick and easy
poll of your volunteer audience, and the people who are active volunteers with
you. And it can be something you do by e-mail. It can be on paper. It can be using a free online
polling service like Survey Monkey or Doodle. But basically just asked them, are you guys
on social media sites? And if so, which ones? You can even ask them which ones should
we consider creating a profile on? Get their opinions, because one of the
number one marketing rules with social media, is go where your audience already is. Similarly, if you are trying to find more and
more technology, tech savvy folks to come in and help out with tech related projects, you
are going to want to be using online spaces because that is where they are going to be
living. So we talked about creating a personal one. A couple other tools to get you started,
partner with a social media savvy volunteer. Find someone who knows the language of
Facebook, knows the language of Twitter, knows the language of blogging, and ask
them to come in and be basically an advisory, consultant volunteer. This is an
especially great role for young people. Young people tend to just by shear saturation
be pretty comfortable with social media tools, but they are very rarely called upon to be
the expert. This is a great opportunity to call on a young person and say, hey we want
to learn from you. Can you come in teach an internal workshop on what Twitter is and how
you use Twitter, so we can understand what it is? Can you come in and help us set up a basic
platform and help me start to figure out what I’m doing? So find a
social media savvy volunteer who can walk you through the ropes
and help to get you comfortable. Similarly, work with if you have a
communications manager at your organization, to look at if the organization has an overall
profile. If your organization has a Facebook page, how can you integrate more
volunteer related news in there, more volunteer opportunities in there. And then as I mentioned, taking a look at other
organization’s social media and activities, once you are ready and you have created that
profile whether it is Facebook, Twitter, a blog, LinkedIn, for your organization for
your volunteer program, start to connect with other organizations who do similar
work. Observe how they are using it. Repost what they post which
essentially is spreading the word. And you start to build relationships with
others who will then share what you have to say. Many of these sites, the way that
information is spread is that word of mouth, that friend raising I mentioned. So when you
start to post what organization X has to say, they are going to start to recognize you as an ally,
and they may start to post what you have to say, just as everyone, the individuals
that follow you may spread the word. And their friends may say oh, well if Jim
likes them I should probably check them out too. It is about building
those trusted networks. Now planning, once you’ve got a profile up and
running first and foremost create a schedule for your volunteer related posts. Consider
tying it to upcoming dates and events. That’s a great time to get the word out.
But also keep in mind some basic deadlines for how often you should post. A good rule of
thumb for Twitter is a minimum of once a day. A good rule of thumb for Facebook
is a minimum of 2 to 3 times a week. And for a blog, a
minimum of once a week. All of these tools are very easy to use,
but they can also be a bit time-consuming. And one of the tricks with them is if
you are not paying attention to them, and are letting them sit stagnant,
people will stop showing up. They will realize it is not an active
space and they will go somewhere else. So try to think about those rules
of thumb, once a week for blogging, 2 to 3 times a week for
Facebook, once a day for Twitter. Another idea is draft those posts that you’re
going to use in the coming days and weeks, so you always have something interesting
to post. If you come across a great story take a few minutes to jot it down. Leave
it on a piece of paper, in a word document, whatever you use to hold onto the
interesting ideas and stories you come across. So that when you are ready to
post you have a place to draw from. That way you don’t get to Tuesday
which is your scheduled blogging day and think ah, what am
I going to write about? You can also write about the same
story in several different ways. If you find a great volunteer story about an 85
year old volunteer who wants to take on XYZ project, you can tweet about that. You can blog
about that. You can use it on Facebook, and just by talking about it
in slightly different terms. And then lastly, again the way that these sites
are going to succeed is by having activity there, making sure that people are using the space. So
let your volunteers know, your staff, your donors, your clients. Let them know through
meetings, newsletters, your website. Essentially, promote these spaces. They will
only be successful if people participate in them. And on that note, I am
passing it back over to Jayne. Actually I’m sorry, I apologize.
First it is about the blog first steps. We talked about blogs being written by
others. If you are the volunteer manager don’t feel like you are the only author
here. You can talk to other staff members to write blog posts about volunteers.
You could ask volunteers to write them. You can ask clients to talk about what is
their experience working with your organization, engaging with volunteers? Again this rule
of thumb of posting at least twice a month, once a week is even better.
Write them in advance. Another important rule of thumb is keep
it informal and use lots of “I” statements. One of the key words in social media is
social and it is people interacting with people even if your organization is in that space.
They want to know that there is a real person behind that post. So talk about it
from your perspective as an individual. Give a name and a face to these posts
so that they know that there is someone on the other end of the line. Respond to comments and
questions as quickly as you can. Again, that is all about keeping momentum
going and making sure that people know there is someone their
who’s paying attention. And then last, I am thrilled to hear
there is a lot of interest in blogging, but just keep in mind you may not need
one. Again, spend time figuring out what do you want to say.
Where do you want to say it? And who are the people that need
to get access to your information? Who is looking to hear from you? So
is a blog the right place to do that? Now I will pass it over to Jayne to
talk a little bit about who owns what. Jayne: Okay, so I just want to make it clear
that you are doing a lot of things online, and you need to think about who owns what.
For instance, if you create a LinkedIn profile for yourself, that is yours. And when you
leave the organization it is still yours. Whereas a Facebook profile for your organization
or for your role as a volunteer manager, whose is that? You need to decide whose that
is. Maybe you need to have a personal profile and a professional profile. With your Twitter
feed, whose is that? There’ve been organizations that have realized that when the volunteer
left, that they never discussed who owned that Twitter feed. And maybe that persons
Twitter feed had 1000 people subscribing. And the person said too bad, this is all
mine. So you need to establish with your staff and anyone who is going to do online
activities for you, who owns what. It’s just a conversation you need to have.
You don’t need to have a contract signed and bring lawyers in, but you just need to make
sure that is upfront from the very beginning. And what it may require is you
setting up separate accounts, one professional, one personal. But remember that volunteer’s Facebook,
LinkedIn, and Twitter feeds, those are their own. You can’t control their content
beyond policy like confidentiality. You can’t control what I’m going to
say about the Girl Scouts for instance, if I am having beers with friends and I say, well
I love Girl Scouts. I had a great time last night. Or, wow I had a really frustrating
time last night. You can’t control that. You can tell me what the policies and
procedures are and I am not going to talk about an individual girl for instance. So I
bring this up because you just need to know what you can control and what you can’t
control. And don’t panic, because remember, you can’t control what people
say 24 hours a day right now. So don’t think this is creating
some New World. It’s not. If your policies and procedures are clear,
everybody’s going to adhere to those. Do you need social media policies in writing?
It’s something that you should think about. I think it can get overwhelming. You
can get a little carried away with it. But I do think at minimum you need to
think about what are your guidelines for linking or liking others? Are you going
to like or link to every volunteer on Facebook? Is that your policy? Or are you going to say
you can all link to us, but we might not comment on your wall. Or we might not allow you to post
to our wall because we need to control our content because we are an organization.
You need to think about that. Are you going to say no to a volunteer that
wants to be a friend on Facebook for instance? Why would you say that? One of the
things that we’ve had many discussions on in online discussion groups for volunteer
managers is, if a volunteer puts up something that is not just a little controversial,
but is actually may be pornographic and you don’t want other people to see
that. So you need to think about that, but you need to remember that
peoples’ profiles are their own. You can’t control their content
outside of your policies and procedures. It is just always a work in progress. And what I
tell organizations is, if you have this conversation with volunteers, a lot of times that conversation
is enough for them to watch their behavior online. If you just have the conversation about how
do you think we should handle this or that? A lot of times volunteers will
immediately go, oh you know what, maybe I shouldn’t share this link
online. So it’s always a work in progress. Keep having the conversation with your
volunteers about what is working and what’s not. Involve volunteers in creating a policy and
make sure that the volunteers know the purpose of your social media activities. Let them know
what it is for. A lot of times that will guide them and help them self censor a lot of times. And
just remember that volunteers don’t have to be currently serving to stay involved via
social media. That’s what makes social media really exciting is volunteers who
are no longer mentoring a child or helping you at your on-site
events. Maybe they are online. They may be there to mentor other
volunteers to help them in situations. So suddenly your volunteers become online
volunteers. And I think that is really great. So I think we are moving to evaluate. Now I think
it is very important to evaluate what you are doing, so that you know it is having some sort of effect.
Is your social media leading to new volunteers, or more diverse volunteers,
or re-energized volunteers? And you see the list here.
I won’t read all of this. How do you find that out? You find
that out by surveying volunteers. And Survey Monkey as Erin mentioned earlier is a
great tool. You ask volunteers on their application, how did you hear about us? You ask
them when they sign up for an event, how did you hear about this event? You
just ask at meetings. Hey, what is going on on social media? Has anybody
checked out our Facebook updates? And see what kind of feedback you get. Those
kind of conversations lead to great reports that you can do for your Board,
that you can do for other volunteers. But you need to track what is the effect
of the social media activities are having. And it’s very easy to do that. You can
do it in lots of lots of informal ways. And so we have lots of resources
for you to continue to learn, because we certainly didn’t have
enough time and I want to wrap things u so we have question time. Definitely check out
the TechSoup website. It has great information. Erin’s website has fantastic information.
I hope my website has fantastic information. We’ve included Beth’s blog which many
of you may have heard, Beth Kanter, she’s got some really terrific information.
Beth tends to be somebody who is very optimistic about it all. And I tend to be
some times pessimistic about it all, so we are a nice balance for each other.
And for policies my favorite place to go is workforceonline.com which is
actually for HR professionals. But I think that the policies
are really excellent to be adapted for nonprofit organizations
and volunteers. And I want to say again if we
don’t get to your questions, please post them to the TechSoup community.
I’m actually going to go their right after this, and I want to see your questions. And with
that I hope we can move to your questions. You’ve been asking some
great ones over here. Kami: Well, I’m going to jump right
in since we have 10 minutes left. Sally’s question, as a nonprofit law firm
for kids, I’m concerned about confidentiality with social media, especially Facebook.
What are the hazards in this area? Jayne: Erin, if you don’t mind me jumping on
that, the hazards are the same as they are on site. I’m sure you have some wonderful policies
that protect peoples’ confidentiality, and those policies are the same online. No
one is more likely to be inappropriate online than they are off-line. So you need to
make sure people know what are the policies with regard to confidentiality. And you can’t
just train people once. You have to remind them again, and again, and again. So
that’s really important to do. You need to sit down and look at your
policies and make sure people understand them, and have frequent conversations with your
volunteers about exactly what a violation would look like. Don’t just talk about
it in theory. Use a real example and say, here is exactly what a violation
would look like. Don’t do this. So that would be my
answer to that question. Kami: Great. This one is for Erin. Marty
asks, I’m curious, how many volunteer managers are in my boat. My sponsor (local
government) doesn’t allow access to Facebook. I’m working on it, but all IT
sees is how to control access. Erin: So it sounds like the primary
problem is not only do they not say yes, use Facebook to talk to your volunteers, but
you don’t have access to it during working hours. That’s a significant challenge. And I know
from many people working for for profit and government organizations
that access is limited. First and foremost I would try to appeal
to them, explain how you are using Facebook, explain that it is used for volunteer management
purposes. It can even be if they would agree to it, that you say between the hours of 10 and
noon, will you allow access on this computer? Give that a go first. If they still refuse
or if they say no, sorry, blanket policy. Then I would say see if you can find a
great trusted social media savvy volunteer, and turn to them and say, you know
what, we can’t set one up for ourselves. We are running into all sorts of barriers, but we
think it’s important to have a space for volunteers to talk to each other. Would you be
willing to lead the charge on this? Again, they are not the official
voice of the organization and you would need to make that clear.
But you would basically be saying we want you to be able to talk to
each other about what is going on. We are happy to send you information
by e-mail that you can post there. It can’t be the official voice, but would
you be willing to keep the ball rolling there? So I would suggest seeing if you can find
that great volunteer, or group of volunteers who would be willing to be
the guardians of that site away from the organization
as an unofficial space. Jayne: I just want to add one thing. Your
volunteers are going to do this without you or not. It’s up to you to decide whether you
are going to be involved with it or not. So what Erin said is very important. They may
do this unofficially, so that’s a good piece to go to somebody who is saying no, you can’t
do this. And say look, they are going to do this. We can either be
involved with it or not. Kami: Great point. This is a question from
Twitter. I always wonder who the person is behind the organization for
Facebook pages or Twitter stream. Why not add the social managers’
names to the organizations’ profile? Is that what people are already doing? Erin: I’m happy to field that one, and
Jayne, you can add to it if you’d like. That varies quite a bit. I’m a big believer in adding
your name if you can, or even just your initials. When I worked with Idealist we started a
policy of all blog posts had author’s names. We wanted people to know who wrote this, who
said this. And I know that many Twitter feeds in particular, you are so limited for space, but
someone might throw their initials on the end. So I’m a big fan of that. I’m a big fan of having in your information
section, these are the folks who man and woman our Twitter space. Here are their initials
so you that you will see who they are. It is not required. It’s up to you and the
culture of your organization. But again, because people want to know there are real
people on the other end of the line, I’m a fan. Kami: Jayne, did you
have anything to add? Jayne: Nope. Kami: Okay, great. So Jackie — I’m curious
if — this is a question from Jackie. I’m curious if you are aware of any programs
offered that would allow a very busy person to preset several messages at once rather
than trying to stay online constantly throughout the day? So Jayne? Jayne: That’s a great question. And I believe
there were some attempts in the chat to answer that. It’s a good question to ask over
on the TechSoup community boards. Yes, there are programs that do that.
Rather than start listing them all here, do go have a look at the
TechSoup community board and we will give you lots
of lists of those programs. Kami: Great, and I will try to include
maybe some links in the follow-up message that can point to some of those tools. What’s a good way to get people
to follow you on Twitter? Erin? Erin: A good way to get people to follow
you on Twitter is to follow them first. That’s the easiest way to get started.
Start to read what they are posting. And I mentioned that there is a lot of terminology
in the Twitter world and one is called the retweet. And what that means is you re-post
what they said almost word for word, and you put the letters RT in
front of it with their Twitter name. So basically you are giving them credit.
You are saying this is what someone else said that I think is great, and people
who know me should hear about it. The more you start to do that, people will start
to realize this is someone who is interested in what I have to say. And then as you start to post
information, other people are going to find that as well. It’s a very interesting space. It very
much is word-of-mouth and viral in the sense that if you are posting information that
is interesting, you are following others, you are re-posting what they say, they
start to build those relationships with you. You are going to start collecting followers
without even doing much work for that. Jayne: I’ll just say an alternative to that. I
actually don’t follow a lot of people on Twitter. It would be too overwhelming for
me. So if you make your Twitter feed, if it is focused on current and potential volunteers,
if the information is vital, if it is essential, if they need it, they will follow you. Just
make sure there is information on your website, in your print newsletter, in your e-mail newsletter,
in all those places that you have a Twitter feed. And the followers will come. Kami: We have one last question, and
hopefully you guys can answer it super fast. I mean, we have a lot more
questions but only time for one more. How do you balance social media
that is general to the organization. The organization has its own Facebook
page versus a volunteer specific page. Does this overwhelmingly confuse people or take
away from the main page of the organization? So which of you would like to take
that one and answer it in 1 minute? Erin: In 30 seconds I would say it’s not
going to take away, it’s going to add to it. All of these social media sites, the reason many
of them are popular is you are going to reach different people in different spaces.
So if you make it a complementary site that is volunteer focused,
I’d say go for it. Jayne? Jayne: Same thing, it’s not going to take away.
People relate to the organization in different ways. And your volunteers are going to
love to be able to relate that way. Kami: Fantastic. So I want to spend
just a few seconds on this slide. Jayne, can you talk about the
community forums one last time? Jayne: Yes. Please go to the TechSoup
website, click on community, click on forums, and get over to the Volunteers and Technology
forum, and let’s continue this conversation today, tomorrow, next week, next month.
Keep asking these questions. We love to answer
each other’s questions. Kami: Fantastic. Well, thank you both
so much for this great presentation. Our apologies to those whose questions didn’t
get answered, but hopefully you will repost them in the forums. And we will probably take
those questions and put together a blog post of some sort to answer them in mass. So we would like to thank ReadyTalk. This
webinar was made possible by ReadyTalk which has donated the use of their system to
help TechSoup expand awareness of technology throughout the nonprofit sector. ReadyTalk helps
nonprofits and libraries in the US and Canada reach geographically dispersed
areas and increase collaboration through their audio conferencing
and web conferencing services. So again, you will receive a message from me
this afternoon with a link to the recording, the Power Point, the audio, and all
of the URL’s we talked about today. So thanks again for taking time to
join us. Really appreciate your time. And thank you Erin and Jayne, you guys are
amazing. I love doing webinars with you. So have a wonderful day and feel free
to e-mail me if you have any questions. And good luck with your social
media and volunteer managing. Take care everyone. Erin: Thanks everyone. Kami: Bye -bye. Jayne: Thanks.

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