2 Essential Strategies for Nonprofit Listening & Storytelling

by Eric Melin on December 4, 2012

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What are some of the essential strategies for nonprofits when it comes to raising funds and awareness through social media?

Well there’s two basics you’ll have to master before you can reach success in the nonprofit online marketing world. (Ignore the image to the right, it’ll make sense in a second.)

First off, you have to be able to listen. Listening is the foundation for every social media strategy that you’ll build from here on out. Where are people talking about you and what are they saying? Identify advocates — Is there a community built up around your events? Should you create one?

Who’s talking about your cause? Can you forge a partnership? What is the sentiment surrounding your nonprofit/CEO? Run some comparative/competitive intelligence on other charities surrounding your issue. Where have you or others’ similar campaigns succeeded/failed?What can you learn from this? Web and social media monitoring is key not only to businesses but nonprofits.

Secondly, you have to be able to activate people and call them to action. The best and most effective way to do that is through storytelling, In this updated presentation, I talk about one campaign that worked well for a nonprofit I volunteer for (Engineers Without Borders – Sunflower State Professionals) and another campaign that I spearheaded just for fun (and that fulfilled a childhood dream) that had a very happy ending.

My first trip to Jefferson City, MO was pretty great. First off, I want to thank The Rocket Group, the Stained Glass Theatre and SocialIRL for having me speak. It’s not often that I get to speak against a backdrop of George Bailey and It’s A Wonderful Life.

I hope everybody got something useful out of this presentation, which is an updated version I’ve been working on for a while now. I’ve gotten some great feedback, and it seems to be getting better and more focused every time. Here’s my presentation on Nonprofit Listening & Storytelling. Let me know if you have any questions!



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