At All Our Kin, we use social media—including this blog, Facebook, and Twitter—to raise awareness about the critical role of family child care and to make the voices and stories of family child care providers heard. Thanks to the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance (YANA) and YaleWomen, last week we had a terrific social media consulting session with digital strategist Jordan Ruden. Today, we’re going to step out of our usual routine to write a post about what we learned from him. If you’ve ever wanted to use social media for social good, this post is for you!
First, some background. Last fall, we were honored to be recognized for our social media work as runner-up in the first annual #Yale4Good Excellence Awards contest, which was jointly sponsored by the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance and YaleWomen. As a prize, we received a free consulting session with Jordan Ruden of Acres Media Group. Here are some of the key lessons we learned from our work with Jordan:
Know your audience, and craft content that appeals to them. Many nonprofits use social media to reach multiple audiences. This is certainly the case at All Our Kin, where we use social media to sustain our community of providers, demonstrate our impact to supporters, and share key information with policymakers. Keeping the concept of multiple audiences in mind will help us tailor content that our audiences can relate to and engage with.
Tell stories. As nonprofits, we can tell stories about the causes we care about and the individuals we impact. Here at All Our Kin, we use our blog to lift up stories of family child care providers whose quality programs serve children and families. What kinds of stories can your nonprofit tell?
Make a clear ask. Not every Facebook story, Twitter link, and blog post needs to connect to an “ask.” But if there is something you hope your audience will do after engaging with your content—whether that’s reaching out to a policymaker, signing a petition, donating, or adding their name to an e-newsletter—make that option clear to them.
Coordinate your online presence. If you use multiple social media tools and online platforms, consider the impact your blog, Facebook, Twitter feeds, and website have together. Think about ways to integrate these platforms so that it’s easier for your audience to move between them.
Investigate tools that can help you achieve your social media goals. Experiment with technologies like Google Analytics, which can help you evaluate your reach, and HootSuite, which lets you schedule your posts on Twitter and other social media sites.
Manage your social media impact. After you set clear goals for how you want to reach your audience, periodically take a step back to evaluate your work and refine your strategy.
At All Our Kin, we have found social media to be an extremely effective way to engage policymakers and build a sense of community among the providers we serve. We are very grateful to the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance, YaleWomen, and Jordan Ruden for recognizing our work and offering us strategies to deepen our impact. Stay tuned for more of the provider stories and policy updates you’ve come to expect from All Our Words. And if you haven’t already explored All Our Kin’s Twitter feed and Facebook page, we hope you’ll take a minute to do so now!