What does a Facebook “like” Mean to Your Organization

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I was reading Social Change Any Time Every Where by Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward and I came across the term “slacktivism.”  Have you ever heard this before?  It refers to the type of activism that takes little to no effort. A Facebook “like” or a Twitter retweet for a particular charity would be an example of this phenomenon.

While I can certainly understand how the term “slacktivism” got started, Kapin and Ward go on to explain that there isn’t anything wrong with this kind of passive participation. “But there is something wrong if we praise likes and followers instead of understanding that our fans could be primed for real action and that we should introduce opportunities for them to engage in something meaningful.”

As a YMCA, JCC, or community center it is important to have both members and non-members involved with your organization through social media. If someone is following you on Facebook or Twitter that is a great first step to something larger. These followers aren’t “slacktivists,” they are taking the first tentative step towards engaging with your organization on a meaningful level whether that is through membership, program participation, volunteerism, or donations to your organization.

Shannon Fisher recently penned a guest post for Mediashift that explained, “It all starts with one post – one post that usually includes information about a topic, sometimes linking  to an article with facts and figures, and a hashtag related to the post.” Fisher goes on to explain how a cause can snowball if social influencers pick it up and share it with their networks. “The #BringBackOurGirls campaign was joined by hundreds of celebrities and political figures, along with millions of their followers, in an attempt to put public pressure on the Nigerian government to find the [kidnapped Nigerian] girls or on Boko Haram to release them.”

Take a closer look at your social followers. Are they already members? Maybe they want to feel more connected to your mission. Could you find a way to engage them with mission-related emails or phone calls? Maybe they would even be willing to become volunteers, employees, or donors for your center. If they aren’t members can you see what types of content they interact with? Maybe they just follow you to find out soccer program registration dates or maybe they are interested in other forms of participation.

You can be certain of one thing. These social followers have raised their hand to receive social communications from you. Kapin and Ward put it another way, “The opportunity is for you to hear that response [social like or follow] and give them more than a post to like — give them something with more forward motion for your mission or campaign, like …watching an informative video, making a pledge, or recruiting their friends.”

Engaging Millennials with Social Media Integration

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Are you utilizing social media to communicate with your members at your YMCA, JCC, or other member-based nonprofit? More than a quarter of respondents to Daxko’s 2015 Trends & Opportunities Survey reported using social media as their primary source of communication with members. Social can be especially important when reaching out to your millennial members and community participants. Daxko Operations offers robust social media integration in some ways that you might not be utilizing. Here’s some of the best ways to maximize your investment in Daxko Operations when it comes to social media.

Membership:

social-share-this-borderSet your social “share this” functionality for new members to place the Twitter and Facebook share buttons on the receipt page during membership sign-ups. This will reach the social following of those new members and almost certainly reach nonmembers who aren’t following your center yet. This is a great way to get beyond those who have specifically followed your YMCA, JCC, or community center on twitter or Facebook without costing you any money.

Programs:

Use the custom links provided within Daxko Operations to promote online registration for your programs. You can create links for high level tags and for the lower level programs which allow you to tailor your message on social media. For example, if you had a certain swim session that was not full you could promote just that session with a custom link or, if you wanted to promote all your summer programs you could promote them all with a different custom link. 

You can also promote links by branch which works really well for unique situations such as a particular branch that is a pool and not a fitness center. You can then promote those pool memberships in a unique way on social media.

Fundraising:

Daxko Operations has the ability for each individual involved in a fundraising campaign to have a unique link for their campaign progress board.  The unique online giving link allows friends and family to give to an individual via this link too. The fundraising participant has the ability to share their individual campaign page via social, email, etc. If you utilize Daxko Operations, you can access these custom links by pulling the Campaign Details report and navigating to the campaigners tab.

Whether or not you are using Daxko Operations, try to take advantage of some of the rich social media functionality offered in your operations system. Once you know what your operations systems allows you try to use that along with your own tools to achieve the social media results that will help keep your younger members engaged with your organization.

Check out this recent post for more social media tips and tricks for your nonprofit.

Trends & Opportunities: Member Satisfaction & Recruitment

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The following post is an excerpt from our annual Trends & Opportunities survey report. Our full 2015 Trends & Opportunities Survey report is available for download.

Member Satisfaction

Conducting member surveys is a great way to collect insight into attrition and satisfaction. The most popular ways to track member satisfaction include annual membership surveys (48%), exit surveys (51%), and collecting member feedback in a suggestion box (49%).

Being proactive about member retention can help an organization get ahead of member cancellations. Still, when attrition occurs, having a plan in place to recover lost members is important. Less than half the organizations surveyed have a member recovery plan.

51% of organizations report they conduct exit surveys to help understand why members are leaving, which is a 6% increase over last year.

Putting more emphasis on continuous feedback (think phone, email, and online) more than once a year could help centers make necessary improvements and lower attrition. Only 22% (compared to 2014’s 30%) of organizations solicit feedback more than once a year. Regular “member pulse checks” maximize interactions with members and give them a voice in the member community.

Member Recruitment

Word-of-mouth referrals are still viewed by organizations as being the most effective communication channel for attracting new members. For the first time, social media (11%) ranked behind word-of-mouth, displacing direct mail as the most effective way to attract new members.

Social media referrals may be catching on as more millennials become members. With this in mind, software provider HootSuite stresses the importance of getting your employees and your loyal followers on the same page when it comes to social:

Give your employees and volunteers a social media education. Many younger employees and volunteers already feel comfortable conversing in the social media realm and you can use that base knowledge to work for your association. Before you give anyone the keys to your social media accounts, be sure they understand how you would like them to communicate professionally in order to further the mission of your nonprofit. A helpful step is to designate one full-time employee to train and monitor the messages that are put out by others on social media. Be sure to set up social media keyword searches so you can quickly identify mentions from all sources.

Recruit loyal members to talk about your organization to their social networks. Have a running club that meets regularly at your center? Is the head of the group active in the local running community? Chances are this person has a lot of influence. HootSuite offers their “ambassadors” brand education, online recognition, and company goodies to encourage them to participate on social media. In this way, loyal members can become ambassadors for your association and for your mission. (“Doing more with Less: how Nonprofits Build Social Media Armies,” HootSuite, May 2014).

Being active on social media can often be an afterthought, but doing the work on the front end will encourage staff and loyal members to participate. Widespread participation creates an active social online community that can enhance your word-of-mouth referrals and further your nonprofit’s mission.

About Trends & Opportunities

Daxko conducts the Trends & Opportunities survey annually to gather insights on nonprofits and the members they serve. This year’s study was fielded in December 2014 via email and included YMCAs, JCCs, Boys and Girls Clubs and other community centers. We had more than 350 member-based nonprofit professionals respond to this survey representing 314 unique associations.

Social Media for Nonprofits: Driving Altruism

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This is the second part of our ongoing series devoted to social media for non-profits. In the first installment, we offered basic tips to help elevate social media efforts for your association.

A recent Forbes article by Roger Dooley, “Nonprofits: Driving Behavior with Social Media,” explores “the huge opportunity that social media offers to nonprofit groups.” In fact, social media provides many nonprofits unparalleled exposure for little to no cost. By appealing to members’ altruistic instincts, nonprofits can use social media to drive retention, memberships, and donations.

To highlight the possibilities of social media for social good, article author Dooley uses Facebook’s promotion of organ donation. The campaign spurred an unprecedented +2,000% increase in organ donation sign-ups and earned a lot of buzz in the process. Your association can use the same principals on a smaller scale to achieve success (after all, we don’t all have the backing of Mark Zuckerberg).

Dooley states that “humans are wired for altruism” and he offers examples in evolutionary biology that illustrate this statement. But, how can a non-profit use that to gain support? By publicly acknowledging, thanking and encouraging donations on your social media page, non-profits can reward and publicly recognize altruism. This drives behavior in two ways; it feeds members and donors natural inclinations for altruistic behavior and provides positive recognition and rewards for giving.

Are you curious about some other ways to use social media to drive behavior for your non-profit? Try these tips:

  1. Share Successes. By sharing successes on social media, your non-profit association is providing positive proof of how donations help carry out your mission.
  1. Tell Stories. According to The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani, you shouldn’t be afraid to share success stories and explain why you are proud of a project. Just be sure to … “do it gracefully and genuinely. People are smart and can usually sense when you aren’t being genuine.”
  1. Use social media to get online PR. Kabani also explains that bloggers and reporters often follow Twitter and other social media for stories. So, if you are sharing genuine content on these channels, try to make friends with these folks. According to Kabani, “They need stories as much as you need the press.”