Creating a Social Media Army: Turning Volunteers into Online Ambassadors

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Information about Creating a Social Media Army: Turning Volunteers into Online Ambassadors

Published on February 17, 2014

Author: daniellanordin



We all know social media is important but now that you have Facebook fans, Twitter followers and #igers, what do you do with them? Turn them into online ambassadors for your institution! Your volunteers are already engaged and ripe for the picking. Learn how to turn these top influencers into online ambassadors: influential, highly active Internet and social media users who drive fundraising and advocacy activity through their actions on social networks.

+ Creating A Social Media Army: How to Turn Volunteers into Online Ambassadors Daniella Nordin, Online Community Manager Megan Mercier, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs & College Events

+ The Big Picture • Skidmore alumni in the field • Top Influencers • Advantages • Goals • Examples • Plan

+ The Big Picture

+ Skidmore’s Social Media Alumni Facebook Page Twitter • 1950s: 1 alumni • 1940s: 3 alumni • 1960s: 2 alumni • 1960s: 6 alumni • 1970s: 18 alumni • 1970s: 29 alumni • 1980s: 47 alumni • 1980s: 47 alumni • 1990s: 40 alumni • 1990s: 97 alumni • 2000s: 86 alumni • 2000s: 748 alumni & students *Analysis of 25% of Facebook fans Total contributions = $638,045 *Analysis of 100% of Twitter followers Total contributions = $546,170 Total lifetime contributions from Twitter followers (alumni, friends, students, parents, etc.) = $942,071

+ Skidmore’s Social Media College Facebook Page Instagram • Total (identifiable) Skidmore Facebook fans: 279/8,000+ • Total (identifiable) Skidmore Instagram followers: 193/550 • Total Skidmore Facebook fans found in Advancement database: 111/279 (40%) • Total Skidmore Instagram followers found in Advancement database: 52 (30%) • Total number of fans who donated: 52/122 (43%) • Current students 22/52 (42%) • Total number of followers who donated in FY13: 10/52 (19%) • Total number of fans who donated in FY13: 16/52 (31%) Total donations: $68,912 Total donations: $16,620

+ Social Media Plan • How do volunteers factor in? • Define volunteer role • Set goals • Measure (and celebrate) success • Communicate • Manage  Social media manager?  Young alumni staffer?*

Volunteer Engagement + I have a plan, now what?

+Sample Volunteer Management Framework Assess needs Measure outcomes Develop & plan Market & recruit Recognize Supervise & evaluate Interview & select Develop/Train volunteers SOURCE:

 Build relationships with existing volunteers  Retain existing volunteers by giving them meaningful work and new opportunities*  Be an active listener; Provide feedback and encouragement  Recruit new volunteers*  Acknowledge and appreciate volunteers – send notes of thanks and make sure to highlight their efforts in communications from your office  Assign work that is necessary (to the institution) and matches (or develops) skill set  Provide training, support, and communication The Volunteer Manager’s Role

Volunteer Manager Behaviors DELEGATE TRAIN • Communicate specific steps • Assign to new opportunities to expand volunteer repertoire • Provide with insider information • Assign responsibilities and let them be creative in accomplishing role • Trust them, don’t micromanage YOUR W MOTIVATE BEHAVIOR I GUIDE L L • Clearly outline your support • Give them clear deadlines •Lots of encouragement • Match their expertise to the role • Start them small and/or keep them small • Know when to minimize their involvement SKILL

Examples and Best Practices What to do with your plan + and your volunteers...

+ Facebook  Encourage volunteers to do more:  Don’t self-promote  Start (and continue) conversations by asking (and answering) questions  Encourage people to attend events (and attend them yourself!)  Share page posts and resources  Tag friends in posts and photos  Comment and “like” on other Skidmore fan pages  Post about your experiences

+ Twitter  Encourage volunteers to:  Use links to more info  Ask friends/followers to RT  Say “thank you” and recognize others  Share posts from @YourSchool and other sources  Some examples

+ The good, the bad, and the ugly Posts that do well Posts that don’t  Photos  The dreaded ask  Current events  Not knowing your audience  Nostalgia  Too long  Opportunities to tag  Too esoteric  Personal and with personality  When you ask!

+ Questions? Daniella Nordin –, @DaniellaNordin Megan Mercier –

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