From Wasilla Washington to Washington DC and around the globe in Cairo, people are inspired to rant, plan, organize, raise funds, and/or protest through social media. Philanthropic groups are largely expected to have a social-media presence to entice people to their causes and to help drive fundraising. We at MKCREATIVE have often touted the , and some , of social media for nonprofits.
But maintaining such a presence for your organization is not quite as ‘free’ as the software’s cost might suggest: someone needs to sign up accounts, post media, update status, and announce calls-to-action. What tools exist to help streamline that process to improve efficiency?
Fortunately for all of us, Kim Bale at SocialBrite.com has done some of the research. She lists a number of great pieces of software and services that help you keep up with your organization’s various SM accounts from within one package. Most of them also offer opportunity to make those updated posts and cross-posts from your smart phone (be it iPhone/iPad, Android, or Windows 7).
She also points out the hidden danger of allowing the convenience of one-stop-SM-management to drive one’s ambitions to get the word out:
Auto-cross-posting your daily blog updates may be a great way to drive traffic to your site and keep your followers interested. Auto-cross-posting your hourly Twitter updates to Facebook, however, may clog your supporters’ news feeds and prompt some of your supporters to banish your updates. To avoid that, have a clear idea on who your target audience is and which medium is best to reach them, then choose a service that allows custom cross-posting only on the sites that make sense.
She discusses Wordbooker, Twitter for WordPress, and XPollinate (for all you poor Windows users) among others. One of her favorites is ours too: Hootsuite, which allows you not only to cross-list your many accounts, but to chose which combination of accounts send out which postings, tweets, or updates. is another that offers a one-stop-interface, and we know many who swear by it (This blogger, though, finds it a bit tricky to get my head around. Hootsuite presented itself in ways I found easier to get up to speed).
Hootsuite is free for smaller, somewhat limited accounts, and a paid subscription opens loads of features to track metrics and link many of your organization’s contributors to your social-media toolbox. Tweetdeck is always free. Both (and many others) work across platforms and on many mobile devices.
For the larger nonprofit or charity, Sendible might be a better investment. It not only brings your social-media arsenal within one command module, but it offers a myriad of click-and-save tools to build e-blasts (and their email lists) and to keep track of who is following what messages and media. It even allows you to batch-produce tweets or posts or emails and send them out over a month-long schedule. Allowing a single brainstorming session to build a great campaign for an upcoming event!
Check out some of the other services and softwares that Ms.Bale has outlined. Even those that will cost come with 30- or 90-day trials, so you ample opportunity to find which works best for you and your colleagues without putting money on the table. And don’t forget to check out the mobile apps she also introduced, so you can post your updates while in the field or at the conference.