Fri, March 22 2013

Guy Kawasaki’s top ten social media tips for nonprofits

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Social Media •

Guy Kawasaki

Yesterday, the team here at Network for Good had a fantastic webinar with technology guru Guy Kawasaki.  He provided his top ten social media tips for nonprofits.  They are well worth sharing.

If you want to listen to the whole webinar (recommended), simply register here.  (It’s free.)

In the meantime, here’s a quick summary of the wisdom he shared.

1. Start Yesterday: Begin soliciting support through social media action immediately.  The day you have an idea is when you should start with a tweet or blog.

2. Segment by Service: People use social networks for different reasons.  Match your agenda and your efforts to the outlet.  Guy identified five “Ps”—

People - Facebook.  People go to Facebook to connect with people they know.  It’s about pre-existing relationships.
Perceptions - Twitter.  Twitter is about sharing perceptions about what’s around us with the world.
Passion - Google+.  Guy believes people don’t go to Google+ for the same reason as Facebook - it’s less about who you know and more about sharing your passions widely.
Pinning: Pinterest is for posting visuals.  It’s about the medium more than the people.
Pimping: LinkedIn.  Guy apologized for the word choice but says he feels LinkedIn is for business connections and finding jobs.

You can have success on any of these platforms, but you need to approach each with an understanding of its culture and purpose.

3.  Make a Great Profile: Spend as much time as you can spare developing your nonprofit’s profile, finding great pictures for your avatar (person affected by your cause or an awesome high-res version of your organization’s logo) and generally establishing a compelling, attractive and interesting presence.

4. Curate and Link: You don’t have to do all the work of creating content!  Curate and find links to other people’s interesting articles, video and photos that position your cause well. 90% of your posts should pertain to interesting things related to your cause - not simply self-produced self-promotion or self-serving calls to action.

5. Act Like NPR: Guy is a huge NPR fan (and was recently on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, a dream of his).  He says that’s why he doesn’t mind their pledge drives.  He says if your nonprofit provides great content every day, people won’t mind when it’s time to promote your organization on social media to solicit funds, volunteers, etc.  Your nonprofit will have “earned the right” to ask for help.  People may even be happy to give!

6.  Restrain Yourself: Limit self-promotion to 5% of what you say - the other 95% should be great content. This approach will yield more fans.

7.  Add Bling: On every post, include a picture or video (that is properly credited to the person who created it).  Visuals matter. 

8. Respond: Commenting on what your followers say and joining conversations will take your nonprofit’s social media presence from interesting to passionate.

9.  Stay Positive or Stay Silent: Remain positive or at the least neutral. Once negativity is introduced, your social media credibility will diminish. Avoid “trolls” (hecklers and contrarians).  Stay relentlessly constructive and don’t go round after round to argue points.

10.  Repeat: If the content is truly superior, don’t be afraid to repost and repurpose.  People rarely see everything you say or do, so it’s okay to circle back on something special.

I hope these are helpful.  And if you have time, I hope you can listen to the webinar.  It’s great practical advice on how to take your nonprofit’s social media presence to the next level.

  • Comment: (12)   


Great advice full of many important points, but I have to disagree with the LinkedIn point in #2. LinkedIn is really changing and developing into a valuable source of news and information - if you use it correctly.

I think Guy’s viewpoint on LinkedIn once rang true but is getting out of date. And it’s easy for someone so well-established to look down upon business connections as ‘pimping’ but it’s a necessary and valuable activity for many of us! Not to mention the fact that I have been thrilled to reconnect with business connections that were also friends with whom I lost touch over time.

Thank you for the post!

Posted by Marlene Oliveira  on  03/22  at  09:48 AM

Some excellent points. I feel like Pinterest should be getting more attention. It is a great way to bring people to your blog.  When you post a photo it attaches a link to that photo that will bring the person back to that photo’s source.  I make sure to use an interesting photo with each blog post then pin it to an appropriate board on my Pinterest account.

Posted by Rachel L. West  on  03/22  at  10:32 AM

Just sent a link to this great post to my networks. I’d add my two cents to some of the comments re: Guy’s take on Linkedin, that we at ReThink are finding it an indispensable tool for building connections across a sector of nonprofits and for finding and building connections to reporters. But thanks for the great advice Guy and thanks to Network for Good for hosting this. Looking forward to viewing the full session.

Posted by Lynn Fahselt  on  03/25  at  01:39 PM

You ever notice when you say something (often) no one seems to get it? Then someone else comes along and says the very same thing you’ve been saying and all of a sudden…wow! They get it!

I hope this is one of those times when Nonprofit Leaders will just “get it!”

Posted by KA Coleman  on  03/25  at  09:29 PM

great website info

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/26  at  07:23 AM

This is great advise and l hope non profit organization will adopt some of these advises. The Non profit leaders should not be demoralized once they do not achieve what they planned for. They should be consistent to what they intend to do. Thus they have to repeat what they failed to achieve only if they know it is very important and beneficial to the organization. Otherwise, thanks for these good advice

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/27  at  04:41 AM

Really good article with great content. This information is relevant to all types of social media!

Posted by Paul Hammond  on  03/28  at  11:57 AM

Thanks so much for posting Katya—Guy is such a worthwhile “guy” to listen to on all things social media. I would second Marlene’s comment however, on the importance of Linkedin.  Linkedin Groups are hugely important and great for publicizing webinars, etc. I would also add webinars to the mix for elevating your organization as a go-to leader in topic x, as well as enabling you to partner with other orgs to bring in more followers.  Another nice thing about LinkedIn is that you can cross-post to Twitter, which is more bang for your buck with little effort.

Posted by Virginia  on  03/28  at  03:02 PM

I agree with everyone regarding LinkedIn.  As a blogger there, I find it’s been an amazing tool well beyond job networking.  So I agree with all of you on this one.

Posted by Katya  on  03/28  at  09:54 PM

Well stated social media tips for n-f-p’s to be utilized effectively.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/30  at  07:13 AM

Thank you for all these great tips! I’m going to recommend this article to anyone on staff who has an interest in the topic!

Posted by Cynthia McDonagh  on  04/01  at  09:09 AM

Overall- really good!
Similar to the other comments re #2/Segment by Service and LinkedIn, maybe a better “P” than ‘pimping’ would be “Purpose” and how LinkedIn can be effectively (ie purposely) used for business connections, organization promotion/education, networking, etc. Since as we all know- nonprofits are businesses too! wink

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/03  at  12:26 PM

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