Winning the Internet

Social Media Toolkits: all the cool kids have them (but most won’t share)

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

One of the biggest impediments to achieving anything that you set out to is the lack of plan. The same holds true in social media.

Many nonprofits and small organizations have jumped on the social media bandwagon because ‘everyone else is there’ or because their competition is doing it. But those aren’t good reasons to go at it without a plan and you owe it to yourself to put some structure in place.

The problem is: there is no one book that tells you how to create one or what it should encompass; and those who are ‘doing social media well’ seem to be Fortune 500 companies and they sure aren’t sharing their secrets.

Upon my hire as the marketing & communication specialist at a small organization, I was tasked with creating a social media toolkit to be used by managers in charge of staff who hosted social media accounts. At first, it was daunting and I spent about 3-4 months total amassing all of the materials needed until I had a completed manual.

So what do the ‘cool kids’ know that you don’t? A social media toolkit for nonprofits and small organizations should include the following:

  • HR Considerations (including defining company accounts v. private accounts)
  • Your organization’s social media guidelines/policy
  • What is social media? (defining the tools)
  • How your company uses social media (strategy)
  • How your organization monitors social media (reputation management, public relations, marketing, etc)
  • Social Media strategy template (extending the current strategy)
  • Social Media Tools Census (a collection of all accounts, logins, and users)
  • Additional items: benchmarks, reports, and best practices
Every aspect of the toolkit is necessary so don’t skip any parts.  
Producing this document will 1) help bolster your organization’s communication efforts and 2) help you establish yourself as a subject matter expert on social media. During my research, I discovered that my organization had over 125 social media accounts (1 for every 3 staffers) — many with unknown logins and users, accounts that were long dormant, and many written in the voice of the poster, not the organization. My research assisted our department’s business case, moving us from a tactical role to a strategic one — ultimately becoming a direct report of the  CEO.
Still need a bit more help or an actual template? Check out the CDC‘s Health Communicator’s toolkit.

About Jenifer Daniels

an award-winning educator and communicator, jenifer daniels 'friendraises' for candidates and causes; helping them obtain new friends, educate them about their mission, mobilize them to act as advocates, and acknowledge their efforts in doing so.

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