This week I was honored to be a part of a social media panel for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) of Greater Milwaukee! I shared my experiences of setting up and running the social media accounts for the Urban Ecology Center and some of the unique opportunities that has created. I’m proud to report that our Facebook fan page has 3,309 fans and our Twitter account has 1,529 followers at the time of this post! Overall, running those accounts has been a fantastic experience, which I was happy to have the opportunity to talk about. Here is some of what I shared:
Start a Facebook fan page with a contest.
Right around the time we were going to launch the Urban Ecology Center Facebook fan page, I happened to have been lucky enough to hear a guest speaker in one of my marketing classes recommend launching with a contest. That proved to be great advice! We launched the fan page by letting our email subscribers know that we would be choosing three new fans to receive thank you gifts. We had over 1,000 fans in the first week!
Twitter is great for conversations.
All of the panelists agreed that Twitter is the easiest media to have a conversation with followers. While we get a lot of great engagement with our fans on Facebook, what we really like about Twitter is the real-time communication. Most of our messaging on those two media are similar, but we update Twitter more frequently and can respond to people directly a little more easily.
Foursquare encourages people to come to your location and share it with friends.
At the Urban Ecology Center, part of the goal is to get people outside having fun. With foursquare, we can encourage check-ins not only at our branch locations, but we can also encourage people to check-in to County Parks and other green spaces. Foursquare users can also send out tweets and facebook messages about the locations they’ve been to, increasing the likelihood of their peers to check out those spots as well. Actually, a new service that I just discovered, takes that idea even further. It’s called SCVNGR, and I’ll write a separate post about that fantastic location based social media game!
Three other nonprofits were represented on the panel by their young professional social media pros as well. Caroline Anderson (@Caro_Anderson) represented Meta House (@metahouse) Carol Voss represented Independence First (@Independence1st) and Meghan Arnold (MeghanCArnold) represented the Milwaukee County Transit System (@RideMCTS). Kim Jahnke (@KimberlyJahnke) did a great job planning and moderating the event. I won’t try to sum up all of the wisdom that they shared, but I will recommend following all of them on twitter!