Which each passing year it seems that more and more people are spending time on social media. At the end of last year, Pew reported that 71 percent of U.S. adults who are online regularly use Facebook, up from 67 percent recorded the year before. Other popular social networks are much smaller, but still growing. Twitter, for example, saw its usage increase from 16 percent of U.S. adults to 18 percent last year. LinkedIn jumped from 20 percent to 22 percent.
Given these statistics, it goes without saying that nonprofits in North America need to be putting a greater emphasis on social media when it comes to getting the message out about their events. This, after all, is where their audience is located.
The problem is that many nonprofit members assume that this is easy. After all, they say, even children can figure out how to use a social media website. While that may be true, using these resources effectively to maximize impressions requires some knowledge and skill.
Say, for example, you are using Twitter to promote an event. According to an article on the Canadian Society of Association Executives, it is important to have put some thought into your @ handle and #hashtag, as these will be among the most recognizable aspects of your message and will help it reach the intended audience. In addition, choosing a specific #hashtag early enough will establish it so that people who attend the event and wish to tweet about it know to use that same #hashtag.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry. Not everyone who works for an association is a social media expert. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to invest in the proper training.