Using Social Media to Recruit Volunteers – Part 1

Yesterday I met with a terrific group of local volunteer managers from East Bay nonprofit organizations who attended our “Using Social Media to Recruit Volunteers Training.” As always, it was a great group of thoughtful, driven people who spend their days making our communities better. (Can you tell I *love* my nonprofit colleagues?)

Most in attendance were new to social media so we covered a lot of the basics. Here are a few key points about social media best practices.

  • Look before you leap. Listen to what others are saying about your organization, and pay close attention to what other organizations with similar missions are doing online. Learn from their mistakes and successes.
  • Start small. Try one new network at a time. Consider your primary audience and review research to find out where those folks are online and go there.
  • Set S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely).
    Examples: increase number of potential volunteers contacting your organization by 10% within six months OR increase unique site visitors to your website by 55% by engaging new supporters via social media by Jan. 2012.
  • Recruit help! Involve co-workers, volunteers and Board members in creating content. More voices, ideas and opinions increase the richness of what you have to offer to your fans and followers.

To learn more about social media from people who have a lot more experience (and success!) using it that we do, check out these resources:

Do you have resources to suggest? Please add them in the comments section below!