If you’ve been to a Net Tuesday social media workshop you’ve probably had some delightful social media kid tell you that you’re using social media “wrong.”
“Listen to your supporters – don’t yell at them!”
… is what they said. But how exactly do you “listen” on social media? How do you make sense from the noise? And isn’t that going to be time consuming? (You’ve got a real job to do – social media is just one of many things on your plate.)
Luckily tools like Hootsuite (who sponsor Net Tuesday!) make social media listening easy. All you need to do is identify your keywords or important supporters and then set up a dashboard.
You can listen in two ways:
- To specific people
- To hashtags or keywords
Are your donors, volunteers or staff already on twitter? Add them to a list so that you can focus in on what they’re saying. See what they’re talking about and then join in.
Hashtags are basically topic markers that tweeters use to mark their posts so that others interested in the same issues can find them. They are indicated by a pound sign like “#”, followed by a short keyword. eg.) #JelloShooter.
How do you find the right hashtags to follow? You can start with this list for nonprofits or use a hashtag explorer like hashtagify.me to see what your community is already using.
Add your hashtags to a search and check in on it daily to see what captures your community’s interest. Or create a search for your organization’s name and see if people are gossiping about you!
Scheduling your tweets
Now that you’ve found the community you want to interact with it’s time to start talking with them! But what if you can’t spend all day on social media? HootSuite has got you covered ! You can schedule your tweets so that it looks like you’re online all day (even if you just popped in to check your social media for ten minutes at the beginning of the day.)
You can schedule your posts directly from HootSuite or you can use their browser extensions and automagically schedule any interesting links you run into throughout the day.
Net Tuesday is thrilled and honoured that HootSuite is our social media sponsor. HootSuite allows us to work as a team to monitor and respond to the Net Tuesday community on social media. Between the keyword dashboards and the ability to schedule tweets we’ve been able to tame the social media giant. HootSuite provides an invaluable tool and supports the social sector – check out their 20% nonprofit discount!