Maybe it’s Time to Hire a Social Media Manager
By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Specialist
A lot of nonprofits still believe they can effectively and efficiently use social media by having an existing staff member or intern fill the role of social media manager. In all likelihood that simply won’t do.
For starters that staff person or intern may not know how to use social media in a way that benefits the organization. Having a personal Twitter account that you use to for entertainment and to keep up with friends is not the same as running a Twitter account for a nonprofit. To think of it another way, just because someone can successfully balance their checkbook each month doesn’t mean they possess the knowledge and skills to act as the organizations accountant.
Secondly, and I shouldn’t have to say this, but odds are that that staff person is already really, really, really busy. Effective use of social media requires not only skill but time.
To start with your organization needs a social media plan. Essentially a social media plan identifies goals, objectives, and appropriate social media platforms. It outlines a strategy for how to reach those goals. From time to time the plan will have to be revised. Each campaign you carry out will require its own social media strategy. Your social media manager is going to have to know how to plan, coordinate, implement, and evaluate a social media campaign. Again this is time-consuming and takes a certain amount of knowledge and skill.
At minimum you need to spend one hour per platform each day. So if a nonprofit has a Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn page that’s a minimum of three hours a day. If the same person is expected to be in charge of the organizations blog and newsletter that could easily come out to another three hours, and that is probable a very conservative estimate. Each week I put out a small newsletter for this site and my business. That task takes me about two to three hours each week. On average I will spend three to eight hours working on a single blog post.
In addition to managing the organizations varies platforms, the social media manager will need to evaluate how the organizations social media strategy is or isn’t working. Again this takes time and knowledge.
Now ask yourself “can our Youth Services Coordinator really act as social media manager for the entire organization”?
For advocacy and community outreach solutions (including social media planning) you can set up an appointment by calling me at 631-615-1709 or by submitting a request here.