Should Your Booster Club use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc?

So you want to use Social Media for your booster club…

Social media conept in word tag cloudYou connect through social media networks in your personal life, so why not use those tools for your booster club? Creating an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media feed is very easy.  Yet maintaining those feeds efficiently for a small nonprofit presents a number of challenges.  On the surface, it seems like the hardest part is choosing which platform (Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest) is most suitable for the members. Under the hood, you need to schedule volunteer hours for the inevitable time suck of social media. Before starting an account and making it the official mouthpiece of a club, we advise that you make a plan.

First, consider your audience. Are they participants, parents, financial supporters, or all three? Then identify the voids in your communications strategy that you hope to fill by using social media. What works or doesn’t work in the communication system that you already use? What tools could be added or improved? Do volunteers want a better way to share photos? Are members losing emails in their inboxes? For more on identifying your audience and what they want, check our post Social Media Strategy for Booster Clubs. (coming Thursday)

Second, secure volunteers. Find the right pair or trio of volunteers that commit to maintaining your social media channels. There’s no point in building a mailbox if no one is going to check the mail. Only when you identify the new functionality you’re seeking and the people to run it will you be able to choose which social media platform is best for your club.

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Which Social Media Platform is the Best for Booster Clubs?

I Don't KnowWe think that there are a few social media platforms that have a lot to offer booster clubs. Below is our take in a couple of seconds. Click the links to be taken to more detailed reviews with pros and cons, dos and don’ts, and helpful vocabulary and insights set to demystify and cut through the jargon. We’ve also included links to additional resources for each social media platform, as well as real examples of the ways that booster clubs and nonprofits are using them right now.

Note: if a title is not hyperlinked, it means that the review of that social media platform is not up on our blog yet. To get the latest reviews and time-saving tips, sign up for our mailing list. You can also read our past social media posts

Twitter proved itself to be a great for live updates, photos, and commentary. It’s not so great for reference information like volunteer documents, and meeting schedules.

Facebook provides a space for reference documents, photos, and event calendars. But it’s not the fastest medium, and it can get a bit cluttered if it’s not properly managed.

LinkedIn is a bit of a toss up. Will it connect your booster club to the business community in a significant way, or is it a waste of time? We reached out to booster clubs that actually used LinkedIn, and you can read all about it in our full post.

YouTube video editing and shooting can take a lot of time, and we don’t consider your time lightly. However, there are a few great examples of efficient and punchy videos that are worth producing. YouTube channels are also a great way to curate content that’s relevant to your club.

Pinterest. What’s with Pinterest? It’s become more popular than Twitter and it’s still unclear how booster clubs can take advantage of it. We’ll be researching it in the coming weeks.

Interested in a social media platform that you don’t see here? Ask us to review it.

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Power Users and Managing Multiple Social Media Platforms.

Boy with books scratching his headHow do organizations publish on 2, 3 or even 5 platforms all at once without going crazy? How can they ensure a regular stream of content with making it their full time job? They use management applications inside (native) and outside (third party) their social media applications to automate most of the work.

  • High tech: “Third party applications,” that is, websites that help you manage multiple websites. The most commonly used free provider is Hootsuite. Using their service you can schedule posts in advance to push them out at a steady pace across multiple media channels.
  • Low tech: “Native applications.” From inside a single social media site, you can often post to other platforms as well. Here’s the low-down on the low tech tricks for the top social media sites as of press time.
    • Instagram: allows posts to multiple sites
    • Google Plus: Twitter/Facebook plugin works well, and there may be other plugins
    • Twitter: offers scheduled tweets for advertisers only, but there’s a trick. You can become an “advertiser” in two clicks, and use the scheduling service without paying any money or entering a credit card.
    • Facebook: has a scheduling feature for FB Pages.
      • There’s no scheduling feature for FB Groups. When managing posts for a Group (or any social media feed not covered here), it’s okay to make a bunch of posts in advance in a text document, and paste them in when you want to publish.

Additional resources for power users: so many people have written about multiple platform managers. We selected the best articles that are most relevant to booster clubs.

2 Pieces of Advice

We hope this post helps you select the perfect social media channel(s) for your booster club. Once you’ve chosen, how should you use them? Here’s two essential pieces of advice:

  1. Official communications: be clear what is an official source of the club (agendas, meeting times, cancellation notifications) and what’s more for sharing and discussion.
  2. Multiple administrators: at least two people should have access to accounts, including usernames, passwords, and basic working knowledge of the tool. People move on, get sick, and go on vacation. A second set of hands can help make sure communication never stops.

For more on how to use social media sites most effectively, check out our post  on social media strategy. You can also sign up for our mailing list so that you don’t miss a single post in our social media series.

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