Are you looking to branch out in social media beyond Facebook? Is it time for your nonprofit to see other networks? Kerri Karvetski shares three questions you need to ask yourself before going ahead.  You can learn more from Kerri about how to design social media campaigns later this month in Advanced Social Media Strategies: Running Campaigns and Building Engagement on Multiple Social Networks.

Here are three core questions to consider before committing your nonprofit to a new social media channel.

BUT FIRST, a plea.

If you can, dip your toes into a social networking site as a person first, then later establish an official presence for your nonprofit. Why? It’s difficult to jump into a social network and represent your nonprofit without knowing the lay of the land. I know that’s not always possible, but it is always a good idea.

QUESTION 1: Who’s There?

Are your people there? Who would you like to reach? Volunteers, donors, peers, policy makers, press, women, men, teens?

It’s possible you may refine your target audience once you enter the channel and feel your way around. The point is, look for your people, follow your people, and engage with your people (like, comment and share their stuff).

For demographic data, turn to Pew Research’s Internet & American Life Project.

Pew Social Media Demographics


QUESTION 2: What are They Doing?

What kind of content are people sharing in this channel? What does engagement look like? Can you detect sentiment?

I call Instagram the happy channel because that’s the predominant sentiment there, along with beauty. Twitter is the biggest peanut gallery ever invented (for better or for worse) – it’s the pulse of humanity. LinkedIn is the place to share professional articles and achievements, not pictures of your puppy.

Here’s a quick look into what kinds of content are shared in different social media channels.

Social Media Content Type


 QUESTION 3: What’s My Objective?

So, what do you want to achieve on this channel? Reach influencers? Listen? Customer service? Network?

Well, let’s look at what’s possible. Check out this chart on channel objectives.

Social Media Objectives Chart


Want to drive traffic? Pinterest is pretty good at that. SEO? YouTube and Google+ (no surprise there; Google rewarding engagement on its own networks).

What’s next on your nonprofit’s social media horizon? Here’s what the Nonprofit Communications Trends Report revealed about which social networks nonprofits are experimenting with. How about you? Share your networks and your experiences in the comments section.

P.S. Learn how to make the most of your current social networks in this month’s webinar: Advanced Social Media Strategies: Running Campaigns and Building Engagement on Multiple Social Networks.