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One-Page Social Media Strategy

Lori Halley 06 July 2010 4 comments

Overwhelmed by the task of developing a social media strategy for your non-profit organization? Don’t know whether you ought to “friend” or “like” or tweet” to get the best mileage for your message in the social networks? Jumpstart the planning process with Jay Baer’s smart one-page Social Media Strategy Worksheet.  


Does this business-oriented worksheet apply just as well to non-profits?  Absolutely. 

For “client,” read “your organization.”

For “sales,” you can sub in “donations” or “memberships” or “event registrations”… whatever concrete goals you want to achieve through your interactions with people through social media – Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, or wherever you choose to engage. The other two points (“awaremess” and “loyalty”) are obviously right on target for non-profits, as is.

The “pitch” – 120 characters – will be a handy brief description of your organization and/or its mission. And the length of your pitch does matter!  For one thing, 120 characters is just about ideal for Twitter retweets, About Us boxes on blog sidebars, handshake-length introductions at networking events, brochures, and even the back of your business card. Even more important, however, is that a strict word-count limit will force you and your board to get to the core of your mission statement and keep focus on your organization’s one thing, its raison d'être.


How does the audience use social media?

Now, that’s an interesting question. In Baer’s 7-step plan, you’ll pick no more than two of five categories drawn from Forrester’s Social Technographics™ Ladder.   Make that six, now – the “Ladder” model  was updated earlier this year to include a sixth category of people/behaviors patterns to add to your worksheet: Conversationalists.

If you’re filling out the worksheet as a group exercise, you might want to start out the session with a review of Forrester’s explanation of the various groups who form the ladder’s rungs, just to be sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to identifying how your audience uses social media.

What’s your current relationship with the audience?

Are you trying to reach out to your existing members and donors? Or to prospective members and donors? Maybe, if awareness is your non-profit's main point in social media marketing, the target audience will be people who have no relationship (yet) with your organization. Figuring out all this in advance will help you to know where to look for your audience online, and also how to shape your messages in terms of both content and tone.

Print a few copies of the worksheet to hand around at your next board meeting, get each person to fill it in independently, then compare results to see where everyone’s perceptions overlap – and where the gaps are!

“Before you begin,” however, Jay Baer cautions,

Commit to worrying about social media tools last, not first. Why? Because tools will change. They always do.... If you fall in love with tools, you’ll constantly be changing directions, with no real plan to guide your way.

Makes sense to you?

If your non-profit has already developed a social media strategy, please tell us about it in the comments. What advice would you give to other small non-profits for creating their own social media plans?

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Tuesday, 06 July 2010 at 3:15 PM


  • Kelsi Guidry said:

    Wednesday, 07 July 2010 at 5:51 AM

    This is a great article for anyone wanting to create SIMPLE strategy for social media. I know I go a little for into detail when creating mine, but I think i'm missing some of these key areas as seen in Jay's tool. I will be adopting this

    I started the non-profit HelpOilSpills.org in response to the recent BP oil spill. We are creating and aggregating content for our blog. We share posts on Twitter and Facebook, and we also interact with individuals as much as we can on each. We have plans to start getting individuals who are helping to send us videos or pictures of them helping the with the oil spill so that we can post all of that content and show how ppl are helping.

    Things are going ok, but would like more response and conversation

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Wednesday, 07 July 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Hi Kelsi, thanks for introducing HelpOilSpills.org to us!

    I find the exercise of crafting that 120-character pitch is really useful - and you might, too. The pitch helps to bring your organization's goals - and preferably its one primary goal - into clear focus. From there, you're better equipped to zero in on defining your target audience and to determine the best metrics for measuring progress towards that goal. And then, finally, you can look at the tools and tactics that are most likely help you move your audience to the specific action(s) that will contribute to meeting your goal.  

    "Conversation," for example, I'd seee as more a metric of "engagement" than a concrete goal. So you might want to think about what it is, in practical helping-oil-spills terms, that you'd like to see come out of that conversation -- does that make sense to you?

  • Allison Zimroth said:

    Friday, 09 July 2010 at 7:43 AM

    Thanks so much for this inspiring article! I work in the non-profit group at BKV, a full-service agency in Atlanta, GA, and found your article very helpful to validate some social media strategy we're working through w/ a few clients. I've even linked to your blog post on our internal blog here: http://my.bkv.com/blog/comments/yep-your-organization-needs-a-social-media-strategy/

    Thanks again for providing such quality info to get the conversation started!


    Allison Z.

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Friday, 09 July 2010 at 8:48 AM

    Thank you, Allison, that's very kind! So glad we're able to help. :-)

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