Thankful

What are you thankful for this week? I'm thankful for this catchy Facebook post from Shannon Hall and her team at the Sarah & Irving Pitt Child Development Center of JCC Metro Detroit. With the discovery that the most popular posts on their page were the photo collages, and knowing that the children would be focused on giving thanks in celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving (and Chanukah!) holidays, the team developed this creative idea. Using smart phones, the team snapped a few photos of children, noted what they were thankful for, and added the speech bubbles using the free PicSay app for Android phones. For iPhone users, the free app Bubble works great, too.

Then, in order to attract more attention then they would have by posting the photos individually, they collaged three responses into one photo using PicsArt, another free app for Android, iPhone users, check out the free and easy to use PicStitch. The result was a playful, eye catching photo.

They combined with photo with an invitation to a week long game. Comment on the post and they'd ask your child next. And comment they did! Parents responded with curiosity about what their own child might say, and also added their own grateful comments. The result is a community expression of gratitude, perfect for the week before Thanksgiving.

What was the strategy behind the team's thinking? As part of their work in this year's Jewish Early Childhood Social Media Academy organized by the Alliance for Jewish Education at the Jewish Federation of Detroit, the team wanted to celebrate the children and families within their preschool program in order get the word out to the larger community about their offerings. Their strategy is to encourage their current actively involved on Facebook parents to inspire others to join the fun. Focusing on organic, fun, and engaging posts, their Facebook page has been a model of successful early childhood engagement.

In addition to achieving this immediate goal, creating social content that gets people to comment increases your "weight" in the Facebook algorithm.  Your content is therefore more likely to show up in the newsfeeds of others who have liked the page, which leads to more engagement, which sets a very positive snowball in motion.

How are you stewarding a culture of thankfulness and engagement on your Facebook Page?

9 Tips to Boost Your Facebook Page Search Rankings

Cross posted with permission from http://www.johnhaydon.com/

One thing that's often overlooked in the year-end fundraising dash is making sure we can easily be found by people looking for us. Particularly on Facebook and Google.

Here are 9 things you can do NOW to optimize your Facebook Page for both Google and Facebook’s Graph search:

1. Tweak Your Page Category
Make sure you’ve selected the best possible category for your Page. You can edit your category by going into your Page Info area (Edit Page > Update Page Info).

Select the category that best describes your organization. Trying to avoid picking "Nonprofit organization". If your nonprofit is an art museum, pick "museum".

2. Tweak Your Page Sub-categories
If you have a Local Place or Business, you can add up to three sub-categories. These can be added / updated within your Page Info area (Edit Page > Update Page Info).

3. Complete your Address
Graph search will allow users to search for local nonprofits their friends like, so make sure your physical address is complete and current (Edit Page > Update Page Info).

4. Complete Your About Section
The information you share in your “About” section will help people find your Page in search. Particularly if you put keywords at the beginning of each field.

***What are keywords you ask? Keywords are phrases people enter into search engines, for example "breast cancer". Note that they are not necessarily single words. If search engine optimization is new to you, read this article.

Do not start off with “We are a 501(c)3 organization…”People don’t search for "501(c)3" when they’re looking for services and resources for breast cancer patients.

5. Tag Your Photos
Photos are a primary content type displayed in Graph Search results. Make sure you tag each photo with your Page name and any location associated with the photo.

6. Pay Attention to Photo Descriptions
When you post photos, make sure you use appropriate keywords. These keywords are also used in Graph searches.

7. Create a Username
If you haven’t done so already, create a custom URL (username) for your Page that includes the name of your organization. This will improve your SEO on both Facebook and Google.

8. Continue Creating Killer Content
Remember, like Google, Facebook wants to display the best results at the top of a search. To rank search results, Facebook looks at how much people have talked about that specific photo, video or text update.

9. Don't Forget Hashtags
Although hashtags are relatively new on Facebook, make an effort to include at least one hashtag keyword in each update. But search that hashtag first to see how prevalent it is.

Vine vs. Instrgram Video. How Do They Compare?

 

This past week, Facebook launched a video component to their already immensely popular photo platform, Instagram, in order to compete with Vine, the short form video app by Twitter.

Vine

vine_icon.png Launched by Twitter, Vine is a micro-video app that allows you to record six-second videos on your phone and share them on Vine and Twitter. You can record all 6 seconds at once, or break up the six seconds to record separate images in a series or "stop motion" style. Vine then displays the videos in a loop, similar to a GIF.  (Yes, you might be thinking, 'aren't animated GIFs so 1999?'  Yes, but they are making a retro comeback, especially through Tumblr and with new tools like Vine).  In some cases the looping effect holds your attention longer, and allows for a deeper understanding of what might appear simple on the surface.  But in some cases the looping effect can be annoying.  Perhaps in the future Vine will allow it as an option.

After downloading the app, you can start and stop the video by tapping and holding the screen. When finished, you simply upload the video and can add comments and hashtags. Similar to Twitter, when tagged, a video can be seen by anyone, but you only see videos by users you follow in your feed. Vine videos can be embedded anywhere on the web and uploaded to Twitter and Facebook as well. A quick Vine tutorial is here.  Warning: it's slightly more than 6 seconds!

Instagram Video

instagram-icon.pngTo compete with Twitter’s new mini-video feature, Facebook launched its own version of Vine, via Instagram.  Instagram video is not a separate app, but rather incorporated within Instagram. Users simply download the updated version of the app and a new video button appears when taking photos on your phone. This video feature can be started and stopped like Vine, but can record up to 15 seconds and allows for editing and filters, similar to Instagram photos. Unlike Vine though, Instagram video can only be uploaded via Instagram or Facebook, whereas Vine can be embedded anywhere on the web.

Instagram video also includes a cover photo (you can choose which frame of the video you want to show when it's displayed as a still image — it doesn't have to be the very first frame), and video stabilization.  These videos do not loop as Vine does.  A quick Instragram tutorial is here.  Also more than 15 seconds!

 

So what should I be using?

Vine does have the largest audience in terms of short video app users. But that audience is only 11% of the total video sharing market, whereas Instagram holds 35% of the photo sharing market, and has 130 million users. Despite the newness of Instagram and the fact that you're not currently able to embed those videos, its audience and relevancy eclipse Vine’s, and it offers more features.

The looping of Vine and the ability to embed the videos elsewhere online can, and will, probably be added to Instagram in the future. But since both are free, it doesn’t hurt to download both and see which one you like better.  If you're already a regular Instagram user, it may make sense to integrate your short format video work into that existing channel.  If you have not created an Instagram channel for your organization, you may find Vine more attractive since you can embed those videos elsewhere to augment other channels.

Here’s a breakdown via TechCrunch (read the whole article here):

instagram-vs-vine5.jpg

 

 

 

Video Video Video. You Need It. Here’s How.

Video matters.  It grabs more attention, tells a story more effectively than text, is easily sharable on social media channels, and can be a conversation starter (how many times have you said to a friend, "have you seen that TED Talk about …"?)

Recently, YouTube, See3, and Edelman teamed up to survey the role of video within the non-profit world.  Surveying over 450 respondents representing a vast array of nonprofit organizations, the study revealed that nearly all nonprofits recognize the importance of video (91% of respondents say they want to be making more video).  Yet respondents were less confident about their capabilities to effectively utilize video in their communications strategy, and how much they should be investing in creating high quality, professional video assets, as 76% responded that they don’t know how to measure video success analytically.  

While an increasing number of nonprofits are learning about the power of creating their own video assets, there are many ways you can leverage video in your work.

1) Not all video needs to be highly professional.  Jewish Community High School of the Bay recorded a brief video of a student leading a Zumba class.  This snippet was gold on Facebook as they began to shift their social media strategy to a more transparent community building approach.  Informal (yet still high quality with attention to sound and lighting) works well, in the right setting. See our post about the new short format video apps Vine (on Twitter) and Instagram for tips on creating even shorter videos.


2) Curate great video content from others.  IKAR was smart in creating a video that sent a powerful message that was applicable to a wide audience.  While the video clearly adds to the IKAR brand, it was really easy to forward and repost because of the universal message.  This is creating social content at its best.  Many individuals and organizations reposted this video because it fit with their own brand and personal ethos. 

3) Use video as a conversation starter.   ELI Talks are a series of short, thought provoking videos of live talks related to Jewish community and culture.  Conceptually derived from TED Talks, ELI Talks are a great way to begin deep conversations among staff, boards and other groups about issues of great importance to the Jewish community.  For example, Rabbi Sid Schwarz’s talk describes his experience taking a group of synagogue members to volunteer in Haiti, and Gidi Greenstein's talk explores the balance between flexibility and rigidity as we chart our course into the Jewish future. You can find discussion questions underneath each video to get the ball rolling in your conversations.

4) Go small.  Two new applications have recently taken off that allow you to record short — very short — videos via an app.  Vine is the Twitter based app (6 seconds), and Instagram just release their own version (15 seconds).  By definition these are short, and if you use them well, short and sweet.  Many nonprofits are creating simple videos that help viewers connect to their mission powerfully by 'reporting from the field' (see the Humane Society and Charity:Water examples).  Other brands are putting in more effort (often with stop-motion design) to create powerful mini-mercials (see these examples from Etsy and lululemon).  Collections of short videos like this, a regularity of posting them, help tell a story in a unique and powerful way, that's quick and authentic.

For more about the survey and resources to help you improve your video efforts, check out the full YouTube/See3/Edelman survey report and online video guide here.

How are you using video? Share your stories and post links in the comments.

Creating Conversations and Giving Everyone a Voice: Talent Recruitment at Hillel

Instead of simply posting job openings, we use this space to highlight the great work happening at Hillels around the world, where students are engaged students in Jewish life, learning and Israel.  As a result of all this, hired, we have completely changed our outlook on how social media functions for our organization.

In the spring of 2012, Hillel’s Human Resources team set out to play a more active role on social media to help us better recruit for Hillel, share job listings, tell our story, and grow our presence online.  Under advisement from our new Digital Media Manager, Monica Herman, we worked to define strategies we could use in the social media space. We quickly realized that it had to be about conversations. While this seems natural on our personal Facebook accounts, it’s actually something that can get lost in organizational social media. Followers want to be engaged in the conversation with your organization, not just reading posts, no matter how fabulous what you have to say may be. 

We determined who we wanted to hear from, and what we wanted to talk about. For Hillel’s HR team, that was job seekers, former and current Hillel professionals, graduating college seniors and graduate students, potential professionals, partner agencies, placement professionals, and the wider Jewish community.  That’s a LOT of constituents and a lot of different messages!  We have found that, when we tell our story through the voices of those we impact, many of our stakeholders join the conversation in meaningful ways.  They get to tell their story through the lens of Hillel.  The organization is no longer the only voice, which is a good thing!  Showcasing your organization’s diverse population and encouraging your people to share improves relationships and communication for everyone.

For example, we launched a blog post series highlighting why our professionals love what they do.  This forum enables them to tell their stories and share what resonates with them about their jobs.  The professional benefits from great PR for their local Hillel and provides them with a platform to talk about their journey and what their career means to them.  We know our stakeholders enjoy hearing directly from someone on campus about how they are making an impact or working through an issue. Colleagues also share these stories with their own networks, and comment on their peers’ experiences. In addition, from an HR perspective, potential job seekers can learn from these posts how they could fit into an organization like Hillel, and even contact the professional directly to learn more. Far better than the HR recruiter posting 10 reasons why it’s fun to work at Hillel, right?

We identified the specific social media channels that were better suited for different types of conversations than others.  Originally, we used Facebook to post every new job as they came up. Now, we use a dedicated Twitter profile for that, and direct active job seekers there for real-time updates on what’s new. We also follow job-hunting resources and share links, tips and strategies on the interview process and how to manage a job search.  Updates from @Hillel_Jobs are also shared with the broader Hillel Twitter account, @HillelFJCL, raising visibility to a broader group of stakeholders. Using LinkedIn, we explore the benefits of working for Hillel, and share and discuss relevant articles and trends in the job market and hiring practices. Candidates can also find me, a real face, in case they’re interested in learning more.

With this new social media strategy in place, we’ve broadened our presence across multiple channels. Hillel's Facebook page engages directly with students, parents, professionals, partner organizations and supporters. Instead of simply posting job openings, we use this space to highlight the great work happening at Hillels around the world, where students are engaged students in Jewish life, learning and Israel.  As a result of all this, we have completely changed our outlook on how social media functions for our organization.

We don’t have all the answers yet, and there’s much more that we will learn around this, but we’re excited to be engaged in the conversation! We’d welcome a discussion about what’s working for your organization and what challenges you’re facing around this issue.

Aviva Zucker Snyder has been the lead Talent Recruiter for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life since 2009, after starting her career in Jewish student life, and later as the Executive Director at University at Albany Hillel from 2002-2008.  You can find her on LinkedIn, where she spends a lot of time networking.  When not online or on the phone, she’s either training for a half marathon or running after her almost-5 year old, Noa.

 

Its not just about the money

As participants in the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy, we have faced many exciting challenges this year.  Getting our social media presence up and running was the first hurdle – daily posts, monitoring the likes, the reach, the insights overall – it has been a whole new world of lingo.

Once we had established some social media “cred”, we then ventured to the next madrega (level) – social media fundraising.  While initially we were most excited about the potential funds raised through the campaign, in hindsight we realize that we gained much more from the experience than the funds.  The obvious benefit was the prospect of raising important funds that could be matched an additional $10,000 from the AVI CHAI Foundation.  The side (and possible more useful?) benefit was watching as our school transformed into a community of PR ambassadors and fundraisers within a matter of hours.

Here’s how we did it:   

  1. Strategically craft a campaign – we spent a considerable amount of time deciding specifically what the campaign would support.  Once decided upon, the next step was to ensure that the administration “bought in” to the idea and would follow through on the expenditure of this money.  We made sure to select programs that would benefit the entire PreK-12 student body and would have broad appeal. Hence, our campaign was dubbed the “Music and Movement Challenge” supporting enhancements to the athletic and music co-curricular programming at RMBA.
  2. Create a fundraising campaign on Crowdrise.com – a social media fundraising website which allows individual campaign champions to set up their own pages and tell their stories to their personal social networks of why our school (and this program in particular) is a worthy cause.
  3. Tell the world – send out messages to the entire school community letting them know about the exciting matching opportunity and seeing who would rise up to be a champion of our campaign.
  4. Train the champions – in a Powerpoint presentation, we told the campaign champs how to create their own personalized crowdrise.com pages.
  5. Incentivize the champions – by announcing amazon.com gift cards to the champions who raised the most money, and who secured the largest number of individual donations, we created a more energized team.
  6. Watch the money roll in – within hours, our champions were talking up the campaign and bringing in gifts.

The rewards:

a.       $15,000 toward the enhancement of our music and athletic program.

b.       A dedicated group of champions who spent their time talking up the school and encouraging others to donate to our cause.

c.       Virality – champions were talking about our school to their cousins, employers, college roommates – anyone who might support them and their school.

We were overwhelmed with the positive response garnered by the campaign.  The utilization of our champion’s personal social networks created a fun, yet competitive, vibe which motivated all to push themselves for success. 

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2012-13 nationwide cohort of 20 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here this spring with the tag #jdsacademy

The 2013-14 cohort is currently in formation. If your school or community is interested in more information, please contact Lisa Colton.

 

Facebook: A Transformation

 

Imagine this: a school without a Facebook page! How could this be?

We asked ourselves the same thing, prior to joining the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy. With approximately 400 students ranging from 18 months – 5th grade, Temple Beth Am Day School is a large Reform Jewish Day School that is part of Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest, Florida. While the Temple had an already existing and active Facebook page, the School was overdue in its use of social media. Upon joining the Academy, we realized immediately that it was imperative for the School to have its own page. Upon starting the new page, we had 5 likes, which included two community members, the Temple Communications Director, the Campus webmaster, and me. We knew we had work to do! With the help of our exceptional coach, Jenna Silverman of Big Duck NYC, we merged our various groups, pages, and places to create a clean and efficient Facebook page. Voila! It was time to launch our “Like Campaign”. In just a few months, we acquired 158 “likes”, and counting. Our active page is the place to go for the most up to date photos and information from our school.

The shift was palpable in our administration, as well as our parent body. Parents delighted at the opportunity to share our posts with their friends and family. We delighted at the opportunity to break down the walls of our regular e-mail blasts, and use social media to engage our parents. I (as the Admissions Director) continue to delight in the opportunity to access a whole new group of prospective school families in a way that is sincere and direct!

Our very supportive school administration is constantly informing me of school “moments” or events that should be posted on our page, and linked back to our website. Our Communications Director “shares” relevant posts between the Temple and School pages to make for one consistent social media “thread” from our facility. This has allowed for an opportunity for School families to have knowledge of Temple happenings, and vice versa. We truly take pride in the social media collaboration that has evolved from this experience.

As our School evaluates how we will use technology in a way that is purposeful, meaningful and effective; the leaps that we have made in our use of social media are on target.  We eagerly anticipate the future use of a School blog, Twitter account, and updated website. We also hope to create an alumni page that allows Temple Beth Am Day School alumni to be aware of all that is happening today on this vibrant campus. We have truly evolved in our knowledge and use of social media, and we are grateful for this transformation.

Cari Altman is the Director of Admissions at Temple Beth Am Day School in Pinecrest, Florida. A Pinecrest native, she truly appreciates the importance of the values-based education that comes from a Jewish Day School education.

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2012-13 nationwide cohort of 20 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here this spring with the tag #jdsacademy

The 2013-14 cohort is currently in formation. If your school or community is interested in more information, please contact Lisa Colton.

 

 

Carefully Curating Content

 

As a parent volunteer who is not at Shulamith School for Girls of Brooklyn every day, being admin of the school’s Facebook page is a fun challenge. Initially I shared interesting online articles, and links from Facebook Pages that I already followed, on topics I thought would interest other parents like me. After we were accepted to the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy, our Facebook Likes and interactions increased tremendously as I learned to curate, not just find, the content to share. We created a POST Plan that helped us figure out our target audience, and then used Facebook Insights to figure out which posts were most popular. We then created a schedule to post about those topics. 

Shulamith School for Girls of Brooklyn originally created a Facebook Page in 2012 to share photos of the recent school dinner. Posts were few and far between before we joined the Academy. As we learned from the Academy coach, webinars, and Sharefests, I began posting more regularly and began paying attention to Facebook Insights. (For more on using Insights to figure out which posts work best, see the fantastic article by another Academy participant, here: http://bit.ly/10GzUyu.)

Now I search for and save the images and articles that appeal to our parent body, our alumni and donors, and potential Shulamith families who want to see what our school is all about. So, in addition to posting photos of school events that our principal emails or shares via DropBox, I schedule carefully curated content 3 days a week. On Monday, our followers know to expect a Middot Monday post about encouraging positive character traits in our children. Tuesday Tips and Teachable Thursday posts are about parenting and education tips that families can use at home. Additionally, on Wednesday I welcome everyone who Liked the Page since the previous Wednesday.

I search for interesting articles all over the web. Three times a week I spend about half an hour visiting websites and Facebook Pages to look for new material for our Page. I started following educational tweets on Twitter, even though our school is not on Twitter yet. I curate stories from sites like Edutopia, HuffPost Parents, The New York Times, Aish.com, OU.org, and even the IDF Facebook Page (because our school is uniquely Zionist in Brooklyn). When I find something that will interest our parents and other followers, I save the links to bit.ly so I can track which links were actually clicked after I share them on Facebook. Keeping track of Insights and bit.ly clicks helps me look for more of what our followers want to see. For instance, articles on teaching children about finances were viewed more than articles about the impact of the lack of sleep.

Like the other Academy participants, I also found that posts with photos or videos of our students were viewed, commented on, and shared more often. A Welcome Wednesday post can reach 75 to 100 of our followers. Adding a photo of six girls in the hallway boosts that to over 200 views. Vintage class photos from the 1960s-80s each received hundreds of views, and alumni reconnected on our Page.

Thanks to the JDS Social Media Academy, our Likes increased from 49 to almost 200. We’ve reconnected with alumni and watched new friendships form in Facebook Comments. When I go to school for parent-teacher night and other events, parents come up to me to thank me for sharing such interesting articles. They say they look forward to checking Shulamith’s Facebook posts every day. Carefully curating content pays off!

Tova Ovits is a freelance editor with a daughter graduating from Shulamith School for Girls of Brooklyn. She volunteered to be Shulamith’s Team Leader for the JDS Social Media Academy for the 2012-13 school year.

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2012-13 nationwide cohort of 20 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here this spring with the tag #jdsacademy

The 2013-14 cohort is currently in formation. If your school or community is interested in more information, please contact Lisa Colton.

 

 

A Meta Learning Curve: Social Media to Promote a Blending Learning Day School

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. 

I figured between having a Facebook account and teenage daughters, I would be ahead of the game in this process.  Yet even with my familiarity with social media tools, participating in the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy really put me into the shoes of our students. 

Our school was at a unique disadvantage in the marketing process – we have little administration, a small parent body and no alumni.  While being described as a technology-driven school put us into a broad category of educational institutions, our goals differed from other establishments under the “technology” umbrella.  Our primary objective was to educate the community on our mission and philosophy; to avoid being considered “a school with computers”.  Blended learning means different things to different people, and our work with the JDS Social Media Academy gave us the necessary tools and strategies to spread our message and correct the misconceptions about our school.

Our Facebook Page has developed into a dynamic instrument; a living, breathing creature that communicates our vision.  The Jewish community at large has been fascinated with our school from its inception; pre-conceived notions flew around Shabbat tables, and opinions followed suit.  Truth be told, there was no way to distribute the real information because there was not yet any evidence.  September 2012 came and went, and Yeshivat He’Atid is thriving as a Jewish Day School operating with a blended learning model.  Through the mentorship of the JDS Social Media Academy, we have learned to target our social media audiences and showcase our evidence.

On September 16, 2012 – a few weeks into our inaugural school year – we posted a “Happy New Year” message on our Facebook page.  For a brand new school of 116 students, the viewing statistic was encouraging.

 

Following training in strategic social media use, here is a screenshot of our Yom Ha’atzmaut Facebook post:  

Close to 2000 people saw this post, the overwhelming majority being viral!  Using Facebook and other social media tools systematically and strategically has unveiled what we are all about.  Perhaps most notably, it has allowed us access to a broad, very curious audience, and let us mitigate the pre-conceived notions through a forthcoming and non-threatening avenue.

Having the tools, using the tools, and using the tools properly are three very different things.  It is easy to put a computer in a classroom.  It is even easy to turn it on.  The challenge is to effectively and efficiently provide a targeted, personalized experience.  While our teachers and students have immersed themselves in our brand of blended learning and met this challenge head on, I have incorporated this same philosophy on the business end.  I had the tools.  I used the tools.  With the unwavering support of the JDS Social Media Academy, I now use the tools effectively and efficiently, providing a targeted, personalized experience.  And we have the data to prove it, both in the classroom and out.

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2012-13 nationwide cohort of 20 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here this spring with the tag #jdsacademy

The 2013-14 cohort is currently in formation. If your school or community is interested in more information, please contact Lisa Colton. 

The Best Advice Facebook Ever Gave Me

Originally posted on Clips and Phrases.

Well, not Facebook per se, but the fantastic, smart, and savvy folks on it. In short, I was preparing for a panel on social media marketing and put the following question out to my peeps:

"What's one thing you think is critical for (Jewish, nonprofit) social media marketers to know, do, or avoid?"

And here are the answers I got, divided into handy-dandy categories for your reading pleasure.

It’s Social Media, So…Be Social:

The conversation is happening with or without them. It's best to be a part of the conversation and get their ideas/analysis into the mix and be actively engaged. –Ellen Slaggert Neuchterlein

Keep it a two way street– post things, get info out, but welcome and then follow through with that which comes back. –Anita Saltzman Silvert

Use your greatest advantage – your natural networking abilities – to create a network of people who are talking about the organization rather than to be one person talking to many. – Debra Askanase

Another point is related to those above – that it's not a "push-out-the-message-via-PR" strategy, but one of bi- and multi-directional engagement. Ask questions, listen to the answers, and prepare to translate those pieces of feedback into action to improve the product/organization/reputation/service. –Esther Kustanowitz

It’ Ain’t All About the Benjamins, Baby (At Least Not Yet):

One thing to note is that the number one goal of social media for non-profits can't be fundraising, if people feel that all you are doing is asking for things they won't engage. As everyone said, this is a two way street, so social media should be used to get people more vested in a non-profit via meaningful communication. That way, when the non-profit asks for help, the person has a stronger connection to them because of the social media relationship they have developed. There is a slew of research that shows that social media helps brands be top of mind, for future engagement, not for immediate spending. –Rae Gross

Using social media is a two way street, the non-profit needs to give those following something (i.e. relevant information about whats happening in the community, educational, historical, fun, etc.) before they start trying to fundraise to those followers. Also, should create engagement and not just "push" things out to show they are posting. – Micha Siegel

Be You! Do Yo’ Thang!:

DO be likeable and approachable through your media and always align with your mission, vision and values. DON'T avoid the complaints-feedback and how you respond is part of becoming more likeable. –Elaine L. Suchow

Have personality! Make sure it's consistent with your brand identity not just the person with their fingertips on the keyboard. Though making sure they're REAL is also great, as long as it's consistent. Have fun! –Lisa Colton

Tell the story through the relationships and the experiences. People not product. Unless it's dark chocolate with sea salt. New personal favorite. –Shariee Calderone

Spell-check is Your Friend, and Other Practical Nuggets:

Know who you are talking to and what that person/audience cares about. –Rebecca Saidlower

I always see a lax attitude when it comes to grammar, punctuation and diction. The more professional they come off, the more respect they get from the public. –David Steinberg

Keep your personal and work accounts on different apps. –Leah Jones

Especially with Jewish audiences, I like to point out that although these communications tools are often seen as "technology" (and therefore SCARY!!), what the tools provide is an ability to expand our points of connection with individuals and build a stronger Jewish community. Usually when that's stated, it helps calm tech-anxiety. Also, if you talk about Facebook as facilitating Jewish geography, that usually gets a giggle and a nod as people begin to get it.  –Esther Kustanowitz

And, a Final Note on Courage:

Dare to say only what's worth saying. Work hard to figure out what the hell this might mean. –Ken Gordon

What resonates with you on this list? What would you add?