From recruiting to coordinating to showcasing impact, social media and volunteer engagement are a great match – perhaps because both are inherently social in nature. In this special series of posts based on discussions held at our 2011 Client Summit, we’re exploring the intersection of social media and employee volunteering.
1. If You Find Them, They Probably Still Won’t Come
When initially exploring the possibility of using social media, the first step is to find your audience (in this case your employees). Then go to them – don’t expect them to come to you. If they’re on Facebook, put up a Page. If they’re Tweeters, learn to speak in 140 characters. If they’re on LinkedIn, get a group together. If they only use email, make your newsletter really stand out. If they love watching funny YouTube videos, better start practicing in front of a mirror.
Your hub for social media questions: Join the “Social Media and Employee Volunteering” discussion on LinkedIn.
2. There Are Other Social Media Platforms in the Sea
Don’t make the mistake of limiting yourself to Facebook and Twitter. They might be two of the most popular social networks, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right choice for your employees and your volunteer program. Don’t forget about the wonderful and unique options available on YouTube, Flickr, and niche networks like Epernicus, BlogHer, or Second Life. There is also always the option of creating your own internal social network for your employees. This is a “safer” option, although it will require time, tech resources and money. Some good places to begin if you’re interested in building your own network are Yammer and Jive.