On March 23, VolunteerMatch presented Social Media and Volunteer Engagement, a new webinar in our Learning Center series for organizations that work with volunteers.
With its promise of affordable outreach tools for reaching and engaging new audiences, social media strategies are one of the hottest topics these days. The presentation focused not only on how to get up to speed using services like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn for volunteer engagement — but also how to integrate those programs with the VolunteerMatch network.
With the addition of new sharing tools that VolunteerMatch has added to its system, in essence, these burgeoning online communities can now be though of as extensions of the VolunteerMatch platform, and vice versa.
Among the takeaways from the presentation were:
Social media is about giving and receiving. Determine what you have to give and how you can help your volunteers help you.
There are tons of sites out there to choose from. Experiment with a few and stick to where your audience is.
Social media can save you time when recruiting volunteers, can help you learn more about how to craft better volunteer opportunities and can increase your organization’s exposure to the world and new volunteers.
Social media is free to use and it’s easy to sign up. If you’re not comfortable exposing your personal information, consider creating profiles for your identity at work so that you can retain some of your anonymity.
Volunteers want to see the organizations that they support on social media because it gives them a way to connect in a new and more engaging way.
Use tools in your VolunteerMatch account to easily share your own listings with your online networks. Also, encourage volunteers to use the AddThis tools on your publicly-facing pages to share your opportunities with others.
Robert led VolunteerMatch's communications until 2014 and is editor of Volunteer Engagement 2.0. Today he lives in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he works with VSO, the leading INGO involving volunteers in the fight against poverty.