Social Media Training Tips for Nonprofits
Many nonprofits rely on several staff or volunteers to manage communication through the organization’s social media channels. Conducting a thoughtful and effective training is an important step to ensure that your organization is maximizing opportunity and reducing risk with these tools. Below are a few steps you can take to strengthen your training for staff and volunteers.
Have a clear purpose
Before conducting any training you need to ensure that you have thought through the objectives that you hope to accomplish in the session. Build your training around the role that you want your volunteer or staff to have. Are you training volunteers to set up their own pages? Are you training staff to post and respond to incoming communication on your organization’s channels? As you begin to build your outline for a training, think about the question, “What do I want people to take away from this?” This should guide the discussion and help you ensure that you’re properly educating your audience.
Stay positive and professional
Training people to implement social media often means you’re giving up some control. You will be allowing staff and volunteers to post on behalf of your organization. It is vital that you that you are comfortable that they will properly represent your brand. A key part of brand management is ensuring that online communication doesn’t misrepresent your charity or ignores people with concerns or criticism. Take time in each training to teach volunteers and staff that they should always be courteous, positive, and professional in their outgoing communication. While it may seem like common sense, communication can quickly deteriorate. We’ve discussed tips to avoid a social media PR disaster – this starts with your training.
Use real life examples
By providing real examples of best practices and things to avoid you help to provide greater context in a training. How-to documents and best practice tutorials can only get you so far. A good training will always provide opportunity for those learning the platforms to dive into it – either through the personal social media pages, or a test page.
Provide opportunity for questions and feedback
Your staff or volunteers will have a wide range of skill and knowledge prior to the training. You should be prepared that some individuals will have additional questions. Create an open door policy that will help people feel comfortable with any type of follow-up question. Schedule quick refreshers for staff or create an ‘office hours’ time in which people can call with questions.
Code of Conduct
Developing a Code of Conduct for users also helps to further define roles and expectations. It creates an environment in which you can give personal feedback if someone isn’t following instructions or representing your organization in a preferred manner. An important step in valuing your volunteers and staff who are communicating on your behalf is ensuring that they understand what is expected of them.
We hope these tips will help your nonprofit organization hold a successful, efficient, and impactful training on social media tools.