2 min Read
March 7, 2012

Book Review: 101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits

Meghan Teich

Ah, social media. The promised land for nonprofits. Every day, there’s a new success story about someone using Pinterest to get major legislation passed, or raising a million dollars through Foursquare. Ok, not really (yet). But when you’re short on resources, time, staff and money (which, let’s be honest, is not uncommon when you’re working to change the world), how on earth do you even begin to engage, or take your presence to the next level, on these platforms?

Well, Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman have put together a step-by-step guide called 101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits. With new guides, resources and how-to manuals popping up every day in this crowded field, it’s difficult to stand out.. But I think this book does – and here’s why.

Starting with basics that can seem overwhelming to those just dipping their toes in the water (e.g. #1 – Claim your Facebook username) and moving on up to the more complicated for those with a bit of experience under their belt (#43 – Livestream your events), this book takes a comprehensive look – not just at the tools and tactics, but at the strategy behind using them. Your organization can have 18 Facebook fan pages, but without a strategy to engage your supporters, you’re not exactly going to get very far. And to break it down even further, each tactic is divided into What You Need, How To Do It, and A Closer Look.

Peppered in between the tactics, Norman and Mathos include detailed case studies that show how other organizations found success. For example, in #44 – Provide Instant Access to Content with QR Codes – they highlight the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, an organization that experimented with QR codes during an awareness campaign at an LA Kings game. I won’t give away any campaign spoilers, but reading about concrete examples, both successes and failures, helps you wrap your head around the intricacies of many of these tools.

Whether your organization has a staff of four and no communications team, or several people dedicated exclusively to social media, there are relevant tips and tactics for you in this book. One of the biggest selling points to me was the focus on strategy, and their strong recommendation to get that leg work done internally before diving into any of these tactics – and no, I’m not just saying that as a Strategist. Okay, maybe a little.

As wary as I am of social media-related books with an inevitable shelf life of mere weeks, I would recommend this one to both those just getting started, and those looking to brush up on their strategic know-how before sending another tweet.

Click here to find out more about 101 Social Media Tactics.

What are some of your favorite social media tactics?