Organizations name: Drone Research
Every time you hear the words “social media” I bet your connotation is “marketing”; and yes, I am going to focus on marketing today, but would like to change the usual scope and concentrate in nonprofits and their ways to market their services an recruit new audiences. In order to get a sense of the reality in nonprofits, not the theory, I asked around and got the impression that many of the nonprofits are focusing on marketing of events and raising awareness.
I had the great opportunity to interview Robert Krutko, the secretary of Drone Research.
The organization has reached phenomenal exposure in the social media within couple of months. More than 11,000 Facebook fans, over 1,000 Tweeter followers, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest active accounts, and the numbers are growing daily.
Drone Research “seeks to share knowledge of building and using low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles for conservation, Agriculture, Environmental, Disaster, Search and Rescue-related applications with researchers/Nonprofits worldwide. We will work closely with all groups to help them understand the use of drones for their particular applications. We also work with children with disabilities allowing them a chance to fly and explore without leaving the ground”.
The following Q/A will give you an idea of “how to grow your social media no matter the size of your organization”, says Krutko:
Q: How do you market in social media?
A: Drone Research is using social media, because nowadays every organization needs it, and we know that there is huge potential in social media, so have decided to take it on. Moreover, today drones are a hot topic, and this is one of the strengths – people are interested in what our organization has to say. For the average person trying to manage all these accounts it would take them a week just with Facebook content to do what we do in 1 hour a week with many accounts.
Q: What can you tell me about numbers in Facebook, engagement, etc?
A: We have started eight month ago with Facebook, dedicating half a day for searching of materials to post, and manage the page. This was very time consuming leaving us no time to manage our other social media platforms. It grew up very fast and reached over 11K fans, after we automated it. The LinkedIn account was launched about a months ago, and gets followers every half an hour. Google+ and Pinterest are acting the same – many people enjoy the great content we provide, and want to help and promote it, so they retweet and share, and it helps us to get more and more people engaged and following us. To be successful you need plenty of content that your viewers like and find beneficial.
Q: Do you see a difference between platforms (e.g Facebook vs. LinkedIn)?
A: There is a difference, but we have learned how to automate our social media use, so we invest only 10-15 minutes a day in social media, and get over 15-20 articles to post in the different platforms. The automation leaves us time to manage the pages and concentrate on our work with drones. Automation has taken us to new levels and growing daily, people understand that we are active and as a result they engage.
Q: What are your suggestions to new users / organization which want to start using social media?
A: This is a good question. There are advantages but there is also a potential harm. If someone uses social media improperly they can do harm to their companies/personal reputation, and do a lot of harm. If you do it correctly, you open yourself to the world, this can cause your company/organization to grow by leaps and bounds. However there are disadvantages – for example it may be very time consuming, If you open a social media account and leave it sit without content people will see this and it doesn’t look good.. This is important to understand that there is a difference between tools and platforms, and automation can make your life easier. Always remember that you can do harm as well as greatness – so you have to be aware of using social media and what is needed to grow your business/organization and not harm it…
Listen here to Robert’s thoughts about advantages and disadvantages in social media use among nonprofits:
And watch an example of one busy day of social media for Robert…
An introduction to social media (in case that you want to start learning social media today…)
Why “content is king”, and why you should stick to stories when you use social media for nonprofits:
Lessons to others:
Message #1: Do tell stories. Do not use social media only as a tool.
Organizations tend to use social media without conveying a clear message, and by that they miss the opportunity to gain advantage from the readers.
When you use social media – frame your message and articulate a compelling story, people will get to know your organization better and keep you in mind. For advanced users – add photos to strength the story your told.
Message #2: Create social media strategy, do not act randomly.
Most of the nonprofit organizations do not get professional help in the process of developing social media strategy; and therefore it is often done improperly.
When you decide to use social media, find a professional volunteer or a part time worker to plan and execute this strategy well. As a result your organization will enjoy from positive comments and actions, raise more money for your activities, get more people to your events, and raise awareness of your service.
Message #3: Be aware of the differences between platforms, and automate it
Many organization which have made the move and started using social media, often forget the difference between LinkedIn and Facebook, or Instagram and Pinterest. The story you tell is supposed to be relevant and adequate to the platform, because different platforms require different stories.
The first difference is the platform itself (for example – Tweeter’s 140 characters limit), and the second is the totally different audience (for example – LinkedIn is a professional network). If you learn where your audience is, you may master your ways of telling relevant stories for these specific platforms. There is also an option to automate it, and get your audience engaged even more.
Robert Krutko will be holding a webinar in April on how to grow your social media and website presence. This webinar will cost $25 and all proceeds will go to Drone Research. The webinar will concentrate on growing your Social Media and growing your website in search engines and hits. “This webinar will blow your mind whether your a new company/organization or your established you will learn a lot” says Robert Krutko “Many webinars are done to sell you something, but our webinar will show you how to grow your social media and websites for as little as $5 a week”.
Robert will also be showing you the newest automation tools he used and where they can be purchased. “We don’t make a dime from any services our webinar points you to we just want companies/organizations of all levels to have access to this great stuff. To hire out your websites SEO and social media promotions it would cost $300-$500 a month or more. I will show you how to do it for pennies on the dollar with great success and how to avoid the pitfalls and errors”.
In summary, Roberts stresses: “many large business have people who just work on their social media and have the budget to do so. My method will give volumes of content to your social media in minutes for those who don’t have very large budgets to hire someone full time to manage their social media”.
Submitted by: Socialmed_Ia – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.
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