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« The value of attending Gnomedex: Priceless | Main | SXSW: Last Chance to Vote for Nonprofit Panels! Some more thoughts about the Nonprofit, Social Media, and ROI Case Study Slam »


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In your experience, is Facebook a viable outlet for social marketing in the nonprofit sector?

Beth Kanter


My answer - it depends on the audience, goals, and strategy.

I'll let Marc take a stab at this question.



Thanks Beth, for posting this!

Now on Melanie’s question: I think Beth hits the nail on its head. It depends on the audience, goals and strategy. As I explained in the article, we’ve opened up opportunities to communicate with a whole new audience of younger patrons and the numbers suggest a large interest in an official Fan Page. Combine this with 100 page views per day on average, and more when we put out an update, and there is definitely something to say about raising awareness about let’s say, a music director announcement, a particular radio broadcast or a concert event.

When we did the ticket giveaway (telling people to take action: go to a special Web site and e-mail us the answer), we had a good number of responses. I don’t know the number of additional Web site visits, but we received a good amount of trivia answers.

Although the first signs on the surface are positive, as we continue with our Facebook adventure, we’ll have to set some measurable goals to find out if it is indeed a viable outlet.

So, ask yourself what you want to achieve and then figure out how you can best achieve it. Because every case is different, results will depend on your audience and your strategy.

Beth Kanter

Oops .. I just noticed a humorous typo in the title of the post
sympony .. thanks to Twitter friends who noticed it.


Great post, I really enjoyed this. I think a big question mark remains for a lot of brands that are debating the value of creating a fan page, setting up a profile on Twitter, etc. With nonprofits, the strategy is a bit more clear cut when there is a solid cause or mission in place that requires support and community. I often feel social media is perfectly tailored for nonprofits in that sense of now having unique channels to connect with like-minded people and niche audiences. Great to see CSO having such success with these tools and being smart about the listen/monitor/survey approach.


Thanks for sharing Marc. I work for a gov entity that's really an arts org in disguise, and we're trying to figure out how to best engage in social media. I'm advocating for us to use it more as part of our outreach efforts because I think we're missing an opportunity to communicate with the new audiences we're always talking about developing for the arts. The ROI ideas were particularly helpful as you're correct, it is important to be adding more value than just "keeping up with Joneses." And I'm especially keen on the idea of listening first, as, of course, inevitably the push escalates to "act and get big results" long before you're actually ready for that.

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