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« Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts for Your Nonprofit | Main | Organizational Social Relationship Models and Strategies »


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Victoria Pacchiana

At the organization I work for, we do a combination of #1 and #3. As the Communications Associate, I pay attention to what's being said on Twitter, and maintain our voice there, and on Facebook, MySpace, and other networks like Digg, StumbleUpon, Kirtsy etc. I typically check-in every morning with all networks, and then have my TweetDeck open all day. In total, I probably spend about 1-2 hours per day on Twitter, listening to what others are saying, reading the news they're interested in, and sharing my own insight. Whenever I find something that I think should be shared across all networks, I'll take the time to post it. I tend not to put too much on Facebook because, as a regular user, I do get irritated when organizations or companies are constantly invading my news feed. So I only like to post actionable items, or special announcements.

As for #3, our product department is just beginning to get on board with social media, and how it could help them develop the next big enhancement to our tool set. To connect with people who may know more, they've taken to Twitter to reach out to other product developers and nonprofit administrators to conduct brief interviews.


I would have to say we are a Listening Organization. The staff has multiple Twitter accounts which we use to listen to people chatting about our name, our mission keywords, our events, our advocacy efforts, our campaign, news items and other areas of interest like world health or social media. We also listen in on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and to a lesser extent Flickr. Social media is primarily monitored at the national office, but we are exploring extended usage by our chapters and divisions across the country. Twitter may be a terrific media by which we can connect folks at the community level. I have some ideas of about this.

If we learn of something through our social spaces that needs to be addressed and a comment posted, we take it to the appropriate person for input before we post.

There are many aps out there, but I use Hootsuite to manage my acounts. I also LOVE TweetBeep. I can put in keywords and then get an email when they come up. I also do a scan on Twitter Search at least once a day. We mostly use free whereever possible.

Blogs we monitor through Radian 6 and I use both Bloglines and more recently Google Reader and Google Alerts.

Thanks for this post, it really got me thinking.

Marc Vanbree

It was great to finally meet you in person, Beth! I really enjoyed the listening session. As I said at the conference, I thought I knew a lot of tools already, but now I know even more. But also, you gave me some ideas on how to streamline all those tools into one place and set up an effective listening channel.

Back at the Chicago Symphony, I knew where to go and where to listen and had a pretty well-rounded system (although it could have been more central and effective). But now in my new job, a children's policy research center, I'm having to delve into a completely different industry and figure out where the conversation is taking place.

I'm curious to see where it will lead me over the next couple of months. At the CSO, Facebook and Twitter were great tools, but now they might not be a good fit. I'm hoping that the experience I gained at the CSO will help me think creatively about bringing research projects to the people who need them most (advocates, policy makers, other nonprofits).

Setting up a more effective and well-rounded listening system is crucial. So thank you!

p.s. If anyone has any good social media case studies or stories for research institutions or universities, please let me know. Would love to talk! Find me at @mcmvanbree

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