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In 2013, Zoe Amar and Matt Collins, digital strategy consultants for nonprofits, started the “Social CEOs Award” after being inspired by LinkedIn’s top 30 social CEOs list. Through their research, they have found that there is tremendous benefit for nonprofit brands when their CEO does social right:
- 8 out of 10 people say they’re likely to trust an organisation whose CEO and team use social media
- 93% of employees think social CEOs are better equipped to handle a crisis
- 8 out of 10 people are more likely to buy from an organisation whose leaders use social media
In the UK as in the US, social media is more and more becoming part of the nonprofit CEO skillset. They have just announced this year’s winners and prepared an excellent briefing for Charity CEOs with articles, case studies, and examples of how to use social in every aspect of the organization from recruiting employees to governance to communications strategy.
I spent some time browsing through the briefing and looking at the award winners social media profiles. Here’s my favorite:
Mark Flannagan is the CEO of Beating Bowel Cancer. In the briefing, he offers up some rules for an authentic profile on social media:
1. It’s personal. Let people know the real you, not just announcements. Whatever you say, let it come from you, not your staff.
2. Know your role. I’m there for people, but I don’t try to do the job of our nurses who support individuals facing cancer professionally and compassionately.
3. Obey. Listen to any feedback your communications staff have about what you tweet.
4. Play. Social media should be a spare time occupation – on the train, over lunch, during down time. Not a chore as part of the work day.
5. Be spontaneous. If you see something that interests or amuses you, share it.
6. Integrate. If you blog, then link to that and update regularly. It gives more space to explain and expand beyond the 140 characters on Twitter.
7. Enjoy. Our contact with supporters, donors and others can be too formal most times. Social media breaks down the barriers and lets you speak as an individual. It is immensely rewarding, even heart breaking at times, but always worth it.
Social media is just another form of communication. Sometimes you are talking, sometimes you are listening, often both. Just let it happen and enjoy it all.
Is your nonprofit’s CEO on social media? Want some more examples and tips? See my list of CEO Social Media Resources and The Ultimate List of Nonprofit CEOS on Social Media.