On September 11th, our Digital Team attended a Social Media for Nonprofits Training at Google Cambridge hosted by HandsOn Tech Boston. Mike Byrnes from ESC New England presented an overview of all social networks and how nonprofits should be utilizing them. Here are the key takeaways from each social network that we learned from the training: • Facebook– Facebook’s algorithm is called EdgeRank. It is determined by affinity score, weight, and time. In simpler terms, affinity score means how connected particular users are to one another. The more connected you are (i.e. frequent wall posts, high number of mutual friends, etc.) the higher your affinity score will be. Weight refers to specific actions on Facebook that will create stories. For example, a picture or image will have more weight than a link, which will have more weight than a wall post or “like”. Lastly, the older your posts get, the more points it loses, simple as that. This is called time decay. KISSmetrics created this infographic on what times it was best to share on Facebook (and other social networks). The study revealed that the most optimal times to share on Facebook were on the weekends and at lunch time. • YouTube– Pictures are worth a thousand words, and at times videos even more. The best way to ensure your videos are successful is to create a call to action. Most people forget that YouTube is a social network, and a call to action reminds your viewers that it is an interactive experience allowing them to take action and feel invested in your work. There is also a YouTube Nonprofit Program to help nonprofits activate their cause. • Twitter– Twitter is an increasing news forum where your followers can get information quickly. Using 71-100 characters for your tweet has proven to have 17% more engagement. Using the advanced search tool on Twitter can be helpful in finding people in your location, noticing hashtag trends, and other specific details refined to your cause or industry. Twitter Analytics is also a great tool for the more social media savvy. • LinkedIn– The most professional network, there is a 98% higher comment rate when you add an image to your post on LinkedIn. You can also embed YouTube videos in your posts which will play directly on the page. Mike Byrnes discussed the difference between recommendations and endorsements and how LinkedIn will eventually be upgrading their system to allow more credible insights; so stay tuned. • Google+– Google+ is the newest social network to hit the scene. It is a combination of a few different existing social networks, but the most useful tool for nonprofits is circles. Circles act as groups allowing you to separate your contacts by industry, interest, location, etc. in any way that will suit your content and goals. To learn more about our non-profit practice area, click here. To read more about our mission clients, click here.