I just got back from the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference, where listening was top of mind: Listening to the amazing speakers, listening to the #nptech community, and listening to all the great ideas floating around the halls of the Washington Hilton. I gotta hand it to Holly Ross and the tireless NTEN team for putting on yet another fantastic event!
While listening is critical at an event like NTC, it’s also a key function back in the offices of our nonprofits. Listening to our supporters can help in so many ways, and social media has made it extremely easy to so. But how?
If you’re lucky enough to have a decent budget, you can look into social media monitoring tools like Radian6. These tools provide great in-depth resources, but most of us will need to find an alternative due to financial constraints. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to create a social media listening dashboard using the free tools already out there!
At NTC, I delivered a 3-hour learning session on how nonprofits can strategically align their social media activity with organizational goals. Part of this session covered listening, and I was shocked at how many nonprofits were not formally doing it.
Create Your Social Media Listening Dashboard
Below is a worksheet that will walk you through the steps needed to create a social media listening dashboard in iGoogle. I originally developed this content with Danielle Brigida (@starfocus) for the 2010 Blackbaud Conference for Nonprofits, and I’ve used it many times since then to help organizations get their programs off the ground.
This worksheet helps you identify what terms you need to be monitoring, what platforms you should use to listen for them, how you can generate RSS feeds from these platforms, and finally how you can create a dashboard in iGoogle. Feel free to download it and start listening today!
Is your organization listening to social media channels? Let me know how in the comments.