What is a Social Media Ambassador System?
Social media ambassadors are people who are passionate about the work that your organization does. Every good non-profit already has social media ambassadors in their midst. These are people that periodically “like” your updates on Facebook, occasionally retweet your tweets, and perhaps mention you every once in awhile in a blog post. The goal of a social media ambassador system is to shape these individual musicians into an orchestra (or trio, depending on what is needed) that can perform together for your organization at any given moment in time. A thoughtfully created ambassador system can generate awareness of your work, raise funds, cultivate volunteers, ensure attendance at your events, and spread thank yous far and wide. A well-crafted social media ambassador system will significantly expand your reach, and allow you do quality PR/marketing on a limited budget.
1) Recruit The Right Ambassadors: Social media ambassadors can be your current staff members, your alumni, your clients, your parents, and other supporters. The first step to recruiting is finding out who is active on social media. By reviewing social media profiles you can learn who uses various platforms and whether they might be a good fit for your ambassador system. Not everyone is cut out to be a digital volunteer, approach people who you feel could best represent your organization through their positive participation with social media.
2) Be Clear About Responsibilities: Ideally you are handpicking a team of people who are knowledgeable about your organization, comfortable responding to inquiries and questions, and can speak to the mission of your work. You may tap certain individuals to be retweeters, others to write a post on their Facebook page, or some to simply forward an email to people in their network. The responsibilities of the ambassadors will likely vary depending on what message you are delivering and the social media being used. In order to maintain flexibility, feel free to let your ambassadors know that they can always opt out of participating, or contribute in a way that best suits them.
3) Know When And How To Activate Your Ambassador System: Your executive director is in a photo with the Dalai Lama on the front page of the Washington Post. This is an example of when you would want to activate every member of your team with the goal of posting the newspaper link on all available social media outlets. A longer term goal might include a blog that provides context for the newspaper article with a call to support your organization. There are other times where might simply ask your ambassadors to “like” a particular Facebook post. You can initiate your system by sending a message to your team’s email list with your specific request.
4) Focus on specific goals: Awareness of your work is an easy goal to achieve through a social media ambassador system. Photos and short videos are readily shared and can be circulated quickly. Crowdfunding endeavors can also be invigorated with your ambassador system in place. Requesting volunteers is a good specific goal, as is encouraging people to attend your gala event. A public thank you on social media with personalized comments from your ambassadors is another admirable goal.
5) Recognize Your Ambassadors: Many of your social media ambassadors have a personal brand on the internet. When appropriate, find ways for your organization to promote their projects and work online. If the tweet or blog of an ambassador garners a good deal of attention, be generous with praise and let the entire team know about that success. Depending on the size of your group, consider bringing your ambassadors together for a luncheon where they can receive personal recognition and learn more about your organization’s upcoming plans.