Social Media Guidelines for Non-Profit Organizations


What is Social Media? And Who’s Using It?

It all starts with your message. Social media is a powerful marketing and communication tool which allows you to spread your message to your audiences. Social should work with – and enhance – your existing marketing efforts. Wikipedia defines it as “media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues.” 

This is the first in a series of three blog posts that will explore the what, who, why and how of social media for associations. Got news? Post a link to your news release, and resulting media coverage, on Facebook and Twitter. Want to take the pulse of your members or customers? Ask a question in a LinkedIn group. Did your CEO just give a great speech? Put it on YouTube and post the links everywhere. Social media is instant and interactive. Use it to talk to your members, and to listen to what they say back. 

Use it to mobilize your members, your constituencies, your friends and your followers to advocate on your behalf to lawmakers and thought leaders. If you’re already using social media in your marketing, make sure your message is consistent and your content is up to date. Yes, it’s free, but you need to invest staff time and resources to do it right. If you’re not yet using social media in your association, here’s what you need to know about what’s out there and how to integrate it into your current plan.


Facebook is the best known and most widely used social media site. More than 741 million people worldwide use it, more than 155 million of them in the United States. That makes the American population of Facebook larger than the population of Russia or Japan. And every time one of them logs on to Facebook, he or she is a potential target of your message. And you thought it was just for  catching up with old friends from high school or posting vacation photos.

Setting up a Facebook page is easy. Click on “Create a Page” on the bottom right side of your personal page. Follow the step-by-step instructions and start posting. But don’t do it in a vacuum. Put a link to it on your website and in your newsletter. Ask your Facebook friends to “like” your page. Within your organization, designate a staff member to maintain, monitor and moderate the page. Have more than one administrator, to ensure continuity should that person leave. Try to post on your Facebook page at least once a week. Use a mix of association announcements – it’s a great way to plug events, association updates and relevant news from your industry sector. Your Facebook page is a great way to drive people back to the heart of your brand: your website.

What is Social Media? And Who’s Using It? continued...

We encourage you to read the entire Center Social Media article series,

What is Social Media? And Who’s Using It?,  Why be on Social Media? , How to Use Social Media.