As the first of our series in profiling the best engaged not-for-profits, I recently had a chance to sit down with Karen Snider, national manager for the Canadian Red Cross, and talk about the successes they’re having in digital engagement. This is the second of three posts.

6) Do you have social media policies and guidelines that steer how your employees communicate in open environments? Any key clauses that you emphasize?

Our social media guidelines have recently been put in place. We’ve tried to keep our guidelines as positive as possible, focusing on what people can/should do, rather then what they can’t do.  We’re now developing a handbook to support our staff and volunteers in the use of social media.

7) For Red Cross, what are the best tools you’re using to: internally collaborate, track and measure, communicate with your end customer?

The Canadian Red Cross uses Sysomos media monitoring that allows us to track and monitor conversations about our organization. We have a team of Public Affairs communicators across the country and each of us tries to keep our eyes on our various social media platforms so that we can respond to questions or comments as they arise.

8) What are the key 3 things you measure and track from your social/community/digital efforts?

1)    Growth. We track numbers to show growth on our social media platforms and to determine what is working.

2)    Awareness. We also look at metrics to help us determine how widely our message was shared so that we know whether we are truly building awareness in the community.

3)    Engagement. Measuring engagement is more than metrics – we focus on building connections and relationships with our supporters.

9) How does direct customer/fan/donor feedback change how Red Cross operates? Any real tangible examples?

We’ve discovered that when a major disaster strikes somewhere in the world, people start asking what we’re doing and how they can help right away. We have to be able to offer ways to donate more quickly, such as getting our SMS number for donation up and running as quickly as possible.

10) How has Red Cross evolved in recent times? Major additions? and what’s Next?

The Canadian Red Cross has made shifts in its communications departments to incorporate social media tools to help us reach our objectives and goals. This year will be the first year that the Canadian Red Cross solidifies its social media strategy and guidelines.

How did we get to that point? We went about it in a different way than I’ve heard most non-profits do it. We’ve approached social media in a slowly-but-surely kind of way, testing different tools and building case studies that we can share with the executive team. We are fortunate that the executive team, including our Secretary General, Conrad Sauvé, is open-minded, progressive and excited about the Canadian Red Cross using social media.

What’s next? We will continue to provide training and development so that staff in other departments can learn how social media can help them reach their business objectives as well. We will also be integrating our social media efforts with our overall communications efforts in order to meet our business objectives.

Read more:

1st post in the series
3rd post in the series

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