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10 Steps to Organizing a Real Estate Social Media Non-Profit Community Channel

courtesy-greatnonprofitsorg-Carlos-with-breadCreate a ruckus within your local community

So, you’re interested in creating a social media channel for your community non-profit, but not sure where to begin?  We’ll I’m going to draw an outline for what a channel could look like with a little work, a lot of heart, and by putting to use many of the free online tools you’re already utilizing (or should be utilizing) to really pull it all together.  I invite you to pick and choose what you want to use or even input some ideas of your own to really make this local effort a personal one.

Assuming you’re already involved in your cause, you’re essentially already there, now we just have to get the word out and your working in conjunction with the organization can make a great impact!

Step one:

Create a unique Twitter handle for your cause, this is important because it is your effort, but it belongs to the community, not to you personally- your task is to use your influence and resources in your own efforts to facilitate your goals, right?  Right.

So rather than @Joeagentmillionaire how about @coats4jerseykidz.  Also, if your non-profit is not on Twitter or Facebook, then register them for the non-profit but I wouldn’t suggest you use it for this purpose.  Instead, make your own and give over the handle to the non-profit for the future.

Make sure you create a great profile description for your non-profit to really explain the goal, not your real estate practice- I think this goes without saying.

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Create a nice background image and avatar that really reflects the spirit of the effort- you know, centered around the point of the effort- the cause itself.

Step two:

Create a special landing page on your local blog and website especially for your non-profit efforts- talk deeply about the needs, and link to any related content or material that you’ll produce later in step five.

Now add this link to your profile in step one- this is how folks will come to learn of your effort, understand the core mission, and ultimately gain their participation.

Step three:

Use Twitter Local to view and follow locals in your community using your new handle- rather than follow and forget, introduce yourself as you follow them!

This is really critical to the success of your mission that folks understand that they can help simply by following you- other ways will present themselves naturally as you ramp up your message.

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Locate local media, businesses within the community (small and large), regular folks, and locate someone who knows video, follow and make introductions.

Also, attend your local social media events, in fact, host one around your effort which is a great way to connect personally around common ground.

Step four:

Create special Twitter sidebar widgets featuring this new Twitter identity you’re hosting. Place this widget everywhere you possibly can, and ask those locally that also have blogs or websites to feature the same Twitter handle.

Create a ‘fan page’ on Facebook as well, and share with locals.

Step five:

On your local blog or community blog, begin writing about the effort you’re involved in and use your Twitter handle to share the post. This clean and sales-free Twitter handle is now broadcasting your non-profit message to not only the folks following your non-profit identity, but also displayed on your widget featured on other sites- you’re beginning to close the gap on getting your word out.

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Make sure you’re branding your cause by using a hashtag like ‘ #tmcralley ‘  to really document your event within search- let the folks follow the effort as you grow content around it!

Don’t forget to share this content on your Facebook fan page as well!

Step six:

Make sure that in every post or broadcast around your non-profit, you ask people to retweet (using your hashtag) your articles, and never be afraid to ask for help from your followers- this is the most personal way of enticing involvement.

Also, use your non-profit identity to broadcast what those getting involved are doing, write about them in your non-profit posts, and really get a synergy going over promoting this cause and the folks getting involved.

For example, if there is a local artist, ask them to donate to painting and host bids using ebay or other popular bid sites.  Or ask car dealers to donate a year’s worth of gas and raffle it off or any other way you can think of to really create a ruckus over your cause to raise money towards the end goal.

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Step seven:

Remember the video person I suggested you make connection with?  Well, now’s the time to ask for a video wrapped around your event, and cause- this is really important!  Whether it’s street interviews or the non-profit volunteers themselves, this is a viral tool that should not be overlooked, ever. Share with everyone and ask them to share it too!

At all events, take lots of pictures and encourage others to do the same.  Share them on flickr and facebook which have commenting and tagging options so people can be identified in images and therefore your images of people show up in their profile as pictures of them!  This is a great way to spread word after an event has happened and to keep your cause fresh in people’s minds.

Step eight:

Don’t forget those businesses and media companies either, they’re really important to your getting the word out, so really promote the heck out of your efforts- people love human interest stories!

Step nine:

Before, during and after, make sure you’re Tweeting your entire event, filming the drive, doing interviews, and by all means reach your goals, whatever they are, but make sure they’re reasonable.

Also, plan on celebrating your landmark with a party wrapped around your cause- throw a party or host a dinner, but nonetheless, reward your locals.

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Step ten:

The cause never ends!  Keep your blog posts coming over how the effort has impacted the community, write about the folks you’ve helped by featuring their stories and sharing videos of the day’s highlights- in other words, give tangible accounts of the effort to keep the cause alive now and in the future all while planning your next fund raising effort.  Consider repeating in other communities, and also encourage other causes to repeat your success by in-turn featuring and promoting their cause as well.

This is in no way a complete list, and I encourage you to grow you own broadcast using social media- I simply wanted to hand you a tangible way of creating a ruckus over what’s important in your community!

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Frank Tirelli

    July 8, 2009 at 3:48 am

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  2. Ara Mamourian

    July 8, 2009 at 4:49 am

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    July 8, 2009 at 12:45 pm

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  9. Ken Toulou

    July 8, 2009 at 5:57 pm

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  10. Missy Caulk

    July 10, 2009 at 9:05 am

    I will pass this post along to a non-profit board I serve on, excellent advice.

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