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Social Media for Voluntary Organisations
Social Media for Voluntary Organisations aims to develop a framework for contemporary social media practice specific to the non-profit sector, and identify changes in practice emerging through the coronavirus pandemic. The study is led by the University of Liverpool, working in partnership with voluntary sector publisher Directory of Social Change.
Social media has become an increasingly important means of connecting with the world around us. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated and profoundly intensified our engagement with and reliance on social media, which enabled us to connect with friends and family, access goods and services, work, volunteer, campaign and protest at a time when social engagements and travel were restricted on an unprecedented global scale.
The crucial affordances of social media, as compared with traditional media – access, speed and reach – mean that today, everybody can get their message out instantly, and those messages can reach millions of people across the globe in a matter of minutes or hours. These affordances can bring near-instant global awareness to non-profit groups and organisations, causes and campaigns. They can attract high-profile supporters and extraordinary returns. However, they can also make it difficult to get heard above the noise and reach those you wish to.
Practitioners involved in social media activity on behalf of a non-profit group or organisation are invited to participate in the study through an online survey.
The survey takes 10-20 minutes to complete. It will ask you to provide an example of a successful social media project from your own group or organisation, or one you have seen elsewhere. It will also ask how your use of social media has changed during the pandemic, your future plans and current challenges.
We are interested to hear from non-profit groups and organisations including registered charities, social enterprises, ethical and community businesses, voluntary community and faith organisations, as well as non-constituted groups, self-help networks and global movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter.
The findings will be presented in a book called Social Media for Voluntary Organisations to be published by voluntary sector publisher Directory of Social Change in 2023, and in related academic publications. The book will offer a realistic and easy-to-follow guide to planning, implementing and evaluating a social media strategy that works for non-profit groups and organisations.
Aimed at small and medium non-profit groups and organisations that want to improve their social media engagement and reach, the book will help practitioners craft engaging campaigns that get seen and heard above the noise and get shared across networks, amplifying your message, increasing your reach and building your community. The book will draw on the latest research in this fast-moving field and incorporate new case studies from non-profit groups, organisations, movements and campaigns in the UK and around the world.
The study team will also be undertaking one-to-one and group meetings to allow for more in-depth discussion and deeper insights into practitioner experiences. If you would be willing to discuss your social media practice within a 30-40 minute meeting, either online or in-person, or would like any further information about the project, please contact the Social Media for Voluntary Organisations project team.
Image credit: Directory of Social Change www.dsc.org.uk