November 14, 2012

Why You Need to Keep an Eye on Social Media

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At many nonprofits, just one person is responsible for monitoring conversations on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and elsewhere online.

But Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech and a founding partner of the Rad Campaign, believes nonprofits should encourage everyone in the organization to play a role in watching what's happening online.

That makes it easier to cover more ground than one person ever could, but more important, helps people throughout the organization better respond to criticism and understand challenges to its reputation.

"It's our responsibility as executive directors, as fundraisers, as program managers, to also be in the social-media space and listening to what people are saying about our organizations," Ms. Kapin says. "We can't just rely on a few people on our teams to be doing that."

In this episode of Social Good, Ms. Kapin talks about how nonprofits should manage online crises, create guidelines for social media use, and deal with hecklers.

Allison Fine, a nonprofit leader and expert on technology and communications, discusses how charities and foundations can more effectively use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money. Ms. Fine incorporates suggestions and questions from readers into her podcasts and invites you to e-mail her at Look for new installments on the first Thursday of every month.