On the Subject of Losing It:
One of the more ambiguous terms used when trying to quantify effort in social communications is authenticity. What does it mean to be authentic in your posts and replies? I mean, just the fact that you're posting and the posting comes from your small nonprofit kinda makes them authentic, right? After all, who would post saying they're from your NP if they weren't?
Obviously, that's not what is meant, so let's go a little deeper.
There are actors who are always themselves, no matter what part they are playing. Sean Connery and John Wayne come to mind. When you see them, they may be saying things that only their character would say and yet, there's an overlap of the human being playing that character. Watching them, you get the sense that you know something of who they are outside of the film. In this way, you could say they are authentic, real, honest; revealing something of the person they are at core.
This is why you want someone handling social communications at your NP who is authentic; who uses a writing 'voice' that is theirs alone and a style that may recognizable. Furthermore, that person should believe in your mission and be able to talk about everything that touches it without being overbearing, preachy, or sounding like a used-car salesman. This person talks about taking her four-year-old to a park and seeing a sculpture and then relates that to your NP's arts education program in a natural, unaffected way. She talks to people outside of your Facebook page and looks at pictures outside of your Pinterest page. She shares in the concerns of others and by doing so, builds trust that your NP is what it says it is and is interested in people other than as donors.
What happens when there is no authenticity? Then you get something like this, which proves that just having a live person at the other end of the social media telephone line isn't enough to make you authentic.
On the Subject of Using It:
Nonprofit Tech for Good (formerly Nonprofit Tech 2.0) has a great post on using Facebook status changes. I was not aware that you could tweak your status posts like this and am delighted to learn it.
Why would you want to tweak your posts?
Link Title. Say you see a link between your mission and an event outside your community. You can choose to post about it, but change the Link Name to something that makes the connection more clear. Perhaps the link title is "[Celebrity] Tears Up" but that's not the point of the article and probably would not interest your followers. So you change it to something like "Pictures of Rescued Animals brings [Celebrity] to Tears".
Link Description. Maybe the description provided also doesn't fit the bill. You can change that as well from "[Celebrity] holds rescued puppy" to "One hundred puppies rescued from abusive puppy mill thanks to [Celebrity]"
Scheduling. This is awesome. You don't have to post that status immediately. Instead, you can schedule it so that your post hits your timeline at the time that it will have the most impact or so you can space between your posts instead of bombarding your community.
Hashtags. We've talked about this in another post. Help your community find your post in a way outside of searching your timeline by adding hashtags.
And don't think these tweaks are outside of the subject of authenticity. How you choose to title and describe your posts will reveal more than you know.