Year of Publication

2018

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

Effective social media management takes time, effort, and intentionality. Small not-for-profit organizations would benefit from doing this, but often have difficulty with being able to do so. In order to find out how small not-for-profit organizations use their social media and how social media could best be used to accomplish their mission, the following research questions were asked: What communications policies and procedures are followed by small not-for-profits organizations? Are the current social media practices of these organizations effective? What are the primary needs of these organizations in terms of social media and how can they be addressed?

In order to address these questions, relevant existing literature was reviewed, six small not-for-profit organizations were randomly selected, social media data was collected and analyzed concerning these six organizations, and the managers of these six small not-for-profit organizations were interviewed. Literature strongly supports the notion that social media management is of great importance for the success of an organization. The data from the 6 not-for-profit organizations’ social media accounts show some areas do not match recommended usage while managers offered insights into how social media content is produced. By bringing the importance of social media management to the managers’ attentions and providing them with up-to-date solutions to common problems, small not-for-profit organizations will be better equipped to fulfill their missions.

Key findings include: unsuccessfully satisfying ideal balance between types of posts (shares and originals), organizations under use appropriate platforms, organizations fail to post at the ideal rate in order to increase interactions, content is not ideally strategized to align with recommended purpose.

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