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Social Media Playbook Digitalising Volunteerism and Philanthropy (diVP) Initiative September 2011

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Social Media Playbook Digitalising Volunteerism and Philanthropy

(diVP) Initiative

September 2011

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About the Digitalising Volunteerism and Philanthropy (diVP) Initiative The Digitalising Volunteerism and Philanthropy (diVP) Initiative is designed to provide counsel, hands-on expertise and coaching to help over 200 charities in Singapore become self-sustaining via online channels to drive volunteerism and donations. Through training sessions, tutorials and copy-writing assistance, diVP will help all of the SG Gives charities cultivate their social media skills in or-der to become more self-sufficient in the use of these tools and platforms in order to drive fundrais-ing and operations. The diVP initiative is being implemented through the Singapore office of global public relations agency Text 100, a private sector firm, who will be providing direct technical assistance to all SG Gives charities. Text 100 Singapore was awarded a New Initiative Grant (NIG) by the National Volun-teer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) to run the diVP initiative in March 2011.

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Let’s Work Hard, Play Harder While implementing a social media programme for your organisation may seem like a lot of work, it

doesn’t have to be. The reason social media has become so widespread is because it is fun for a lot

of people – fun to share, fun to learn, fun to connect. It’s how humans work.

When we put together this social media programme, we envisioned it to be fun as well, and that’s

how we hope your social media experience will be. After all, all work and no play is no fun at all.

So what can YOU expect from the diVP Initiative?

1) Social Media Playbook a. Self-assessment of social media readiness and skills b. Framework for social media activities c. References and additional reading

2) Weekly e-mail featuring 4-6 social media case studies/best practices from all over the world

3) Monthly e-newsletter featuring strategies, tips and ideas for implementing social media for

your organisation

4) Copywriting support for SG Gives online profile We are also offering between 10 – 15 hours of individualised social media consultation from Text 100 consultants to twenty (20) selected charities. An application to this service is required and charities will be chosen based on the following criteria: Statement and explanation of need “Intermediate” level of existing social media usage and able to dedicate at least 3 – 5 hours a

week for social media Social media goals (financial and otherwise) Area of service (Youth/Children; Health; Special Needs; Elderly; Others)

Applications for this part of the programme have to be submitted via email to [email protected]. The application deadline is 14 October and charities for this portion of the programme will be se-lected by 31 October.

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Social Media 101

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Meet the Platforms You wouldn’t be reading this if you don’t already know that social media is useful for your organisa-

tion. Social media presents an effective way to engage current supporters, discover new ones and,

perhaps most importantly, help in fundraising.

While there are many definitions of social media on the web today, the simplest, and the one that

we’ll be using is:

Social media is a platform that allows for the generation and

exchange of content and ideas amongst multiple individuals

Social Networks (example: Facebook) These allow you to set up a page and post updates, links, conversations, events, photos, videos, and more. This platform allows for the richest form of content sharing, and is good for facilitating discussions with fol-lowers.

Forums (example: STOMP) Forums are one of the earliest manifestations of social media, having been around ever since Tim Berners Lee founded the World Wide Web. This platform was designed to allow for the exchange of ideas and informa-tion and soon involved into an in-depth place for discussions.

Blogs (example: Wordpress) One of the earliest forms of social media, blogs are online sites that allow organisations and individuals to express their opinions as well as share up-dates on events and happen-ings. Blog posts are also useful for generating discussion about a particular subject matter.

Video Sharing Websites (example: YouTube) These allow organisations to display and build a community around video content, the rich-est form of online communica-tion.

Microblogs (example: Twitter) Microblogs allow organisations to share short updates with their fans, making it easy for messages to be spread more widely. It is useful for breaking news as well as running con-tests, and sourcing for ideas and opinions.

Photo Sharing Websites (example: Flickr) These provide organisations with the capability to post and share photos on the web, and now, on mobile. These are great for event support, as at-tendees are able to browse through photos upon the com-pletion of an event, and share them within their own network.

Whichever platform you choose, you’ll need to consider how to integrate these channels with your

other communications in terms of tone, message, data and policies. The idea is to create a strategy

to reach as many segments of your audience as possible, to attract and engage supporters, and to

keep them interested and informed. Social media is not just a means to distribute one-sided re-

quests or missives. It’s a conversation, and if you want your supporters to uphold their side of it,

you’ll need to uphold yours.

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The Case for Social Media

At the moment, perhaps you see social media as a “nice to have” but not a “must have” for your

outreach. Here are a few more reasons to convince you.

750 million Facebook users globally, and it’s still growing!

200 million Twitter users all over the world!

With users spending more and

more time on social networks, the

chances of your messages hitting

your target audience increases.

The beauty of these social networks

is that they transcend geography,

exposing your non-profit to a wider

audience than otherwise possible.

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What does all this mean?

Continually engage your supporters

Share updates, start discussions, get feedback and more

Build deeper and longer-lasting relationships with your followers

Make it easier for supporters to help spread the word on what’s coming up next

With limited resources, social media is one of the best ways to create sustained

awareness about your cause

Create an online presence

Monitor conversations that are taking place, giving you the ability to assess how

people feel towards your cause

Build deeper and longer-lasting relationships with your followers

Make it easier for supporters to help spread the word on what’s coming up next

Cultivate the next generation of major donors through the social web

Social media presents a tremendous opportunity for non-profits to participate as

trusted providers of credible information




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Extra Statistics

A 2009 study called the Community Philanthropy 2.0 survey1, which focused on the giving habits and

preferences of individuals in the 30-49 and over 50 age brackets (the age most likely to donate in

greater amounts) found the following:

55% use social media to discuss philanthropy

45% noted that they would prefer to use social networks to engage with non-profits

61% trust blogs and social networks to provide important information

We hope that all the points presented above will help you understand how critical it is to invest in

social media for your non-profit. With a well-crafted social media strategy, you will be able to reach

out to a wider audience, build a deeper and closer relationship with your supporters, leverage volun-

teer support of a passionate crowd aligned to your cause and raise more funds in the process.

The most important thing to bear in mind is that social media outreach is not something that’s

done on a campaign or project basis. It must be sustained in the long run, and requires a commit-

ment from your organisation in terms of manpower and resources. The biggest mistake that organi-

sations can make is to go in with a short-term mentality, and having built up a community online,

they withdraw support – leaving fans and followers frustrated and disillusioned.

1 Source: Facebook

1 Source: Twitter

1 Source: Universal McCann’s Social Media Research Wave 3

1 Source: http://mashable.com/2009/03/26/social-media-nonprofit-study/

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The Starter’s Checklist

It’s easy to lose sight of things if you don’t know where you’re headed. Here’s a handy checklist for

you when you embark on your social media journey.


This will be the guiding light that your strategy feeds off on. Without these, putting together

a strategy would be nearly impossible.

Monitoring Framework

Work with your team (or your agency consultant) to develop a monitoring framework to ex-

amine the effects of your social media outreach that will benefit the needs of your organisa-

tion. Bear in mind that over-monitoring, while useful, will also put a strain on resources.

Make sure that your schedule is manageable yet frequent enough to ensure that feedback is

delivered in a timely manner. More information on monitoring can be found on page 33.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Since you’re opening up your organisation to the world wide web, you will need to start de-

veloping materials like a response library (a condensed Q&A sheet which will help you to

quickly respond to any queries), escalation frameworks (a document that details how que-

ries can be directed to the appropriate parties) and a crisis management plan (in case any is-

sue erupts around your organisation). These will also require investment time from your

side, but they make managing your social media properties much easier – especially when

your supporters grow and you have to interact with them more and more.

Resource Allocation

Treat social media like you would your other communication channels. Figure out where re-

sponsibilities for your social media programs should reside in your organization. Dedicating

this assignment to a community manager(s) will let a person or group of people in your or-

ganisation develop the focus, comprehensive view, and skills needed to leverage social me-

dia effectively.

Succession Plan

What happens when your community manager eventually leaves the organisation? You will

need to put into place a procedure for operational handover, as well as the transfer of skill

sets from one employee to another. It always helps to have more than one person proficient

in social media to cover the role during annual leave and unforeseen circumstances.

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Ready, Steady, PLAY! We hope that the rest of this book will present a clear guideline on

how you can plan, implement and execute your social media out-

reach. While we can’t promise any miracles, you can expect to see in-

creased awareness, a stronger and more engaged community and

stronger outcomes for your fund-raising exercises as a result of in-

vesting in social media.

Turn the page to start your adventure

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Don’t worry, there is no pass or fail grade on this quiz. It is just intended to help you get a handle on

how prepared your organisation is to implement a social media outreach programme. It puts into

account what tools your organisation is familiar with, and how far along the way your organisation is

in terms of social media preparedness so that you can choose effective platforms for your social me-

dia outreach. Consider this a “fork in the road” broken down into 10 easy-peasy questions.

Instructions: There are no right or wrong answers, only honest ones.

My Organisation and Social Media

1. My organisation has more than one

social media profile

□ Yes □ No

2. My organisation has profiles in the

following social sites

(check all that apply)

□ Facebook □ Twitter

□ LinkedIn □ Blog

□ YouTube □ Others

3. My organisation has at least one

employee who understands social

media outreach

□ Yes □ No

4. My organisation uses social media


□ asking for donations

□ sharing updates with volunteers

□ creating an interest for our cause

□ answering queries from public

5. My organisation has a policy regard-

ing social media engagement

□ Yes □ No

6. My organisation’s social media

properties have defined goals, ob-

jectives and are measured against

clearly defined KPI’s

□ Yes □ No

7. My organisation’s top leadership

understands what social media is

used for

□ Yes □ No

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8. My organisation is able to dedicate

the following amount of man-hours

to social media per week

a. 0

b. 1-2

c. 3-5

d. 6 and above

9. My organisation’s employees have

their social media profiles embed-

ded into their email signature

□ Yes □ No

10. My organisation has a social media

plan for crisis management

□ Yes □ No

Once you’ve finished answering all these questions, tally up your score using the scorecard (located at the end of this page) to find where you stand: If you scored 10 and below: Skimming the Surface (Beginner) Your organisation has a very basic understanding about this thing we call social media, and we as-sume you want to know more (which is why you’re reading this). We’re guessing your organisation may have the basics of it (setting up an account, interacting, etc.) but have not made full use of the wonders of the social media world. Why don’t you take a deep breath first, then be sure to dive in our Social Media Crash Course (page 40) to get more up to speed. If you scored 11-30: Splashing Around (Intermediate) Woot! We knew it; your organisation appreciates the usefulness social media, enough to be in more than one social network. Plus it pays that you put some content out there, whether it’s your own or something that you’ve seen online and want to share. Now we know who to send the lolcat videos to. Excitement aside, there’s much more your organisation can do in social media. If you scored 31-40: Swimming Laps (Advanced) Fantastic! Your organisation might love social media as much as we do! If you put our social net-works together we’d probably make a happy Venn diagram and see how much our social worlds col-lide. But we’ll spare you the applause from our end as we know that you’re probably itching to get down to business. We have mapped some activities in the next few pages to challenge you and we know you’ll get through it with flying colours. Regardless of your level, the important thing is that you’re here. As they say, desire is the starting point of every achievement, and with that, you are on your way to bigger and better things in social media, no matter where you are starting from. The next section will contain a list of some suggested activities based on your organisation’s level of expertise. Turn the page to find out more! Answer Key: 1. Yes-2pts; No-0pts 2. 2pts for every checked box 3. Yes-2pts; No-0pts 4. 2pts for every checked box 5. Yes-2pts; No-0pts

6. Yes-2pts; No-0pts 7. Yes-2pts; No-0pts 8. a-0pts; b-2pts; c-4pts; d-6pts 9. Yes-2pts; No-0pts 10. Yes-2pts; No-0pts

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If you took the POP QUIZ!, then you should know by now what level your organisation is in. Below is

a handy table of our suggested and proposed activities to start you and your organisation on the

path to social media awesomeness. We have taken into account that you might not have enough

resources (e.g. time/man hours) to do all of them so do see which level of activity is best for your

organisation. The proposed activities are grouped by the amount of hours your organisation has

available to dedicate to social media outreach. Remember, this is not a race to the finish line – there

isn’t a finish line to begin with. So have a go at where you feel is most comfortable.

Activities Activity Level & Estimated Time Available

Low (1-2hrs/wk)

Medium (3-5hrs/wk)

High (6-10hrs/wk)





Proposed Activity - Facebook Page - Twitter Account - Blog

Things needed 1. Content plan (page 43) 2. Response library (page 46) 3. Escalation plan (page 45) 4. Twitter hashtags (page 25) 5. List of people to follow (page 24) 6. Blogging Calendar (page 27)


- -

1x/day 3x/day


1x/day 3x/day





Proposed Activity - All Beginner activities

o Facebook Page o Twitter Account o Blog

- Forum Tracking o Commenting o Discussion creation

- Monitoring Reports Things needed

1. Content plan (page 43) 2. Response library (page 46) 3. Escalation plan (page 45) 4. Twitter hashtags (page 25) 5. List of people to follow (page 24) 6. Blogging calendar (page 27) 7. List of Forums (page 30) 8. Metrics to monitor (page 34) 9. Monitoring & listening tools (page


1x/day 2x/day


1x/day -


1x/day 3x/day


1x/day 1x/week 1x/week

1x/day 3x/day


2x/day 2x/week 1x/week

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Proposed Activity - All Intermediate activities

o Facebook Page o Twitter Account o Blog o Forum Commenting o Forum Discussion creation o Monitoring Reports

- Web video creation Things needed

1. Content plan (page 43) 2. Response library (page 46) 3. Escalation plan (page 45) 4. Twitter hashtags (page 25) 5. List of people to follow (page 24) 6. Blogging calendar (page 27) 7. List of Forums (page 30) 8. Metrics to monitor (page 34) 9. Monitoring & listening tools (page

34) 10. Script writing and basic storyboard

(page 37) 11. Production and editing (page 38) 12. Uploading (video sharing site) (page


1x/day 2x/day

1x/week 1x/day

1x/week 1x/fortnight 1x/month

1x/day 3x/day

1x/week 1x/day

2x/week 1x/week


1x/day 3x/day

2x/week 2x/day

2x/week 1x/week


Note: These activities are meant to be taken as a guideline. Ultimately, the choices of activities are

dependent on your organisation’s resources and objectives. Feel free to pick and choose and see

which one works best.

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Did You Know?

In the one minute you took to digest that infographic2, over 98,000 tweets have been tweeted, 695,000 Facebook status updates have happened, 24 hours of video have been uploaded to You-Tube and 1,500 blog posts have gone live. Are you missing out on anything?

2 http://www.go-globe.com/web-design-shanghai.php

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Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Like in the things we do offline, we must practice some courtesies. Here are some do’s and don’ts for

you social media butterflies. This list also includes some of our best practices so take heed!

Tip: Feel free to print this out and paste on your desk for future reference. Although we usually try

to reduce printing , we feel that this one should be printed up and posted. Unless you like people

saying, “see, I told you so”.

DO Know your audience

Think about trends and industry discussions

Play with keywords until you get it right

Focus on the most influential

Read posts and comments; comment early on (whether it’s you commenting or you’re recommending the engagement)

Look back for historical perspective

It’s ok to disagree, but be respectful

Follow what your influencers read and link to

Be brief and link, link, link!

Follow the right people – it’s ok to not follow back

Search for keywords and follow and create hashtags

Thank, add opinion and offer to connect

Pose and answer questions

Look for opportunities to connect colleagues

Be transparent about your role and your organisation’s affilia-tion

Showcase your own voice

Link back to your website or blog


Just broadcast

Solely promote your organisation

Bash competition or individuals

Over manage bloggers; instead, concentrate on enabling them

Be too lengthy whether it’s blogs, video, or anything else

Engage without listening or knowing your audience

Say anything you don’t want out in the public

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The PLAY Tools

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A Summary In this section, you will find a description and an in-depth guide on how to use each of the tools listed in the framework above. We encourage you to go through each and every one of these tools just to gain a better understanding of how these work. However, for those of you strapped for time, here’s a succinct summary of all these tools which will give you a general idea of which would be better used for your organisation Pros & Cons

Facebook Pros:

Most people are on it

Simple, easy-to-use interface

Built-in monitoring tools Cons:

Updates may not get into users’ newsfeed due to Facebook’s filtering

Twitter Pros:

Simple interface

Retweeting allows for content to go viral

Twitter analytics (coming soon)


140-character limit

Blogs Pros:

Provides author with more control over content

Comments can be moderated before being published

Easily customisable Cons:

Time-consuming exercise Forums Pros:

Platform for in-depth discussion

People on forums are very passionate

Great for niche topics Cons:

Difficult to measure metrics using free tools

Debates can get ugly

Web Videos Pros:

Video is the richest form of content

High potential to go viral if content is catchy

Great content can generate spoofs which sustain interest


Time and resource consum-ing

Monitoring Tools Pros:

Helps determine if you are on track to achieve goals

Helps justify cost spend and shows ROI


Free tools are usually not comprehensive

Manual inputs can be time consuming

Paid tools tend to be expensive


Web Videos Facebook



Monitoring Blogs



Web Videos




Blogs Professional


TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC *Monitoring services not covered be-

cause it is not a platform

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Facebook Page For Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Stuff covered in this section

1. Setting up a Facebook Page 2. Setting Rules of Engagement 3. Building a Content Plan and Managing Content 4. Tips on Posting to Your Page 5. Extras: Using Events and Facebook Questions

Setting up a Facebook Page Fan pages can be instrumental in establishing your online presence on Facebook. By using fan pages to reach out to your audience, you can improve the image of your organisation and connect people in-terested in your cause on a more personal level. Facebook makes it easy to share or recommend a page (or post), and that can be further amplified by your followers. However, it is also important to remem-ber that fan pages are not purely for promotional use. For example, if you don’t engage your fans and only post content that requests for donations, users may not see the value in being a “fan” of your page. To set up your Facebook Page, simply log on to Facebook Pages (http://www.facebook.com/pages), click on “Create New Page” at the top right hand side and follow the instructions all the way through. Setting Rules of Engagement Once you have set up your page, you then need to lay down the rules of engagement (in other words, set up a policy) to keep conversations under control. Having a policy in place will also help manage expectations with regards to getting questions answered and response times. Here are some of the items that you should look into clarifying with your fans. Purpose It’s always good to lay out what the objectives of the page are so that discussions can be funnelled towards that objective and not be taken out of context. Moderation It is critical to emphasise that while your organisation respects the wide variety of opinions from fans, the administrator reserves the right to moderate all comments and questions and will not hesi-tate to remove those deemed as offensive, spam and personal attacks. Doing so allows you to keep the page running constructively and having the policy clearly set out allows you to justify your ac-tions to the community.

● ● ●

Did you know?

You can only set up a fan

page on behalf of an


● ● ●

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Responding You should let your community know what is a reasonable timeframe to expect a response to a query. Depending on the resources you have, this could range anywhere from a few hours to a day (we don’t recommend letting it run more than that unless unavoidable) and you need make your community aware of this so they don’t feel as though you are not paying attention to them. Additionally, your policy should also point out that you may not be able to respond to every query as some questions may not be relevant to your organisation, or you may not be able to disclose the information publicly. A good place to lay out all these information would be on the “Info” page, which you can access from the bar situated on the left side of your page home screen. As the information page is something that new fans usually check out when they join, it clari-fies things upfront for everyone and creates an understanding between the fans and your page administrator. Building a Content Plan and Managing Content

The first step to creating a successful fan page is to formulate a plan. You should have an idea of what you want to post and a good way to ensure a steady stream of content is to create a content library or document that logs all the material you want to post in the coming weeks, ensuring that you will never run out of content. It’s always a good idea to dedicate a good 30 minutes to an hour per week to curate content relevant to your organisation from across the Internet. Your content should have variety, and look to build in media-

rich elements like photos, videos and podcasts into your posting schedule – these can generate more interaction and attention for your page and are more likely to be re-shared. For an example of how a content plan should look like, refer to the section on the content plan in the reference guides on page 43 A smart way to reduce the effort to curate content is to encourage your fans to post their content – it could be anything from pictures to something that is related to your organisation. However, don’t forget to monitor the activity on your page! If you allow fans to post, ensure that these posts are monitored for spam or inappropriate content. It is important to maintain a professional image on your fan page, and it is good to include something in your policy on not tolerating inappropriate or inflammatory content on your fan page. You may also want to moderate in order to stay on topic – sometimes people will post things that don’t really relate to you.

● ● ●

Did you know?

There are more than 2.2

million people on

Facebook from Singapore.

● ● ●

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Tips on Posting to Your Page

When to Post on Facebook

Articles published on the weekend are shared more often.

Tuesday and Wednesday are the best weekdays for sharing. Unlike Twitter, articles posted at 8 am are shared more often, followed by 6 pm.

The most shared term is “Facebook”, followed by “why”, “most”, “world” and “how”.

Frequency is also critical – those who post content every second day tend to be shared more often.

What to Post on Facebook

Provide your fans with a variety of content

Videos and Photos from events – and get your fans to tag themselves in it!

Humour is always a good tool for driving conversations, but use it appropriately

To drive conversations with your fans, start the ball rolling by asking questions and get everyone to participate as it builds a sense of community

However, always remember to ask yourself these questions before posting:

Will our community benefit from this content?

Is a social network the right place for this content? Is it social or shareable?

Will this content encourage dialogue and interaction?

Will this content spark or nurture advocacy? Extras: Using Events and Facebook Questions Facebook Events This tool allows you to create pages for your organisation’s events and invite your fans to these. As Facebook events are not restricted to fans of your page, the invitation can also be extended to non-

fans. Events are useful as they allow you to send updates to all attendees, and allow attendees to network with each other prior and post the event. You should certainly use this nifty tool for all of your non-profit’s events! To create an event from your page, click on the “Events “ tab on the sidebar, and look for “Create an Event” on the top right hand corner, following the instructions all the way through.


Tagging people in photos or videos brings it

to their attention immediately, and is a

good way to garner attention. However,

it’s good form to ask for permission first as

some people don’t like to be tagged!


Even if you have an event on Facebook, it’s

better to get your fans to send in their

RSVP’s via email as well because people

may forget RSVP’s placed through Face-

book. With email, you can send out re-

minders prior to the event

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Facebook Questions Questions is a great tool for interacting with your fans and get-ting their thoughts. Facebook Questions works like a poll. You can ask a question and provide your fans with up to 10 options for them to choose from. Fans are also free to add their own op-tions (limited by a total of 10). For crowdsourcing ideas and opin-ions, nothing works better than Facebook Questions as results are presented in a simple, easy-to-read manner. To start using Facebook questions, go to your “Share” bar and click on “Question”. You can type your question in the space provided and add your poll options with the “Add Poll Options” link on the bottom left of the question box.

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Twitter For Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Stuff covered in this section

1. Setting Up a Twitter Account 2. Setting Rules of Engagement 3. Following People 4. Building a Content Plan and Managing Content 5. Tips on Tweeting 6. Extras: Twitter Clients, URL Shortening, Twitter Search, Scheduled Tweets, Twitter Lists

Setting Up a Twitter Account Twitter is a microblogging service that limits your posts to bite-sized pieces 140 characters long. Twitter is a great tool for sharing thoughts, live updates and breaking news in easy-to-digest snip-pets, which has been one of the reasons for its popularity amongst the internet-savvy crowd. To get onto Twitter, go to http://twitter.com and enter your name, email and password to get started! When choosing your username, try to keep it short, yet as relevant as possi-ble, as this makes it easier to remember. Do remember to upload a profile picture, add a bit about your organisation (your Twitter bio), and include your web-site address so people can find you! If you have an in-house graphic designer, get him or her to come up with a custom-ised background for your Twitter page. Alternatively, use one of these free tools such as Twitr Backgrounds (http://www.twitrbackgrounds.com/). Setting Rules of Engagement Similar to your engagement via Facebook, you need to clearly state the objectives for setting up your organisation’s Twitter account, as well as the rules of engagement. As these rules aren’t able to re-side anywhere on Twitter, we recommend writing them down on an external blog or site and sharing the link to it on your Twitter bio. Again, here are the items you should look at clarifying: Purpose It’s always good to lay out what the objectives of the Twitter account are so that there is no ambigu-ity about the conversations taking place. Responding You should give your community an idea of a reasonable timeframe to expect a response to a query. As Twitter is a faster-moving medium compared to Facebook, there will be higher expectations for a quick response and you have to manage these accordingly. However, your responses should not take longer than a day.


Here’s a great example of a Twitter bio, by


“Mobilizing a world of generous hearts to

heal children’s smiles and transform lives

across the globe”

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Additionally, your policy should also point out that you may not be able to respond to every query as some questions may not be relevant to your organisation, or you may not be able to disclose the information publicly. Following People When you first get onto Twitter, choose a few people whom you want to engage with to follow! Fol-lowing a person allows all status updates from that person to appear in your Twitter timeline auto-matically. Some suggestions would be influential bloggers, your volunteers, other charities and peo-ple who are passionate about your cause. The idea is to get these people to follow you back so that you can start off a conversation! Remember – Twitter is not a broadcasting tool, it’s a conversation medium. Also do be careful not to follow too many people at the start. You want to build up a steady stream of tweets and content before following people, so that they will have a reason to follow you back. People are usually hesitant to follow accounts that seem inactive. It would be better to increasingly fol-low people on a gradual basis. Also, check out recommendations from Twitter on whom to follow! This analysis is done based on whom you are currently following, and is pretty accurate and helpful for you to find more interesting people. Building a Content Plan and Managing Content Similarly, dedicate a good 30 minutes to an hour each week to curate content. Build in media-rich elements like photos, videos and podcasts into your posting schedule. For Twitter, it’s also good to re-share the content posted by accounts you follow (a practice called “Retweeting”) and this can reduce the number of original posts that you have to come up with on a daily basis. This is where following accounts that generate a lot of good content helps. As Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters, brevity should be top of mind, yet the post should capture the essence of the message you want to share and also be interesting at the same time! If you have an in-house copywriter, take advantage of his or her skills. The shorter your posts, the eas-ier it is for people to re-share your content as well. For an example of how a content plan should look like, refer to the section in the reference guides on page 43.

Tips on Tweeting

When to Tweet

Time and day are critical – The majority of retweeting happens on afternoons, evenings and on weekends between 3pm and midnight.

Friday is the best day for your tweets to be retweeted

Services like Tweriod (http://tweriod.com) tell you when most of your followers are online and recommends optimal tweeting times

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Using #Hashtags

Adding the # symbol before a word turns it into a hashtag. Hashtags are used to categorise tweets by topic, giving Twitter its own unique classifica-tion system. People can then search the hashtag to find all the tweets about a particular subject – which is a very powerful tool. You can use hashtags to join in a conversation around a popular topic, and this gives your account more visibility, especially to people whom are not following you but have a keen interest in the topic. In fact, you can add more than one hashtag per post (we recommend a maximum of three) if

you feel that what you are saying is relevant to more than one topic. However, do not include hashtags in every post as it can become annoying for your followers. Using Favourites If you come across interesting content that you’d like to save for reading later, use the “Favourite” button (the star) to save them for further reference. Retweeting Retweeting is the resharing someone’s tweet to your followers. Do this for tweets that have caught your fancy, but don’t do this too often as it will come across that you don’t have original content. People love to be retweeted as it is a validation of what they say, and in return they will be more likely to retweet your posts. To retweet, you can either use the Retweet button (shares the post wholesale) or you can type RT @Username followed by the tweet. The latter method allows you to add your own comments to the tweet up to the 140-character limit. Extras: Twitter Clients, URL Shortening, Scheduled Tweets, Twitter Search, Lists Twitter Clients

These are third-party applications made by developers which can run on either the desk-top or on your mobile device. Some of the more useful Twitter clients include Hootsuite (http://www.hootsuite.com) and Tweetdeck (http://www.tweetdeck.com). These let

you manage multiple Twitter accounts from one dashboard, and allow for posting to Facebook as well. However, our advice is that you not do so until you are relatively ex-perienced, in order to avoid tweeting from the wrong account. URL Shortening When tweeting, you will notice that long URL’s (website addresses) tend to take up a lot of space. Twitter has a default URL shortener that immediately cuts down the URL length to a rather manage-able 20+ characters when you post it, but you may want to use URL shortening services like bit.ly (http://bit.ly) or goo.gl (http://goo.gl) which offer you analytics to go along with the URL shortening service. These services let you see the number of times your link was clicked on, helping you deter-mine which content is more popular amongst your followers. Use this feedback wisely and incorpo-rate it into your content planning!


It’s fine to edit the text of the original post

(but do not alter content) to fit into 140

characters when retweeting using the RT


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You will need to create a bit.ly account in order to access the analytics, while you just need a Google account to use goo.gl’s analytics. Most Twitter clients also usually shorten links by default, although some still do not offer this func-tionality. Scheduled Tweets

Ever felt that you had a lot of great content but didn’t want to share it all at once to avoid flooding your followers? What you can do is to use tweet scheduling services like Laterbro (http://www.Laterbro.com) or Futuretweets (http://www.Futuretweets.com) to space out your con-tent. It also helps if you foresee a busy day ahead and won’t have time to tweet throughout the day. Scheduled Tweets also helps with push-ing out content on weekends! However, do check back once your

tweets go out just in case you need to respond to comments or questions. Twitter Search Twitter Search (http://search.twitter.com) is a very useful tool for trawling the Twittersphere to look for mentions about your organisation which you may have missed. It’s also great for seeing what people are saying about your industry too. If you have the time, run Twitter Search once a day to keep updated with the latest happenings concerning your organisation. Alternatively, you can also access Twitter Search from your Twitter homepage – it sits right at the very top of your screen. However, using the Twitter Search website gives you access to advanced searching tools that you won’t be able to get simply from using the search bar in Twitter. Twitter Lists Twitter lists allow you to organise the people you follow into specific categories which may be useful for you to filter information. For example, you can put all fellow SG Gives charities into a “Charities” list, all volunteers you follow into a “Volunteers” list and so on. You can follow lists that are created by other people too! When you click on a list, you will only see tweets from everyone in that list. To create a list, go over to your profile, click on the drop-down arrow on the “Lists” tab and select “Create a List”.


Lists created by other people are a good

resource for finding new people to follow


Join in the discussions you find via Twitter

Search! It’s a good way to build your ac-

count’s visibility and helps you get more

followers too

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Blogs For Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Stuff covered in this section

1. Free Blogging Platforms 2. Building a blogging calendar 3. Tips on Blogging 4. Extras: Donate Button

One of the earliest forms of social media, blogs are online sites that allow organisations and indi-viduals to express their opinions as well as share updates on events and happenings. Blog posts are also useful for generating discussion about a particular subject matter.

Free Blogging Platforms

Blogger/Blogspot (www.blogger.com): Hosts free blogs using the format (your-name).blogspot.com. Blogger is more suited to a journal or a traditional blog format where you can post about your news in a chronologi-cal format.

Wordpress (www.wordpress.com): Hosts free blogs using the format (your-name).wordpress.com. Wordpress is more customisable, and can even be used as a mini-website.

Tumblr (www.tumblr.com): Hosts free blogs using the format (your-name).tumblr.com. Tumblr has simple tem-plates to choose from, but is much less cus-tomisable. It is, however, good if a simple de-sign is what you are looking for. Tumblr makes content sharing easy between fellow bloggers as you can “re-blog” content with just one click.

Building a Blogging Calendar

Let’s make your life easier by helping you build a blogging calendar. Trust us, you’d thank be thank-ful afterwards. What is it, you may ask? Well, a blogging calendar is, to put it simply, your list of fu-ture content.

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There are different types of content that you can put into you blog. Here are a few examples:




Case Studies




Planning your content helps make sure that there is a steady stream of posts. Whether you choose to update your blog daily, thrice weekly, weekly, or every fortnight, a blogging calendar will make sure that your there is always fresh content for your readers and supporters. As for the format of your blogging calendar, the sim-plest would be to take a normal monthly calendar and jot down topic ideas for future posts. This also allows you to plan your content accordingly if you would be blogging around your organisation’s events, like a fundraising concert. Your blog can then help inform people about it, keep them part of the preparation process, and update them of the status of the fundraiser.


You can further spice up your content by

using video, photos, podcasts, illustrations,

flash animation, and much more!

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Extras: Donate Button

Believe it or not, people will read your organisation’s blog wanting to donate to your cause, especially if you’ve done your blogging right. One of the things that you could do to make it easier is to integrate a donate button, preferably on the sidebar. Since the technology today makes online transactions easier, this can be done easily by just copying a code from the SG Gives website.

Tips on Blogging

Blogging can be quite fun, especially after you’ve got the rhythm for it. You’ll notice that your posts are easier to write and that you always have content that you would want to put up. However, no matter what skill level you’re in, there are always tips to make sure your blogging experience is worth your reader’s while.

Keep it personal A blog is usually something more personal and less cold than, say, a corporate website. As such, be sure to keep your language light and your tone friendly. Your readers will feel the warmth and genu-ineness in your posts and would most likely come back again.

Know your goals Before writing be sure that you know why you’re writing it and what the expected action is for your readers. If it’s to solicit donations then be sure you have a call to action line in your writing and back up why they should do what you’re asking them to do.

Know your audience If your audience (or target audience) are mostly employees and busy, you may want to time your posts on times of the day that they are free or to even keep your post length short and simple for easy reading. Knowing who your audience is, what they do, and how they like to receive their infor-mation is almost half the battle. Find this out!

Keep it consistent If you plan to write weekly, post something weekly. If your readers expect fresh content to be up, then you need to ensure that there is something new for them to read. This keeps your consistency with them (and their reading habits) and puts you top of mind. The more you post, the more visible you also become.

Have fun Last, but most definitely not the least, have fun while blogging. The more you enjoy it, the more it comes across in your writing. Use it to your advantage and your blog and readers will thank you.

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Forums For Intermediate and Advanced Stuff covered in this section

1. Getting Started on Forums 2. Building your Street Cred – How to be a Formidable Forum User 3. Tips on Posting in Forums

Getting Started on Forums Forums, or bulletin boards, have been around ever since the birth of the Internet. Forums were traditionally used by software engineers to discuss technical topics, but ever since then they have evolved to encompass a myr-iad other subjects, ranging from fashion to technology to food to sports. And everything in between. Unlike a blog, Facebook Page or Twitter account, managing a forum presence is pretty different from the rest of the social media platforms discussed so far. In a forum, there are usually subforums that are defined by subject matter and it is in these subforums where discussions are actually taking place. Discussions are usually grouped into threads. To be part of the discussion, you have to follow what’s being said and add value to the conversation. In contrast to a blog, Facebook Page or Twitter account where you can lead the discussion, more often than not in forums you have to start off by following a discussion before trying to start your own.

Seeing how the discussion is led by others, your first step should be to identify which forums you would like to participate in. Identifying the right places to contrib-ute ensures that you remain relevant and are able to add value, making people sit up and take notice of you and your organisation. The best way to do this is to look through the conversations in the forums using the handy forum search tools that are available and look for discussions that are relevant to your organisation.

Do note that it is recommended you participate as an individual rather than an organisation, as some forums may have rules against organisations creating an account for themselves. However, partici-pating as an individual doesn’t mean that you can let loose – you still need to follow the rules gov-erning respectful behaviour in forums – as what you say will ultimately reflect on your organisation as well. On the other hand, participating as an individual gives you a little levity on what you can say and you can show more of your personal side when engaging other forum users. The goal to keep in mind here is to build up your credibility as a voice for your organisation before you can start speak-ing on your organisation’s behalf. As the discussions taking place on forums are usually pretty in-depth, participants are commonly those who are passionate about the topic and are liable to discuss matters profoundly. As such, charities dealing with causes that people are more likely to champion (such as animal welfare) may find forums more useful than others.


Here are some active forums in Singapore

to start with:

Hardware Zone Forums


AsiaOne Forums


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Building Street Cred – How to be a Formidable Forum User As discussed in the previous paragraph, the goal in forums is to build your credibility as a voice for your organisation. In order to do that, you have to first build credibility for yourself in subjects that pertain to your organisation, so that you can later speak on your organisation’s behalf. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to get involved in all relevant discussions! The more you contribute to the community, the more you will get noticed. Additionally, most forums have a rank-ing system whereby members can “level up” once they have achieved a certain number of forum posts. Increasing your level on the forums will also increase your credibility in the eyes of the other members. Secondly, be helpful. If you get the opportunity to lend your expertise or a helping hand to other forum members, take it! It helps you build better relationships and increases your value to the community. Thirdly, don’t be afraid to debate. One of the key characteristics of forums is that it’s a place for open discussions to take place and forum moderators usually don’t step in unless comments get abusive or go beyond the rules of engagement for the forum. If you shy away from discussions, you tend to lose credibility. As you are participating as an individual, you are less constrained by organ-isational image and are freer to express opinions that you may not be able to as an organisation. Finally, use the backchannel wisely! The backchannel is a term use to describe taking conversations out of public view, usually done through direct messaging. This is a great way to build stronger relationships with influential forum members that your organisation may want to en-gage in the future.


Backchanelling is a tactic which can also be

used on Facebook (through the “send

message” function) and Twitter (using Di-

rect Messages)

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Tips on Posting in Forums Make time One of the main issues that most people face in forum participation is time. Try to make it a habit to browse through the discussions on a daily basis, devoting around 15 minutes of your time per day to access the forum. Once you’ve been away for too long, people tend to forget you. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”, and this is particularly true on forums where there are so many new people joining each day. Also, not check-ing in daily means you may miss out on an opportunity to contribute your expertise and build your credibility.

Stay Objective As mentioned earlier, forums are one of the places where debate tends to rage back and forth, and with all debates, emotions do at times get in the way of objectivity. One of the best ways to remain a respected forum member is to always maintain objectivity at times and not let emotions get the better of you. Heated arguments tend to pop up all the time in forums and if the users are unaware, they can let their emotions get in the way and the debate morphs into a personal feud between the debating parties. As all conversations are in public view, quarrels often irk the other members of the forum who are not involved yet subjected to reading the emotionally-charged postings. Remember – it’s the internet. It’s not personal.

Add Value Don’t post for the sake of saying something. Be sure that what you post adds value to the conversation, be it creating content, sharing a point of view, or even providing some humour to brighten up someone’s day.

Be Transparent Even though you’re presenting yourself as an individual, it’s always a good idea to be transparent and upfront about your associations. This will help you later when you speak on your organisation’s behalf and it helps other forum members better understand your point of view.

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Monitoring & Listening For Intermediate and Advanced Stuff covered in this section

1. Listening and Monitoring – What are these? 2. Monitoring and Listening Tools 3. Key Metrics to Monitor 4. Sample Monitoring Report

Listening and Monitoring – What are these? Listening A listening exercise is important when you are looking to put together your social media strategy. It can help determine which channels your fans are most active on, identify trends, or determine the type of target audience you want to attract. A simple listening programme starts with understanding the chatter around your organisation. This can be done by understanding which social media platforms talk most about your organisation or cause. To find out, you need to go out there and explore! Be it forums, Facebook, Twitter or blogs, delve into them and search for conversations concerning your organisation. This exercise will involve quite a considerable amount of man-hours but the return on investment for your time will be sub-stantial. It will give you a clearer picture of what is being discussed about your organisation out there, and also help you determine which platforms you should leverage on to engage people who are interested in your cause. If you have the funds, it is worth investing in a social media monitoring agency, as that saves you the time of having to go out and look for conversations. Such services are discussed in further detail in the next section. Monitoring On the other hand, monitoring involves measuring the efforts of your outreach. It could be as simple as measuring the growth of your Facebook fans or Twitter followers, to as complicated as calculating the cost required to acquire each fan or follower. The metrics which you measure will depend on your goals, and this will be discussed in further detail in subsequent sections. Monitoring is important because it gives you feedback on your efforts and helps you determine whether your social media outreach is on-track to achieving the goals you have set out for it at the start. Without a feedback channel, you wouldn’t know where to direct your efforts and which areas to focus on. Again, social media monitoring agencies can help in this regard, but monitoring services can be ex-pensive, so choose wisely.

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Monitoring and Listening Tools Here are some of the more popular services for listening and monitoring. We’ve split this list into

free and paid for your easy reference.


Google Blog Search Google Discussion Search Twitter Search Google Alerts Technorati RSS Readers Addict-o-Matic Facebook Insights Twitter Analytics (Upcoming)


Radian6 Brandtology JamiQ Meltwater Buzz

While paid services from the monitoring agencies are certainly more comprehensive and provide you with great tools to analyse the collected data, you may not need that much data, depending on the metrics that you want to measure. Additionally, monitoring services will not be able to access all the data from social networks like Facebook and Twitter due to individual privacy settings. It is im-portant to note that monitoring services can only access publicly-available data and this limits their effectiveness on certain platforms. Hence, before determining which tools you should use, you need to first figure out what metrics you want to measure, which brings us to the next section. Key Metrics to Monitor There are so many metrics that can be measured, and these vary depending on your objective for social media outreach. For example, if your goal is to raise donations, then your key metric is the amount of money being donated through your donation site, but if it is to raise awareness of your cause, your key metric could be fans or engagement (clicks / replies / posts). Hence, it is important that you tie your metrics to your goal for social media outreach. What is provided here are some suggested metrics and how to measure them. It is up to you to choose which metrics best suit your needs.

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Fans / Followers / Readers One of the most common metrics. For Facebook and Twitter, these numbers are displayed on your Facebook Page / Twitter account. For measuring your blog readership, you should integrate a tool like Google Analytics that helps you track the number of visits to your blog.


For Facebook, engagement on your page can usually be measured by counting the number of active fans. Fans are considered “active” if they have performed an ac-tion on your page – e.g. “liked” a post, or commented on a post. This can be ac-cessed through the Facebook Insights dashboard. You can find the link to the Face-book Insights dashboard from the right-hand bar on your Facebook Page. Other

methods of looking at engagement would be to calculate the number of posts from fans, likes and comments on your page. A good measurement of engagement on Twitter is to look at the number of people who @mention or retweet your posts. On forums, this is equivalent to other users replying directly to your posts, or quoting you in their posts. For measuring how engaged your readers are with your blog, take a look at the number of com-ments that your readers leave on every post. You can also incorporate sharing buttons on your blog to see how often your posts are re-shared by your readers to their own networks. Remember, the best way to increase engagement from your community is to be engaging! No one wants to talk to a wall that doesn’t respond. Clickthroughs

Clickthroughs are a measure of how many times people click on the links that you share. This is really important if part of your strategy is to use content creation and curation to grow your fan base and engagement. The best way to measure click-throughs is to use a service like bit.ly or goo.gl to keep track of all the clicks

on the links you share. Remember to shorten each link using the service before sharing it. Tracking clickthroughs allows you to determine which links are more popular with your fans and you can then adjust your content accordingly.


It’s good to incorporate separate bit.ly or

goo.gl accounts for your Twitter and Face-

book Pages so you know where your traffic

is coming from

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Sentiment All the above metrics discussed so far are quantitative, but it’s also good to take note of the qualitative metric of sentiment, such as what fans are saying and whether comments are on the overall positive or negative. This gives you an understanding into how your community perceives your or-ganisation. Sentiment measuring has to be done on a manual basis, though some monitoring services are able to automatically (using com-puters) analyse sentiment for you as well.

Sample Monitoring Report Finally, here’s a sample monitoring report which we hope will give you a good idea of how to put all of these metrics into a readable, easy-to-digest table for easy tracking of your progress on social media.

Platform Monitored Metric Week of 3/10 Week of 10/10 Week of 17/10


Followers 170 178 200

Retweets 25 34 27

@mentions 44 36 80

Clickthroughs 166 102 124


Fans 255 266 290

Likes 27 34 35

Comments 23 28 18

Clickthroughs 98 103 177


Facebook Shares 14 21 13

Twitter Shares 12 22 20

Comments 9 10 11

Views 140 120 133

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Web Videos For Advanced Stuff covered in this section

1. Video Sharing Sites 2. Preparing for your shoot – What you will need 3. Post-production: Free and Easy Video Tools

Video Sharing Sites Video is one of the richest forms of media available today, as it combines images with sounds to de-liver a message. If you have the time and resources, it’s certainly worthwhile to consider video crea-tion as a tactic to complement your social media outreach. With so many video sharing sites avail-able, here are some of the more popular ones for your consideration: YouTube

The granddaddy of all video-sharing sites, YouTube (http:/www.youtube.com) is the most popular of them all and its servers see thousands of new videos being uploaded each day. YouTube’s latest update now allows you to edit uploaded videos directly on their web-

site. Creating a YouTube channel dedicated to your organisation makes it easier for people to search for videos that are related to you. Even if you don’t create a lot of videos, you can curate interesting and relevant videos from all over YouTube to share, and this content will keep people coming back for more. Vimeo

Vimeo (http:/www.vimeo.com) is a video sharing site dedicated to the crea-tive community and you will usually find only user-created videos on the site. Commercial videos are not allowed on Vimeo.

Preparing for your Shoot – What you will need Storyboard The first step to creating a video is to draft up a storyboard which shows how the video will flow. Imagine the storyboard as the spine of the video. The storyboard will help you to visualise how char-acters, props and backgrounds will fit together in any particular scene or sequence of shots. In other words, a storyboard is the visualisation of your script. Having your entire video storyboarded before it is shot makes it easier for you to move through the scenes, and it also helps you prepare for the shoot logistically. All you will need is a pen, paper, and a huge dose of imagination. When storyboarding, always try to keep in mind how the scene will play out and sketch out your ideas visually.

● ● ●

Did you know?

The volume of searches

on YouTube is the sec-

ond largest after Google

● ● ●

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For more information on Storyboarding, check out this resource from Wikihow: http://www.wikihow.com/Draw-Storyboards Scripting You will also need a script which is your story. Videos laced with humour always tend to fare well amongst viewers, so remember to inject funny scenes or lines whenever you can. Video Camera If you have the funds, invest in a better camcorder like the Canon Legria. Otherwise, you can also get a basic camcorder like the Sony Bloggie or the Creative VadoHD, or even use the video recording fea-ture on your smartphone! Technology has evolved to the point that the videos which we shoot on our phones are good enough for web viewing. Props/Sets Props always make a video look better and it’s great if you can incorporate at least one or two props per scene. You don’t have to go out of your way to buy props, borrow or use stuff that you have ly-ing around! Location Think about where you will want to shoot your video. Try to visualise how the lighting will affect your shots. It’s always good to conduct site reconnaissance before deciding on a location for your shooting. Post-Production: Free and Easy Video Tools Once you’ve finished shooting your video, you’ll need to put the finishing touches on it before uploading. Here are some nifty (and free) video editing tools that you can use to make your video look great! Windows Movie Maker If you’re a PC user, this software comes preloaded with your copy of Windows and is the simplest tool for editing and stitching your videos together. It al-lows you to add some video effects and text overlays as well. Apple iMovie The equivalent of Windows Movie Maker on the Mac operating system, Apple iMovie has many ad-vanced features and add-ons and is one of the best free video editing software available for Mac users. Wax Wax (http://www.debugmode.com/wax/) is a high performance and flexible video compositing and special effects software. Wax is good for both home users and professionals. It can be used as a stand-alone application, or as a plug-in to other video editors. The software also features unlimited video and audio tracks with top-down compositing.


YouTube now has its own video-editing

tools available when you upload a video to

its site

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Reference Guides

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Social Media Crash Course So what is social media all about? Here’s a quick guide to four popular social networks:

Facebook Facebook is the world’s (current) biggest social network, with 750 million ac-tive users as of July 2011. On Facebook, you can post status updates, share pictures, videos, messages and links, play games (by yourself or with friends), and run apps.

LinkedIn More commonly known as the business version of Facebook, where one can focus on networking, finding potential jobs, or discuss trending issues in spe-cial interest groups. Your profile is your resume on LinkedIn, so be careful of what you post online!

Google+ Dubbed as the newest kid on the block, Google+ allows you to post status up-dates, share pictures from Picasa (a photo sharing website by Google), and more. It also integrates other popular Google services like Gmail, all within Google+.

Twitter A microblogging site that enables users to send messages (or “tweets”) of 140 characters or less. Twitter is ranked as one of the ten most visited websites worldwide by Alexa’s web traffic analytics.

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Getting started... Creating your profile: Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ require some basic information to get started. The more information you share, the easier it will be for potential followers to find you. The “Edit Profile” button should fill you in on what type of information you should share. Twitter remains simple – simply pick a username (15 characters or less), upload a picture and add a line that describes you best in less than 160 characters. Posting updates: In each network, a majority of your activities will revolve around posting updates (and replying them!). They are called different things on each network, so don’t be confused as they all mean the same thing! On Twitter, the list of tweets you see is called your Timeline. On Facebook, the updates you receive from your friends is called the Newsfeed, and the status updates you post on your pro-file is called your Wall. On Google+, the posts you see is called your Stream. But no matter the name, it’s all the same idea. How can you maximise each update? An easy way to share updates or news would be to post interesting links or pictures. Don’t just focus on promoting your organisation, but explore sharing information that may enable followers to learn more about your cause. Remember to be human! A good way to break the posting cycle could also be in the form of a “behind the scenes” picture, where you can share more about what goes on at your organisation. This also allows your followers to see a more human side of you – this is impor-tant as followers tend to be more forgiving and empathetic when they know the person behind the account.

Talking shop... Best practice commenting: Successful engaging is like being a guest at a dinner party. If you un-derstand the conversation and have something constructive (or con-tentious) to add that keeps the conversation flowing, jump in. And even when you don’t have something to say, you can still watch, lis-ten and learn. The communities or networks were seldom built as platforms just for you – you are a guest who can succeed if you play by the community’s rules. So before you jump in, consider some basic comment-ing tips that are relevant for blogs, discussion forums or social networks:

Comment early – The earlier you comment the greater your ability to help shape the discus-sion. Early comments are more likely to be read and responded to. This is especially impor-tant if you’re responding to a negative post. Also be sure to read what others have posted before commenting.


When uploading a Profile Picture, be sure

to pick a square picture, so that your logo

does not get cropped off accidentally.

Also, try to use the same picture through-

out your social networks to maintain con-

sistency, so that your followers can easily

identify you.

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Share relevant examples – Link to examples that qualify your opinion (but avoid linking to press releases) – and make sure you have your facts straight

Extend the conversation – “Me too” comments add little value. Make sure what you’re adding is fresh (remember the dinner party!)

Disagree / correct – Feel free to correct or offer a contrary perspective (as long as it can be supported and is in line with corporate guidelines)

Ask questions – Blog comments / forum threads are great places to create relationships. Ask questions and get to know other commenters – they may be useful contacts

Respect your audience – don’t assume to know people nor understand context

Use your own name – Anonymity helps no-one. Declare who you are and your interest up front. The Internet will always find out if you don’t…

Call to action – Avoid the call to action at the beginning of the message (this creates a de-manding tone), rather, place it at the back

Be human – Avoid using messages lifted directly from campaign literature or press releases – re-word these to suit the social channel

Anger management – Take it offline, ask the person to email you at your personal email and provide more detail, so that you can help. Make sure that you follow through until the issue is resolved or redirect appropriately and confidently within the organisation


Keep it conversational! People

don’t build relationships with

press releases, they build it with

people. Use your own “voice” –

but don’t be afraid to have fun!

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Content Plan Once you’ve decided on what social media platform you would like to use, the next step is about filling it with content. What do you want to tell your audience? Though hard to believe, posting information and content up on your social media platform requires a fair amount of thoughtful planning, and this is often underestimated. Content plans are critical for the creation of interesting, engaging and relevant information for your various stakeholders. When creating a content plan, there are several questions you should always ask yourself . What type of content do I want to post? How often do I want to post it? And if I have more than one social media platform, which platform will be the best for a particular type of information I want to share? A lot of research goes into looking for the right content for your audience. As this often takes up time, a plan should always be created about two weeks in advance, to ensure efficiency. Good content plans are consistent with your organisation’s goals. For example, if you are looking to promote an upcoming event and have plans to generate awareness offline, you should also mirror that on your social media platform. As such, make sure that when you are preparing your content plan, include information on the upcoming event. There are many ways to map out your content plan. One way which it can be done is on an Excel document.

Platform Type of Content Date Status Copy URL

Facebook / Twitter Question 1-Oct Posted

What drives you to volunteer your

time? Share your thoughts with


Twitter Sustenance 1-Oct Posted

Here's an interesting video from

one of the events we recently




Facebook / Twitter Announcement 2-Oct Pending

We're holding a volunteer

appreciation day next Saturday!

Do come join us . More detai ls in

the l ink



Facebook / Twitter Question 3-Oct Pending

What's your favouri te method of

donating? Do you prefer in-

person, onl ine or other means?

Let us know!

Facebook / Twitter Req for Donation 4-Oct Pending

We're having a donation drive

today and would appreciate i t i f

you could lend us your support!

Cl ick on the l ink to find out more



Twitter Status Update 4-Oct PendingWe turn 1 year old today! Happy

birthday to us :)

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Content plans should be a clear and specific document which lists the type of content you want to post, any links you would like to include, and when they will be posted. Content can be organic (generated by your organisation) or from a variety of sources which you have come across and find it interesting to share with your community.

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Escalation Plan What do you do when someone posts a question on your social media platform which you do not have the answer to? An escalation plan will help with that. It is a set of frameworks or procedures put in place to deal with potential problems and queries. Essentially, it provides a roadmap of com-munication when embarking on a social media programme. One of the most important things to remember when engaging on social media is to ALWAYS re-spond or acknowledge someone’s query. A no-response is never an option. The below chart maps out what you should do when you encounter a query. By always responding, it makes your audience feel important and your organisation will be viewed as more personable. If you are able to respond to the query (from the responses in the response library or based on your knowledge), do so immediately. If not, always acknowledge the question and let the person know that you will be providing him with an answer shortly. There is no shame in admitting that you do not have all the answers immediately. When engaging on social media, it always pays to be prepared. Escalation plans should also include a list of specific people to contact in an event you receive a query of a particular nature, which you do not have the answer to. As such, you can contact that person directly instead of going on a wild goose chase when the problem or question arises.

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Response Library A response library is a database of all the possible questions we might expect when engaging our audience in the digital space. Simply put, it is an ever-growing pool of FAQs. One of the benefits of having a comprehensive and up-to-date response library is that it will allow you to provide a quicker response to your audience and shortens the escalation process (see previ-ous page). Because there could be more than one person overseeing your social media platform over a period of time, a response library also minimises the duplication of effort within the team, especially when you get the same type of questions frequently.

When queries come in, they should always be logged into the response library, accompanied by the

approved responses. When a future similar query is asked, you can always find the response in the

library and not have to hunt the right person down to get an answer.

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Contact us

Official email: [email protected]

Text 100 diVP Programme Lead: Phillip Raskin

[email protected]

+65 6603 9023 (direct)

+65 9173 8600 (mobile)

Text 100 Pte Ltd.: 20 Cross Street

#03-07/08 China Square Central

Singapore 048422

+65 6603 9000 (main line)

About Text 100

Text 100 is a global public relations consultancy with a staff of 550 people and a direct presence in

30 cities worldwide. We enable our clients to achieve breakthrough results and enhance their brand

leadership through digital communications. Globally, our client roster includes IBM, Cisco, Xerox,

MTV, British Airways, Skype, Lenovo, Samsung, Schneider Electric, HTC, BMW and many other lead-

ing brands. We are recognised as an innovator in the field of public relations, particularly in digital

communications, and hold the 2010 Asia Pacific PR award for best consumer campaign. Our strong

people-focused culture has been praised around the world and we have been recognised as the Best

Midsize Agency in Asia, the Best Agency to Work for in the US, and one of the UK’s Best Small Com-

panies. For more information about Text 100, please visit www.text100.com.