Social media for charity CEOs – what they said

Last week, the CEOs from charities large and small gathered at the Hub in King’s Cross to discuss, debate and learn about how they can use social media in the course of their work, and how to avoid the risks.No time to tweet Check out the Storify of the event.

The speakers

After an introductory presentation by me, they heard from Gracia McGrath OBE, the CEO of Chance UK, who has used Twitter to get meetings with journalists that would otherwise have been inaccessible.

The group then heard from Simon Blake OBE, the chief executive of Brook, who discussed issues like empowering his staff using social media.

We were able to discuss Twitter with peers in a relaxed environment where everyone was there to learn and support each other.” – Polly Neate, CEO, Women’s Aid

Debate and questions by all followed, covering a huge variety of aspects of social media.

Complementary approaches

I loved the different approaches in the room. Some felt a personal account was essential for adding a human face to their brand, whereas others couldn’t think of anything worse! Some felt handing responsibility to staff was helpful, and others saw the risks inherent in this. It was fascinating how the various approaches were valid and effective in different ways.

All attendees agreed that social media was a fantastic opportunity to gain support, trust and even funding for their organisations.

Top five tips for CEOs

The top five tips for charity CEOs using social media that came out of the session:

  1. Shorten the gap – tweet and be
    come instantly reachable and approachable to staff and volunteers nationwide.
  2. Personal tweets build trust – some tweets about hobbies build internal trust with staff.
  3. Empower your staff (within boundaries) – tell staff how they can help represent your organisation on Twitter, and ensure they remember that if saying something in a meeting would be a disciplinary, it would be on Twitter too.
  4. You are what you tweet – consider how you want to come across (knowledgeable or informal, activist or unifier) and tweet accordingly.
  5. Don’t get drawn into arguments – some people love to argue (or worse) online. Don’t get sucked in.

Look out for the next event in the not-too-distant future!

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