Nonprofits that have successfully implemented social media strategies under the following:

1. Assess Audiences
Know what the social activities are of their audience and choose their strategies and tools accordingly

  • Who are you trying to reach on the social web? Existing or potential? Younger or older?
  • What "social activities" is your target audience likely to be doing online? (creating, joining social networks, etc)
  • Where are you likely to find your audience online?
  • How will find the answers to your questions about your audience's social activities?

Why: Read this
2 Set Measurable Outcomes
Set outcomes based on a clear understanding of how social media changes the feedback loop between organization and stakeholder

  • What do you want to accomplish on the social web?
  • Have you established realistic and measurable outcomes?
  • How will you listen? How will you participate?
  • How will you engage in conversations with your current or potential audience?
  • How will you encourage your audience to participate or create their own experience with your content or message?

3. Staff Roles
Put someone in charge who is comfortable and passionate about social media, but the social media strategy is everywhere in the organization

  • Who will be responsible for tactical implementation? Are they comfortable with the tools? Are they passionate about your programs or the community of people you want to reach?
  • How will you involve others in the organization in the strategy?

4. Policy
Understand what the organization and organization's staff will and will not do on the social web

  • Have you identified a social media policy for how your staff will represent the organization on a social networking site or what they will or will not blog about on their personal blogs or organizational blog?
  • Have you discussed the what the worst possible thing that could happen? How will you respond to criticism in blog comments, or a Fan on Facebook set up by someone outside your organization, but doesn't use your branding?
  • What happens if someone remixes your logo or remixes your message? What is the opposing side posts photos to your photo sharing group or responses with a video on YouTube? Will try to control it or embrace it?

5. Experiment
Understand that success is based on some trial and error and start small, learning from each activity

  • Have you created an experiment that is low-risk where you can learn?
  • How can you jump in first as an individual and then later as a group?
  • Does your organization have an environment where is safe to learn (fail)?
  • How will you design your first experiment, second experiment?
  • How will you figure out what doesn't work so you not do it again? How will you figure what works so you can repeat it? How will watch what other organizations are doing with social media and their results?

6. Time
Know that social media is a different way of approaching external or internal communications, it takes time and patience

  • How will you encourage a change of culture so that social media can be embraced by your organization?
  • How will you educate a skeptical executive director, board, or other staff?
  • How much time have you alloted for those will implement? How will you create the time?