Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Never too old to learn new tricks

10641062_10154594348635234_6064456238213819333_nAs a millennial, I thought I pretty much knew it all when it came to social media. However, after attending StayLocal’s intensive social media workshops, I realized there is a big difference between managing personal accounts and organizations’ accounts.

The intensive social media workshops stemmed from StayLocal’s summer retail workshop series. The series focused on everything from commercial retail space to loss prevention and, of course, social media. At the social media workshop there was standing room only and the speaker was cramming to explain how businesses could use all of social media in just an hour and a half.

We decided to hold three workshops that each focus on a different social media platform: Instagram/Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

On social media there are a variety of tools, analytic platforms, and “rules” to help an organization secure a captivating presence and make the most of the platform. Without going in to every little detail, I will recap some of the tips I gleaned from the workshops. If you want every little detail, you can go to our website to see the presenters’ slides.

Keep in mind these presentations were designed for business owners, not non-profits. However, almost all the information directly applies to or can be adapted to fit with a non-profit’s mission and goals.

*First important note: Several times I will refer to your organization’s “voice”—by this I mean the tone, language, and content of your posts.

You should pick three adjectives to describe your organization’s “personality.” I’ll give you two examples of the voices I use for two very different pages I manage to illustrate this point.

1) StayLocal: friendly, casual, and energetic

2) The Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative: calm, sophisticated/intelligent, and informed

Check out the pages to see example posts

Week 1

Instagram and Pinterest

“If you liked it then you should have put a pin on it”


  • Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 10.55.33 PMInstagram is the most fashionable kid on the block. It’s where to showcase your coolest and artsiest impulses.
  • Keep a consistent post theme that is in-line with your organization’s voice.
    • EX: Good Eggs’ color plate is toned down with simple, white background, bright white light, and colorful foods. Each picture fits with the “simple, natural, organic” voice of their brand.


  • Pinterest is great for design-minded brands. Use it to feature styles, trends, and looks with your customers.
  • You can make “private” boards.
  • Post about your “culture.”
    • EX: Fleurty Girl, a local clothing store, posts not only pictures of their clothes, but also New Orleans living (i.e. Saints’ games, happy hours, festivals).

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 10.58.59 PM

Click here for Powerpoint: Part 1 + Part 2

*Another important note! Advertise your social media on and off-line. Put your social media handles on your website, business cards, posted in store/in office (there are great examples of this in all three Powerpoints).

Week 2


The “sneaky mistress”

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.02.04 PM

  • Content is King!
  • Respond to followers quickly (that 72 hour rule for email does not apply in the instantaneous world of social media)
  • People love pictures! Prioritize images over a lot of text
  • Edgerank – the algorithm that determines what posts are shown to what people
    • Only 16% of your Fans will see your posts (Check the slides to learn how to improve your edgerank)
  • Schedule, target, promote content
  • Use Facebook’s Graph Search (so much information!)
  • Advertise
  • Review page “insights”

Click here for Powerpoint

Week 3


A little birdy told me…

  • Keep it short
  • Give click links to context
  • Make it visual
  • Optimize for leads
  • Go to ads.twitter.com for your tweet analytics
  • “Cards” are paid-for Twitter ads (get them at ads.twitter.com)
  • Balance a mixture of promotional and informative tweets
  • Optimize and schedule your tweets
  • Don’t hashtag all content – it looks #amateur. #SocialMedia
  • Converse and look for topics relevant to your business

Click here for Powerpoint: Part 1 + Part 2

Finally, always remember…




This entry was posted on November 16, 2014 by in VISTA Field Reports.


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