This week, let’s look at Save Texas Schools, one of many programs organized by Austin Voices for Education and Youth (AVEY). Full disclosure: my husband serves as a board member for this nonprofit. AVEY’s initiatives focus on public schools and expanding opportunities for Austin’s youth by improving campuses, engaging youth, and influencing district-wide change. One of their biggest projects is the Save Texas Schools coalition. This coming Saturday, February 23rd is the Save Texas Schools Rally and March at our State Capital, which provides a good opportunity to examine the organization’s social media strategy to engage its stakeholders for the big event.
The goal of this program is to raise awareness among our state officials and build public support to fund Texas public education. Like many nonprofits, it is important to keep in mind that the coalition’s social media is managed and organized by volunteers. Here are their social media sites:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaveTexasSchools
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/savetxschools
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SaveTXSchools/videos
Beth Kanter, an expert in the field of social media for nonprofits, discussed the difficulty of linking an organization’s success to their social media efforts in her blog post, Can You Measure Love?. Kanter outlines a few key points to quantify a meaningful way for nonprofits to measure progress. The one that stood out the most is to establish a detailed “chain of events” through the organization’s social media usage. In doing so, Kanter explains how the outline strategically creates a pathway to the organization’s overall mission and definition of success.
The Save Texas Schools’ Facebook page and Twitter page do a very nice job of establishing the framework for their mission and building up the excitement for the upcoming march and rally. They keep their social media conversations current and ongoing by posting articles and videos from reputable experts discussing topics that are directly related to their cause. They also created an event page on Facebook for the Save Texas Schools Rally & March 2013, which is open to the public. Here are a few examples of how they’ve executed a strategic chain of events:
Lately, Save Texas Schools has been keeping the rally and march at the forefront of their postings. This builds excitement for the event and keeps a consistent message of fighting for great public schools for all Texas children. Last week, Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Austin’s City Council declared February 23rd (the date of the rally & march) as “Save Texas Schools Day” for the organization’s success with advocacy on the issue.
I would measure the organization’s social media tactics as successful. Their campaign has definitely helped them build a presence here in Austin and statewide, which may not have been possible without social media. Kudos to Austin Voices for Education and Youth and their commitment to Save Texas Schools!