When you look at the social media accounts for your nonprofit, do you see potential partners lurking among all those people? Running a social media ambassador program offers a way to tap those shining stars for service while increasing your organization’s online presence.

In this final post of our social media ambassador series, you’ll learn how to grow and strengthen your program over time by creating an identity, reaching out to new audiences and asking for additional action.

Back to Basics: Starting a Social Media Ambassador Program

In the first part of this series, we described the reasons to empower people to be social media ambassadors for your nonprofit. From Facebook reach to cultivating potential donors, read more about the 4 Benefits to Starting a Social Media Ambassador Program.

In part two, we dove right into to getting your program started, including setting goals, creating structure, identifying ambassadors and putting together training tools. Before we head into growing your program, don’t miss out on How to Add Ambassadors to Your Nonprofit Social Media Strategy.

Strengthening Your Program

Running an effective volunteer program requires constant attention and relationship building—whether it’s all happening online or in person.

To help you wrangle your nonprofit’s social media ambassador program, we put together a list of ways to make a welcoming and ever-expanding community that is increasingly invested in your cause.

Build a Sense of Identity

  1. Give the group a name and be sure it’s something that folks will actually use. You could even have the inaugural members take a vote. Bonus points if it’s also a decent hashtag like #SpreadtheGood.
  2. Create a special Facebook or LinkedIn group where your ambassadors can connect with you and each other by sharing resources, networking and asking and answering questions.
  3. Leverage your awesome hashtag and host a Twitter chat with your ambassadors. The chat raises awareness of your cause among their followers, and it’s also a chance to brainstorm, share ideas and learn more about your ambassadors’ interests and backgrounds.
  4. Turn that snazzy name into a frame for Facebook users. Ambassadors could use them all the time to help boost your brand or just put them up temporarily during special campaigns or awareness days.

Grow Your Numbers

  1. Don’t forget about the important positive outcomes that come with volunteer diversity. Work to make sure your ambassadors are representative of your target audiences and the communities where you work, adjusting the program as needed to make it more inclusive and accessible.
  2. Once your social media ambassador program is off to a good start, ask participants to recruit more people that they think would be interested and meet your requirements.
  3. Add an application form to your website in order to capture interest and so that you can easily link to the program during promotion.
  4. Recruit qualified and enthusiastic new members by promoting the program on your nonprofit’s social media channels and in email newsletters—or other places where you’re likely to find somewhat savvy online supporters.

Show Gratitude

  1. Survey your social media ambassadors to learn more about their reasons for participating and what additional support they might need. Offering an opportunity for feedback and following up on that feedback shows that you care.
  2. Host an exclusive online hangout so that the group can meet each other and you can say thanks in a more personal way. If there’s something new and exciting happening at your organization, take your ambassadors on a virtual tour so that they are in the know and can help you celebrate or launch it within their communities.
  3. Provide digital swag like a branded badge or special logo they can add to their online profiles. You could also offer boilerplate language for ambassadors to use when highlighting their service on LinkedIn, in a college application or in a resume.
  4. Mention ambassadors by name or tag them when posting on your nonprofit’s accounts as a way to acknowledge them as well as raise awareness of the program.

Deepen the Relationship

  1. Ask ambassadors to donate if they haven’t already. The amount isn’t as important as giving them the ability to say that they are a current donor during their online outreach. Make sure that you’re keeping track of donor-ambassadors to help demonstrate the program’s return on investment.
  2. Ask them for help with a specific event or campaign, like spreading the word during a special awareness day, promoting a volunteer opportunity or announcing an urgent fundraising goal. Rallying around a single project is a great way to focus ambassadors on an achievable goal and keep them motivated. It also gives you a way to report on their impact.
  3. Offer the group a different opportunity to take action that’s important to the cause, such as writing a letter, translating your content into another language or hosting a booth at a community event. Just because they enjoy social media doesn’t mean they won’t also be interested in supporting you in other online and offline ways (see #8).

If you’re ready to boost your online presence using volunteer power, a social media ambassador program offers both structure and a sense of community. Social media activity also brings the added bonus of being highly traceable, so we encourage you to set your program up for success by starting with small, measurable goals that help you evaluate the impact. Our measurement tips and tricks are ready when you are!

Now that we’ve reached the end of our ambassador series, is there anything else you’d like to know about getting started or growing your program? Let’s talk in the comments.