I'm intrigued by social media and am always on the lookout for organizations that are using these new tools effectively. Stephanie Kapera shares here about two organizations that stand out.

With so many social media tools capturing the attention of nonprofit organizations, how should nonprofits decide which tools are the best investment of their time and personnel? Some tools, like Facebook and Twitter, are are a given - but in the case of new social media platforms that continue to emerge and evolve, which tools should community managers and marketing staff focus on? We took a look at two organizations using two of these lesser known platforms to (successfully) advance their missions: Storify and Quora. Here’s how.

MomsRising Expands Twitter Efforts With Storify Implementation

With more than a million members across the country, MomsRising began using Storify in November 2011 as a curation tool, collecting its Twitter hashtags: #WellnessWed and #FoodFri. Storify is much like other blog platforms like WordPress, but has an added emphasis on curation. Allowing the organization to follow Twitter chats, Facebook conversations, and even Flickr then curate them into Storify posts is a huge opportunity to engage users while boosting real estate in the social media sphere.

If social media strategy is something your nonprofit has less time to focus on, Storify optimizes time spent on various channels - like Twitter. The bigger perk is that most of the content is user-generated. Essentially, a nonprofit’s team can spend its time creating an informational post based on conversation that’s already happening. Aggregating those conversations, placing them in a single post, and publishing on Storify takes mere minutes.

In summary, the benefits associated with Storify are 1) “extending the shelf life of social media content” and, 2) “encouraging viral sharing.”

Quora Has Allowed Charity: Water to Boost Credibility

Quora is a social media tool that acts as a platform for users to ask and answer questions; other readers can upvote and downvote those answers based on accuracy - or suggest edits. One nonprofit, charity: water, who provides purified water to developing nations, is one of the only large nonprofit organizations to build a significant presence on Quora.

Charity: water’s CEO, Scott Harrison, and director of digital, Paull Young, answer questions that users tag with the charity: water Quora “topic.” Because transparency is pertinent is to an organization’s advancement, this allows charity: water’s staff to build their reputation while informing users who have questions or suggestions. Online transparency, in part due to regular Quora conversation, has allowed charity: water to really earn the trust of its audience.

In short, organizations should consider using Quora to build their transparency. And with that, comes reputability. Quora gives an arena for a nonprofit’s staff or board to “talk shop.” This allows the organization to connect with its audience, breaking down its mission and answer questions in areas that may still be murky. Quora also gives the opportunity for a nonprofit’s staff and board to understand what donors (either current or prospective) want to know, while demonstrating expertise in a field.

Do you know an organization who’s used these tools successfully to advance their missions? If so, what successes have they achieved by doing so?

What other emerging social media tools should organizations consider implementing? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Stephanie KaperaThe original case studies about MomsRising and charity: water’s implementation of Storify and Quora were written by Stephanie Kapera, a contributor to Software Advice - a consulting firm that provides free advice to nonprofits researching fundraising software tools.