Scribbles Social Origin Story

If you are new to following our blog or connecting with us, you may be wondering who the heck we are and how can we help you?

Here is the company’s origin story…

My name is Laurie - Hiiii! 👋

I work full-time as an advancement officer at a university in Toronto, Canada. I also run this company "on the side", where I educate nonprofit marketers about how to better use social media to reach their organization's goals.

I've been working in the nonprofit industry for 8 years, have been on the Board for a few local organizations, and have been an event volunteer for much longer than that.

Like most of you, social and digital media efforts are just a small part of my portfolio at the university, so I often find myself juggling various, conflicting priorities that push can *social media* to the sidelines.

The institution I'm with now has allowed me to hire a number of student workers to help manage our social channels and create content - but also like most of you, I don't have the budget to pay for ads or any fancy software programs.

We’re a small institution with an environment that has enabled me to be pretty nimble, allowing me to develop a comprehensive and effective social media program with my limited resources.

 
 Heloooooo, corporate headshot!

Heloooooo, corporate headshot!

 

I fell into nonprofit communications sort of by accident.

I graduated from my undergraduate degree - a Business degree - when social media was just beginning to take off.

I'd been fascinated by the idea of working in the nonprofit industry for years and thought at the time that I wanted to take my career in the direction of development and fundraising.

But during that desperate summer when I was distributing my resumes, Facebook was starting to encourage brands to build a presence on their platform. So being a "tech savvy millennial" obviously gave my resume a boost at a time when employers really just wanted someone to come in and create a business page for them.

I found myself hired on as an intern at a university (not my alma mater). The internship exposed me to the inside workings of fundraising, events, and communications.

The one primary objective set for me to accomplish during my contract was to "get us on social media".

It was a whole other world, diving into Facebook and Twitter from a *brand* perspective, and there was not a lot of resources available online to teach me how to do it - this was 2010, people!

Ultimately, my internship role gave me the opportunity to set the groundwork for a robust social media program that is still running strong today and I went on to establish social media programs at two other public universities in Ontario.

My team and I have spent YEARS practicing different tactics and trialing new ideas to see what works for our audience.

Now that brands have been building their presences on social media for awhile, there are tons of resources online. I read new tips and articles online every single day, suggesting the "best times to post", the "best hashtags to use", or whatever.

Honestly, there is a lot of junk to sift through in order to find the good stuff.

And it's even more difficult to find good stuff that can be directly applied to the nonprofit sector without a lot of heavy *translating*.

My team and I have spent YEARS practicing different tactics and trialing new ideas to see what works for our audience.

And I have a confession to make… it has taken us awhile to commit to writing down and formalizing our social media strategy. I managed the social media program here for FOUR years before we wrote down a comprehensive strategy to help guide our activity and decisions.

But I bet (hope?) a lot of you are in the same boat - sort of posting willy-nilly to social media without a specific plan in place. Flying off the seat of your pants.

I always knew that we needed a strategy…

I always had one, or at least the beginnings of one, in my head. But it was never written down and never shared widely across the department.

Then I had a kid and everything changed.

I went on maternity leave (in Canada, that was a 14-month leave) and when I came back the social media program that I'd taken so long to establish looked COMPLETELY different from before I'd left.

The “strategy” I was so happy with (but had never written down) had fizzled when I was no longer the team lead. The systems I thought I’d established had been thrown to the side. The new students hired to the team while I was gone hadn’t been trained the same way I would’ve done it.

Nothing had exploded or turned into a truly hazardous situation. But I felt like I was coming back and having to start from scratch.

One soft skill I’d had a LOT of time to work on while I was on maternity leave was systemizing. In my first year as a new mom, I gained more experience developing systems, writing lists, creating routines, and finding efficiencies than I had in my entire undergrad or early career.

So, I got to work on formalizing our strategy, writing down a plan, and setting up systems and processes that could be followed by literally.anyone.

 
 Me with the monkey during a visit to campus.

Me with the monkey during a visit to campus.

 

Ever since we made a commitment to discuss and decide on our specific goals and tactics, it has made all the difference!

My team is clearer than they've ever been on what type of content is "appropriate" or "not appropriate" on our channels.

We have seriously cut down on the amount of time spent blankly staring at the screen or keyboard, wondering what to post because "it's been awhile and we should probably make an appearance" on our Twitter account.

Other departments (like our Public Affairs team) now knows how they can better support our mission with their activities. We formalized a number of audience personas and have shared them with other departments who have also adopted them.

We are more accurately tracking progress towards our goals and have been able to test our performance more easily now that we know exactly which metrics are relevant to our “success” (as determined by our new formal goals).

So, now...

Scribbles Social is on a mission to help nonprofit marketers (even if that is only a small part of your role) get their shit together and finally put together a plan.

We are passionate about building and sharing systems that will help you save time. Because TIME is MONEY - even more so in the nonprofit world where resources as scarce as it is!

My ideal world would be one in which no nonprofit marketer ever stares blankly at their computer screen, blocked, and wondering what to post on social.

I envision a world where your social media systems and processes run like a well-oiled machine and you can use that time to focus on other tasks and projects where you’re needed. 🙏

Can you see it too?

Let’s stand together and make it happen!

So that's why you'll notice we create content primarily around these topics:

  • getting your strategy, plan, and goals in place

  • productivity and processes

  • tips and tools to hack your workflow and save time

  • getting clarity on your audience and how to serve them content they want

  • understanding which metrics actually demonstrate progress towards your goals

We’ll help you get to that place, unicorn. If you’re on board, pop into the comments ⬇⬇ and let us know!

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