Organizational branding with @jonahholland

By Laquan Simpkins

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to witness the first key speaker in our summer semester. Jonah Holland is the PR & Marketing Coordinator at from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which is a nonprofit organization in Richmond. The gardens take up 82 acres, have 68 full-time employees, 500 volunteers, 12,000 members, and an annual budget of $6.1 million.

Holland presented some social media tools she uses to engage audiences for Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. She said that it is important to target specific audiences as nonprofits need figure who they are promoting to. As a nonprofit, it’s good to learn new information and take risk, which is a hit or miss situation that allows nonprofits to learn.

Holland also talked about setting goals for the organization. Once you start setting goals, you should start looking for new audiences and ways to raise awareness for the organization. New audiences can increase the membership and new members will subsequently also recommend additional members. Once the awareness has been increasing, you can say that you completed your goals.

Holland mentioned that she probably made a mistake by uploading photos for the organization and not watermarking it. Watermarking is really important, because the pictures are shared rapidly online. She also showcased her Facebook page and showed us how to track how many people actually view the page. Insights can really be useful on tracking the organization’s progress from the beginning. She also brought to our attention that Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has 36,000 fans on Facebook. After tracking that she showed us how many fans are talking about the gardens at certain times. 18,000 fans were talking about it at night.

For Twitter Holland showed us a dashboard called Hootsuite, which helped Holland with tracking how many times Lewis Ginter gets mentioned on Twitter. She closed her presentation with advice to not go directly to social media with fundraising requests. She said the only time to ask for donating directly is during an organizational crisis. Otherwise, social media should be used to build community, which will lead to donations in the long run.

Please also view the slides of Jonah Holland’s presentation. 

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