Be Your Own Social Media Guru
3.9 (69 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
606 students enrolled

Be Your Own Social Media Guru

Using engagement data to drive nonprofit impact
3.9 (69 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
606 students enrolled
Last updated 1/2018
English [Auto]
Current price: $27.99 Original price: $39.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 downloadable resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Determine how social media supports the mission of your organization
  • Gain an understanding of Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter and the key principles behind them
  • Learn how to make sense of data from Google Analytics
  • Gain the confidence to use data, not gurus, to make decisions
  • Logins for Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Analytics platforms are helpful, but not necessary, so you can follow along
  • A basic understanding of social media platforms and engagement data is a plus

The social media landscape changes every 6 months, and the smartphone is only accelerating this change. Don’t blindly follow the latest social media fads and gurus to guide your social media strategy. Fortunately, there is a ton of engagement data around what people are doing on your site (on Google Analytics) and social platforms/profiles (on Facebook Insights and other native analytics platforms). Learn to look at your organization’s own data to see what is driving real value. If your organization can gather, analyze, and act on its data, it will be ready to jump on the next trend in a way that drives real impact.

We’ll start with the 5 truths that apply to all social media platforms. Then, we’ll walk you through the “Big Three” platforms: Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. For each, you’ll learn:

  • What are the basics? How does this platform work?

  • Insight into the backend: Understand the platform in order to optimize your strategy

  • Advanced tips to boost your engagement

  • Case studies: Steal ideas from other organizations that are effectively using the platform

We’ll answer the age-old question: How to be human on social media. Lastly, we’ll dive into how to use data to enhance your approach. You’ll see walkthroughs and insights from:

  • Youtube Analytics

  • Facebook Insights

  • Twitter Analytics

  • Google Analytics

  • Other external social media tools

…which will teach you how to use each platform to find insights about your users and turn those insights into action. We’ll give you strategies to engage your whole team in the process and begin to build a Data Culture at your organization!

This course is currently in the process of being updated — buy now and get first access to the updated course this fall.

Who this course is for:
  • Social media newbies and entry-level social media staff at nonprofits
  • Marketing staff looking for advanced strategies and deeper data analysis ideas
  • Manager or Director-level staff who want to take their social media strategy to the next level
Course content
Expand all 32 lectures 01:50:50
+ Section A: Intro
3 lectures 05:27

Welcome to WWU! You’ll learn how to be your own social media guru by learning the tools (Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook), learning how to Be Human, and learning how to use data to take action. George Weiner, your instructor, is the founder and Chief Whaler of Whole Whale - a digital agency that works with nonprofits to help them maximize their impact.

Preview 01:30
Learn how to spot a “guru” from a mile away - and why you should never trust anyone who says they can “make it go viral.”
Preview 02:11
It takes 10,000 hours of study to become an expert in anything. Social media is changing so fast, it’s impossible to truly become an expert by the standard definition.
Preview 01:46
+ Section B: 5 Truths about Social Media
7 lectures 24:53
Which is more important - the tool you use, or the story you tell with it?
Preview 02:40

Play a game along with us to see how important it is to make your social media asks clear and easy. Two helpful terms: Network latency is the time it takes for a message to permeate a whole audience. Anchoring is a way to change how someone perceives a certain message.

Make asks clear and easy
Craft your messages in the right way to reach the right people. George uses Starbucks to make the case for why you should talk to the people that care, and not waste your time messaging people who don’t care.
One size never fits all
What was the first social networking platform? The campfire - our ancestors looked for social engagement like eye contact, conversation, and listening, and those are the same metrics we should look for in our social media communities.
It is noisy
Setting targets is the only way to know how well your social media is performing. Check out more info on measuring the impact of social media at
No goals, no point
We share our value vs. time chart and show you how to choose which platforms your organization should be on. Think about off platform impact (people clicking to your site and taking action like donations or email signups) and how they relate to your on-platform goals (likes, comments, followers on each social media platform).
Finding the value for your organization
Sound familiar? Here are the top social media fears we hear and how you can approach them at your organization.
Tackling the Top social media fears
+ Section C: Youtube
4 lectures 19:16
Our standard social media checklist - make sure you have all these things in place before you dive in.
Youtube Checklist

A few ideas for building your channel: how-tos, educational content, amazing or topical content, animations, responding to user interactions. Also, learn how search works on Youtube and meme riding. Check out a few more technical ideas to get started in this bonus video:

Youtube Tips

Learn the secret sauce behind Youtube’s algorithm and how to use it to your advantage to get more video views and engagement. Learn more about YouTube cards here:

Promoting Youtube Videos

Our WWTV episode on Youtube analytics shows you how to look at retention rate as an important engagement metric on Youtube. With this in mind, here are 9 more tips for promoting your YouTube videos:

Using Youtube Analytics
+ Section D: Twitter
2 lectures 03:48
These are the basics you’ll need to get sorted out to succeed on Twitter.
Twitter Checklist
How can Twitter be used for storytelling? We’ll also walk through #Hashtag etiquette, the @handle, and Twitter Lists.
Twitter Basics
+ Section E: Facebook
3 lectures 08:33
Third time’s a charm- you should have this checklist down by now, it’ll help you master your social media platforms.
Facebook Checklist

How do you know the success of your org’s Facebook page? We cover engagement, likes, and what types of posts you should focus on.

Facebook Basics
Set goals, get ready for storytelling, and use that checklist to get you ready for any future social media pursuit!
Facebook Summary
+ Section F: Be Human
5 lectures 26:44
What’s your social media diet? Being human on social media is all about the balance of what you put out there and how you interact with your audience. We’ll also ask you to think about emotion on social media, and how you can use to it to motivate your audience to share your content.
Be healthy
We talk about the importance of finding and contributing to conversations and how Google Trends can help you.
Go where they are

On social media, you treat and see brands the way that you treat and see people. Learn how companies like Prezi and JetBlue are building personal relationships on social media. Check out the awesome books that George referenced below:

Delivering Happiness:

Trust Agents:


The Thank You Economy:

Build relationships

How can visitors on your site share content they like to their social platforms? We’ll show you how to make it easy on them by adding social media buttons, and then use data from that to improve content. We also revisit emotions and talk about how you can use that to build trust with your relationships.

Be interesting

Being human, positive, and trustworthy works on any online platform. We talk more about being human here: 

Want to dive deeper? Learn how to (authentically!) connect your organization to what's trending on social media:

Summary of Being Human
+ Section G: Use Data (not gurus)
4 lectures 13:35

Learn how to use data to identify the value of the traffic and actions of people you are reaching and how to use metrics to determine if you’re reaching your goals.

Download our Ultimate Nonprofit Social Media Guide to review our optimization checklists for the "Big Three" platforms (plus Instagram!) and our tips on growing and nurturing your following. 

The Whole Whale Process

Google Analytics gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what people are really doing on your website. Here, you learn the basics of Google Analytics, including tracking traffic from social media and setting goals (more on that here:

For more GA info and how-to’s, you can check out our Google Analytics Walkthrough webinar ( and learn why nonprofits use Google Analytics (

How we measure behavior: Google Analytics

Michael Jordan helped his teammates score more. What platforms are helping the visitors on your site ‘score’, or convert? More info on that here:

Preview 02:07
If you’re not using Google Analytics to see what’s going on on your site, you’re not getting the whole picture of how successful your social media is.
Summary of Acting on Knowledge
+ Section H: Act on knowledge
3 lectures 07:12

Just as speed limit signs force you to notice how fast you’re driving, feedback loops and weekly reports let you use data to see if your organization is reaching its goals. Creating dashboards on Google Analytics can help you do this, so we teach you how to build one here:

Creating feedback loops

Data trumps gut. Learn how to follow the data to actionable solutions to improve your social media presence.

Ask: what do the data say?
Which metrics are actually helping you achieve your goals?
Refine what works
+ Section I: Conclusion
1 lecture 01:22

How to be your own social media guru: never stop learning.

Preview 01:22
Test your knowledge!
25 questions