Many thanks to colleague Rob Ellis for sharing this case study of a non-profit that is successfully using social media:
The Carnegie Institution for Science (www.ciw.edu), is a fairly large institution, though a non-profit, and we’ve been making a push on getting established on the social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes University, and aggregating sites like Digg, Reddit and Slashdot.
So far, it’s been pretty successful. Essentially, the Institution funds scientific research done by departments within the Institution. Department examples include: Geophysical Laboratories (MD), the Observatories (CA), Department of Plant Biology (CA) and several others. With all this research being done we’ve been utilizing sites like YouTube and iTunes to post our video content. Work has also been done w/ our Advancement Office (PR-dept.) so that we can coordinate press releases with appropriate posts on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and a submission to Slashdot/Reddit/Digg.
In the past month, we’ve had notable success with a good deal of site traffic being driven from Twitter and Reddit. The most rewarding referral came when our Slashdot submission made the front page – resulting in about 10K hits to our site in 24 hours – which is really good for us.