A Nonprofit’s Intro to the Social Media Process

The Social Media Process The social media process is a multifaceted one. Forming a social media campaign for your nonprofit organization is similar to building a complex machine, not in how difficult it is, but in how many moving parts it contains. If you’re just now taking advantage of what social media can do for you, you’re not alone. According to a 2012 Nonprofit Fundraising Study, nearly one in eight organizations using social media reported that it was a new endeavor for them.

This same study reported that 63% of nonprofit organizations in 2012 use online marketing as a reliable method of fundraising. With these statistics in mind. We’re here to help you formulate a personalized social media blueprint for your organization. It all starts with a simple keyword. The keyword should describe your organization, cause or mission.  Think of this as a cog in your machine. Think of a few other keywords to use, since one cog won’t keep your machine running. Set your blog, social media, and website into motion by basing them around these words. This improves your site’s SEO, drives traffic, and keeps your site running like the well oiled machine it’s destined to be! For the next 7 days, you’ll receive an email containing suggestions, tips, and ideas for building a successful social media campaign to ensure your nonprofit organization receives the recognition it deserves.

Search Engine Optimization

The ability to be found is one of the most critical aspects of any online marketing strategy; all our efforts are in an attempt to be seen and heard. To help our cause, marketers have began to employ search engine optimization (SEO). Quite simply, SEO is a practice which aims to increase rankings within organic search results. The goal is to rank highly for a selected set of keywords and phrases relevant to yourself and your business. Taking into account different media types—blogs, images, videos, social media updates, etc.—Google then displays its search results in descending order of relevance and importance. SEO practices are capable of fine-tuning your website’s content to edge-out the competition in Google’s search results.

So Why Do We Blog?If your nonprofit isn't blogging, how are you reaching the audience who needs to find you?

It’s simple really. Consistent blogging gains you massive visibility and attracts donors and supporters to your site. What else is there? Blog to build a positive reputation within the nonprofit industry. Have your audience view your organization as a credible source of information by designing posts to establish your organization’s message. Blogging to educate people about your mission proves a great tool for spreading your message. Sometimes locating donors can feel similar to searching for a needle in a haystack. If only there was a way the donors could find you. Well there is! The name of the game is ‘Finding the Right Keywords’. Start by establishing keywords that describe your organization and begin utilizing them throughout your site and blog. When donors perform searches containing your keywords (and thanks to SEO), they’ll locate your organization’s site. This is why consistent blogging with quality content leads you to a richer, more established online reputation and presence.

These are the best guidelines to help you get the best audience attuned with your blog.

The Golden Rules of Successful Blogging

In an ideal world, the Blogging Fairy would bestow a set of guidelines for successful blogging upon us. Welcome to the ideal world! Follow these rules to create a successful, engaging blog.

  • Learn to be a giver; post 40% to your blog and 60% to another nonprofit organization’s blog. Exposing your work to a new group helps expand your audience.
  • It’s a proven fact: People thrive on consistency. Set a goal to write 1-2 blog posts per week.
  • Make sure your blogs are ON the websites! Feed into your home page so folks can determine your level of engagement.
  • Try a monthly or quarterly keyword campaign to properly gauge which keywords have the strongest affinity with your audience
  • Blogging isn’t all about words! Video content is a killer way to connect with your audience and spread your organization’s reach!

Image posts gain 54% more engagement than text. Plus you can share fans photos!

Ideas to Engage Your Supporters and Donors

  • Video posts gain 22% more engagement than text.
  • Get the most success out of “call to action” posts before noon and on Fridays.
  • Offer webinars or teleconferences.
  • Attract attention with questions of the day posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Keep in mind 65% of people use Facebook in the evenings. Schedule more posts for weekends/evenings.
  • Present contests or trivia competitions.
  • Use Surveys to see what people in your niche are talking about.
  • Monitor Google reader for content/articles.
  • Allow your audience to vote for content, especially pictures.
  • Consider having a guest expert Q&A session once every other week. Try to make answer questions as real time as possible. Ex: Social Media Examiner offers a Q&A session every other Friday.
  • Spotlight active fans by starting a Fan of the Week contest every Friday.
  • Do a startup profile of the week/month competition.
  • Start a real time photo op. Have fans post real time photos for an hour a week of what they are doing.
  • Share your favorite Facebook page or Twitter feeds every Friday.

Are you putting enough effort into your nonprofit social media plan to promote and help others?

Social Media Karma: Shout Outs!

Some great ways to promote others:

  • Events- R/T and Online
  • Lectures
  • Publications
  • Product Launches
  • Large donations or investments
  • Comment on their pages as well!

What Does Social Media Karma Bring You?

Social media karma brings along with it some fantastic benefits, chief among them being increased discussion of your organization and your organization’s mission. This then translates into SEO, meaning a more prominent position in Google’s search results. Another benefit is the ability to reserve a place for yourself as an expert in the field, inviting others’ interest because of your knowledge and experience. As others begin to value your opinion, your influence continues to grow.

Monitor the Results

Analyzing the impact of your efforts has never been easier with the help of Bitly. Simply sign up and you’re able to quickly shorten links by copying and pasting a URL. From there, Bitly saves all of your shortened links and provides statistics regarding that shortlink’s clicks. You can monitor clicks by country, referrer, date, and so on, all in a graphical representation. Bitly is a fantastic, solid dashboard for all of your link tracking needs.