Getting the message out for your nonprofit takes strategy, measurement, and keen analysis of how each type of effort is performing (or not). Traditional methods of outreach such as printed mailers, telemarketing, and TV or radio spots may still be used in some instances. The social media revolution, however, has turned everything about traditional outreach on its head. Nonprofits have taken to social like a duck to water. To be effective, there are certain principles that are worth adhering to for maximum engagement and measurable results.
Pick and Choose Your Platforms
The best way to reach your target audience is to focus your efforts where they digitally “hang out”, post, and share content with their network. To be cohesive, stick with the “big 3” social media platforms that rank highest in use, popularity, and engagement.
The Power of the Big Three
Facebook – One billion users can’t be wrong. Not only is Facebook the world’s largest social media network, it’s also the world’s most popular website. Facebook also has tons of resources for nonprofits accessible at facebook.com/nonprofits.
Twitter – Short and sweet, Twitter is brilliantly simple social media platform that allows you to broadcast your message to the world – in 140 characters or less. Gaining followers is as easy as follow, retweet, and repeat. Using hashtags and mentions will also get your organization noticed.
YouTube – Producing videos for cause awareness is easier than you may think, and the possibility for your content to go viral is just one reason to join the fun. For specific tips on making engaging videos that will have an impact, check out our previous blog on the subject.
Make Your Message Clear
In order to get people to take action, you need to not only inform, but you need to empower them to take specific action. This means designing and implementing a campaign around an event, petition, piece of legislation, or donor drive. Don’t overwhelm your audience with every single thing your organization is involved in or trying to change. Allow people to digest what you are saying in smaller chunks, so they actually feel they can make a difference individually.
Coordinate Your Efforts
Be sure to use all of your digital platforms for your outreach, not just social media. When posting to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, send out well-written, engaging emails to your supporters as well. Update your website with pertinent information in your blog and all content marketing.
Sharing is Caring
Making it easy for your audience to share your content will spread your message far and wide. Start with creating compelling content that’s worthy of the effort. Encourage your Facebook fans to share your posts, Twitter followers to retweet you, and YouTube viewers to comment and share your videos. On your blog, include share buttons for social media, email, and to subscribe to your RSS feed. In email marketing, provide links back to your blog, articles, and again, back to social media.
There is truly no more powerful tool in your cause marketing arsenal than social media. Creating targeted campaigns with relevant content that is delivered consistently will yield the greatest harvest in increased supporters, advocacy, and active donors.