Whether your nonprofit is just squeaking by with a very modest budget or has thousands of dollars at its disposal, social media and charitable organizations were made for each other. Attracting, engaging, and moving people to action are critical for nonprofits and their mission to make a tangible difference in society. With social media, the greatest tool in achieving that end has finally arrived.
Having a Social Presence Doesn’t Equate to Strategy
Social media has been around for a few years, and although hot as ever, is not a marketing mystery anymore. At this stage of the game, most nonprofits do have an active social media presence, but may not have a successful strategy. The first step to outlining a plan is knowing which social media sites are the best use of your time and can reach your engagement goals. More is not always better. Keeping your online social presence straightforward will help eliminate too much social “noise” and help manage social campaigns more effectively.
Back to Basics – Social Media’s Heavy Hitters
In university-speak, there are the “big ten” schools. In the social realm, there’s “the big four”. Or, depending on whom you talk to, the number could be lesser or greater. The point is, by narrowing your focus on social’s proven leaders on the playing field, you concentrate your efforts in a manageable format that will yield measurable results over time.
Facebook. With 1 in 7 people on the entire planet on Facebook, there’s no denying it’s the grand-daddy of all social media. Facebook is brilliantly simple in its platform, takes no time at all to master the basics of page administration, and has all kinds of resources just for nonprofits. Third party apps can help increase fans and engagement with contests, surveys, and Facebook ads are about as targeted as marketing can get.
Twitter. This is one place where it’s good to be a follower. Doing so gets you followed, retweeted, and mentioned. Even simpler than Facebook to use, Twitter can be leveraged to provide inbound links to your website, broadcast your blog, share content, reach influencers, and spread awareness for your organization. Twitter also has its own nonprofit profile page with links to content helpful to charitable organizations.
YouTube. It may be a bit more complicated to make videos and post them regularly, but there will never be a more human way to get your message across that really speaks to your audience. By posting interesting and to-the-point videos consistently, your nonprofit will gain subscribers to its “channel” and certain strategies can also help your content go viral.
Pinterest. What’s so great about an online pin board? Plenty. It’s called traffic, and Pinterest supplies lots of it to your website. It may seem an illogical choice for nonprofits to use a social media site that appears to be geared toward photographers, brides, and interior designers, but Pinterest is so much more than that. Nonprofits can use this site devoted to eye candy to generate Pinterest followers, web traffic, and fans for other social media sites. Many nonprofits are just discovering Pinterest. To get started, check out other nonprofits on Pinterest and see how they are gaining a cause awareness edge.
Don’t Try All 31 Flavors – Stick to What Works
They say the “devil is in the details,” but if you have too many details to sift through when executing your social media strategy, you’ll drown in distraction. Keep your presence cohesive, your plan clean-cut, and your campaigns measurable. Doing so will allow you to analyze your current course and adjust the sails for greater results.