How should your nonprofit be using social media?

Nonprofits should implement social media with a clear plan.
Date Published
06/30/2015

At this point, most nonprofits are utilizing social media tools. Organizations are no longer asking “if” they should use modern messaging; now they are asking “how?”

The Nonprofit Hub suggested some organizations may have adopted social media messaging without having clear goals in mind. This has lead to staff members and volunteers using Twitter or Facebook to compliment their fundraising, but not achieving the ROI they were hoping for. If your organization heard about the benefits of modern online tools, you may have been quick to implement without giving much thought to what should be shared.

SameĀ stories, different mediums
Which social media sites should you be using? You should employ as many as you feasibly can. The Commit Change blog reported nonprofits have found success by fundraising and enlisting volunteers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.

Different media sites allow you to share different information about your organization. Photo and video sites allow you to share images of your nonprofit’s activities and pictures of the people you are helping. Social text services are the place for frequent updates. Your mission generates a lot of stories and results every day, multiple channels allow you to contact many different audiences.

Creating this much content will call for a lot of work. Network for Good recommended using 25 hours of staff time per week to manage and update social media fundraising campaigns. This is the perfect position for young volunteers. New members can take pictures of events and projects on their mobile devices and load the material while out in the field.

Open a dialogue
The major difference between social media and other forms of online communication is that modern messaging sites makeĀ it easier for your audience to talk back.

When you post your information out in public forums, viewers have the ability to comment on your content or share it with their friends. Commit Change said you want to empower users to become advocates for your organization’s needs. Don’t just ask them for donations, inspire them to take up your cause through financial assistance and promotion.

Prompt replies to comments are a great way to ensure viewer engagements. You don’t want your audience to feel like their ideas are ignored. Respond to insights, questions and concerns publicly and quickly to show you value input. Your social media pages are an opportunity for people to take part in a cause they feel passionate about.

Share content
Sharing is a powerful tool provided by social media pages. Your viewers can pass on your information to their contacts and you may use sharing to become part of a larger network.

You don’t always have to generate your own content. Nonprofit Tech for Good suggested organizations should use online tools to create links to news stories and organizations affected by the nonprofit’s cause. The speed of social media allows you to make your audience aware of important world events as they happen and show how necessary your mission is to the current world.

By sharing the information of other charitable organizations, you can become part of larger giving network. Social media is built on the idea of connections leading to more connections. If you promote another group, they are more likely to promote you.

Results for viewers and yourself
Some people are in such a rush to keep up with the speed of modern information networks, they just put out vague updates.

Your viewers want to see results. Business 2 Community advised nonprofits to use social tools to show your donors how their money is making a difference. An organization shouldn’t just send out a “thank you” when fundraising goals are met, they can post exactly how the money is being used. Nonprofit management software will track finances and provide visibility of any specific data the organization would like to share.

Modern technology can also track the success of social media efforts so your organization can see how effective new strategies are paying off. Volunteer schedules will help determine whose time would be best spent updating pages. Fundraising tools will demonstrate if giving is affected by increased content contribution. If you’re not seeing the growth you expect from your time and energy, it’s time to change your social media practices.

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