Social media will help nonprofits communicate effectively

Many nonprofits are discovering the need to enhance their social media presence to better communicate with and appeal to donors.
Date Published
01/27/2015

A number of for-profit organizations have begun to understand the need for a social media presence. With millions of people all over the world engaged in conversations on various platforms, companies who don’t have any social networking accounts risk being deemed irrelevant by consumers. The same is true for 501(c)(3) organizations looking for ways to make their nonprofit fundraising efforts more effective.

Social media has moved beyond the fad phase to become a viable method of communication for people. These channels allow information to be exchanged almost instantly and people have come to expect the organizations they deal with to be active and engaged on social networks. For charitable organizations, this philosophy also applies to their constituents and donor bases.

With so many nonprofits that are in operation today, there is no shortage of organizations to which an individual can give his or her money. Therefore, it’s important charities to place an emphasis on modernizing their approaches to appeal to donors who are savvy in the use of technology and encourage them to contribute financially. 

Frogloop recently highlighted an infographic created by Stone Soup Creative which compiled data from a survey conducted by NonprofitMarketingGuide outlining communication trends that will be seen throughout the sector in 2015. Sixty-two percent  of organizations responding to the poll listed social media as the third-most important communication channel. The only two rated higher were a branded website, cited by 81 percent of participants and email marketing, listed by 64 percent of those surveyed as being more important than a social network.

It is obvious that the benefits of using social media as a way to drive conversation and communicate with constituents will become an important focus for nonprofits this year.

Understanding the importance of social media in engaging with supporters
An update to the Pew Research Internet Project’s study of social networks revealed statistics that decision-makers will find interesting when working to enhance their social media presence. For example, more than 50 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram, a popular photo sharing social media site. In addition, approximately 50 percent of all the people who have an account browse Instagram on a daily basis.

Given the way technology has converted people into having more favorable responses to visual stimuli, it may be wise for a 501(c)(3) organization to create an account and give constituents an up-close and personal view of operations. In addition, Instagram also offers video, which has become hugely popular with people all over the world. A nonprofit can strengthen the effectiveness of its nonprofit fundraising campaigns and appeals simply by leveraging the unique benefits of this immensely popular social networking site.

When it comes to using social media as an engagement and interaction tool, a nonprofit will need to set certain goals in order to better map out a successful strategy. NonprofitMarketingGuide found in its survey that 57 percent of organizations wanted to use social media as way to drive better engagement within its community. In addition, 53 percent of charities used their social networking presence to better their donor retention efforts, while 51 percent set out to drive a higher level of organizational awareness among its constituents.

Social media use has moved beyond the realm of being optional for nonprofits and is now a necessity. Therefore, it will be imperative in 2015 and beyond to develop robust strategies to properly leverage social networking sites as a way to drive a higher level of donor activity and engagement among constituents. Any organization that shuns the use of social media could quickly find itself at a disadvantage to other charities operating in a similar space that have made social networks an integral part of the way they operate.

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