Why social media is crucial for nonprofit broadcasters

Social media is a free way to reach listeners.
Date Published
05/24/2016

A social media presence is like free publicity. For nonprofit broadcasters with strict budgets, it wouldn’t make any sense to not utilize this booming medium. Too often nonprofits solely utilize their social media pages to bring in donations or publicize events. However, there are plenty of reasons to establish a presence that’s active at all times.

You can determine your target audience
All radio stations, from nonprofits to commercial enterprises, need to have a target audience. According to Sprout Social, if you claim that your nonprofit is speaking to the “general public,” then it’s probably not reaching much of anybody. When you begin establishing a social media presence, you can easily see the demographics of your listeners and determine ways to market directly to them. Not only will this help you bring in donations, but determining a core listening base and marketing to them can actually expand your listeners within those demographics.

You can engage with your audience
Radio is a bit of a one-way street. You’re reaching your listeners, but they can’t reach you. Sure, they could log on to your website and find the email address of someone who may or may not be the broadcaster they’re trying to talk to, but it’s not a very reliable method of communication. If your station is active on social media, you can open a dialogue with your listeners about the day’s broadcast subjects, host contests or even just allow listeners to get to know your broadcasters behind the scenes. 

Actively using social media allows you to engage with your listeners.Actively using social media allows you to engage with your listeners.

You can share your story
If someone isn’t already a public radio listener, they probably won’t discover your station by browsing through the radio dials. Instead, appeal to a broader audience by utilizing different social media channels. Tell your station’s story. Let people know what’s important to you as a station and what it is that you stand for. If you’re active in community service, share before-and-after stories. If you’re a religious broadcaster, share the stories of people whose lives have been changed by listening to your broadcasts. Giving your station a face will not only humanize it, but will also draw new people to it.

“A social media presence will keep your station at the forefront of your listeners’ minds.”

You can drive traffic
Having an active social media presence will keep your station at the forefront of your listeners’ minds. Not only will this allow you to cross their minds more often, leading them to tune in more frequently, but it also allows you to drive traffic where you need it to be. If you’re working on fundraising or hosting an event, posting about it on your social media channels lets you direct your followers to the appropriate pages so they don’t have to search for the information themselves after hearing about it on your broadcast.

They can drive traffic
If you post something of interest to your listeners, there’s a good chance they’ll share it on their own social media pages, bringing traffic back to your station’s page. This begins a continuous cycle of attracting more listeners to your station. Even if traditional modes of advertisement aren’t out of your station’s budget, the organic traffic that an active social media presence brings your station cannot be matched.  According to Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, 92 percent of people trust their friends’ recommendations, while less than 40 percent of people trust traditional advertising. 

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