5 Reasons You Need A Social Media Strategy for Your Nonprofit

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PinterestGuest post by Julia Campbell 

There is no doubt about it – social media has changed the game in terms of how people communicate, share information and learn about new things in their lives. 

With 73% of online adults using at least one social network and almost half (42%) of all online adults using multiple platforms, nonprofits that do not embrace this tectonic shift will get left behind.

Nonprofits are jumping on social channels in greater numbers.  The most important social media platforms for nonprofits are Facebook (95%), Twitter (64%), YouTube (38%), and LinkedIn (26%).

However, some nonprofit boards and staff members are still skeptical and even fearful of jumping into the social media ocean.

Here are just 5 reasons why you need a social media strategy for your organization:

1)     You need to communicate with your donors and supporters where they are.

In her great new book Mobile for Good, nonprofit social media expert Heather Mansfield explains that nonprofits now have to engage and interact with five different generations of supporters.

Social media participation crosses the majority of these five generations. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket.

Not only that, social media has completely changed and revolutionized how people of all ages communicate and how they consume information. For a nonprofit organization to stick their head in the sand and simply deny that this revolution exists does a disservice to the mission of the organization.

2)     The numbers don’t lie. 

  • 57% of Facebook users “Like” a charity or cause on Facebook so they can publicly show support of it to their friends.
  • 47% of Americans discover and/or learn more about causes they care about via social media and online channels.
  • 55% of those who follow, like and otherwise engage with a nonprofit on social media channels have been inspired to “take further action” (and 59% of this 55% donate money).
  • The average donation made via social media is $59 and growing every year.

3)     Visual storytelling is the new marketing and fundraising.

We all know that statistics are not nearly as compelling as stories. 

  • St. Baldrick’s is using success stories and personal testimonials on Facebook to raise thousands of dollars – and they only post a few times a week to Facebook.
  • Muttville Dog Rescue has used Facebook to increase their adoptions and raise awareness about fostering dogs, all based on storytelling.
  • The Wenham Museum in Wenham, MA wanted to reach a younger audience, and actively uses Pinterest& Instagram to post information on the stories behind the exhibits and the artists featured in their collections.

4)     You are more likely to succeed if you have a plan.

Many nonprofit staff are so focused on putting out fires every single day their eyes glaze over when you bring up adding one more thing.

The thought of feeding the social media machine can seem overwhelming. However, if there is a plan in place and a strategy in place, it may be better received.

Use my free social media calendar template to get started and create a plan for how it will all get done, and attend UMass Boston’s Social Media Day for my session, 10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits!

5)     Engaging with supporters is NEVER a waste of time.

Remember that spreading the word about your nonprofit and your work is not a waste of time.

Start small and grow from there. Do not attempt to be on more than two social networks if you are just starting out and do not have a dedicated social media staff person.

Begin with what you are most comfortable with, so the learning curve won’t be as drastic. Explain to your supervisor that you will regularly evaluate and measure what you are doing online.

Join me and dozens of other social media experts on May 14th for a day devoted to social media!

In my session, 10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits, nonprofit professionals will learn how to implement a successful social media strategy in 10 steps.

Topics to be covered:

  • How are nonprofits using social media to raise money and awareness (best practices)?
  • What are some tips to engage supporters on social networks?
  • How can a nonprofit integrate all communication channels – online and offline – for maximum success?

Nonprofits will gain an understanding of just how much time is required to implement a social media strategy, which channels are right for their organization and how many resources (money, staff time) are necessary for success.

 

2 thoughts on “5 Reasons You Need A Social Media Strategy for Your Nonprofit

    5 Reasons You Need A Social Media Strategy for ... responded:
    April 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    […] Guest post by Julia Campbell There is no doubt about it – social media has changed the game in terms of how people communicate, share information and learn about new things in their lives. With 7…  […]

    5 Reasons You Need A Social Media Strategy for ... responded:
    April 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    […] “ Guest post by Julia Campbell There is no doubt about it – social media has changed the game in terms of how people communicate, share information and learn about new things in their lives. With 7…”  […]

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