How Nonprofit Organizations Can Harness the Power of Social Media
A recent study by the Case Foundation and Social Media for Nonprofits examined trends among almost 500 organizations to understand how they use social media. Even though 97% of these organizations were on Facebook, 88% cited email and their website as their most important communication tools. This seemed to be because nearly half of the nonprofits surveyed considered receiving donations as the peak of engagement. In other words, a share or a retweet only has value insofar as it directs the recipient to the donation page. When used to its fullest however, social media for nonprofits can have a much greater impact for both the organization and its mission.
Using Social Media to Promote Your Cause
Many nonprofit organizations only use social media to make announcements. The end goal is more volunteers, donors, or attendance at an event. If fully used, however, social media for nonprofits can also result in greater traction for the cause and the organization. Your nonprofit should use social media to begin conversations, create media that resonates and develop lasting relationships.
74% of nonprofits admitted to using social media like a megaphone to announce activities and events. Only 53% took the extra measure of regularly posting other content related to their mission. Such posts not only help establish an organization as a thought leader, but also facilitate conversations with fellow supporters. Social media is intended to be social. Every conversation you initiate adds to the experience of potential advocates, amplifying your message. This 2015 Shareaholic report noted that social media was the top source of website referrals, accounting for 31% of them.
Tell Powerful Stories
Content creation is the heart of social media for nonprofits. It’s an ideal medium for visual storytelling that gives your advocates something to share. In addition, it can humanize your cause. Before and after stories, in particular, inspire social media users because they can see the change they’re supporting. You can also use social media to tell the stories of your volunteers’ experiences or of your organization. All of these things can help inspire, engage and mobilize volunteers.
Social media platforms have different sharing styles and user demographics so it’s important to choose your focus carefully. Google Alerts can lead you to where specific conversations are happening in social media. There may be existing communities that are natural fits for your cause. If you choose to create a presence on more than one platform, services like buffer can help you manage your profiles.
Social media users constantly curate, sharing messages and content that are meaningful to them. This is valuable in that it expresses their interests, but also adds dimension to their social media identity. If they like your content they will continue to share it, too. This a great way for nonprofits to directly connect with potential volunteers. In addition, it helps advocates of all kinds find each other.
You can help foster these relationships by creating specialized groups and becoming a part of that community. In turn, your advocates will begin creating content and sharing stories of their own to be curated and shared by others. You can host virtual events, fundraisers and awareness campaigns. Over time, all these strategies will increase your social media impact organically and expand your reach exponentially.
Contact CRA about Social Media for Nonprofits and Other Services
For more than 25 years, CRA has been providing technology solutions and consulting services to all sorts of organizations. We can assist with social media for nonprofits, as well as other information technology that can enhance your productivity while streamlining your budget.