The nonprofit sector often debates how to calculate the value of social media. While there have been case studies highlighting successes, there aren’t many concrete studies on how social media directly impacts nonprofits' fundraising and advocacy. So when Engagement db released a new study on how well the top brands (Starbucks, Dell, Google, etc.) are using social media, I dived into the study to see what strategies nonprofit’s could adapt.
Start Somewhere. Start Now!
Don't get overwhelmed by shiny object syndrome. Your nonprofit does not need to be active on every popular social network. Pick a couple social networks that are the right fit for your organization based on your goals and the people you want to reach. "It is better to be consistent and participate in fewer channels than to spread yourself too thin," said the report.
All Staff Should Use Social Media
The more people in your nonprofit that spend time on social networking sites listening and monitoring the issues your nonprofit works on the better (even if it’s just 15 minutes a day). Of course engaging people on social networks is very valuable too, but tweeting, posting facebook updates, and responding to peopleare not the only ways for staff to contribute.
Don’t Talk At Me. Talk With Me!
When we talk about engagement, it does not mean throwing up a Facebook profile and having "friends" write on your wall. "Rather, it’s keeping your blog content fresh and replying to comments; it's building your friends network and updating your profile status. Don’t just check the box; engage with your audience," said the report.
Multi-Channel Marketing Works Best To Reinforce Messaging And Branding
While the importance of multi-channel marketing was briefly mentioned in the report, it's critical that nonprofits use multiple channels to connect with activists and donors. For example, several months ago Frogloop reviewed the donorCentric study by Target Analytics and said "if your nonprofit is pursuing an integrated, multi-channel strategy, then consider giving donors multiple options to donate on the same campaign. If your organization is about to send out a Direct Mail piece, send out an online fundraising appeal on the same issue a few days before the mail piece arrives and a few days after it has been delivered." Launch a fun, small dollar fundraising contest or campaign on Twitter within the same window. The more channels you use to ask for money, the more money you will raise. This same scenario can be applied to advocacy campaigns too.