Intro to Social Media for NonprofitsWednesday, May 29, 2013
The Summer of Social Media
We’re on the brink of summer—the weather’s heating up, the school year is drawing to a close, and people are beginning to spend the majority of their weekends outdoors. It’s that sunny time of year when yard work is a pleasure, not a chore.
Social media marketing is a lot like summertime yard work. As far as work goes, it’s one of the more enjoyable forms of labor. However, it’s still important to have a strategy. Simply tossing seeds on the ground and relying on rainstorms to water your plants won’t yield a beautiful or bountiful garden. And simply creating a few social media accounts and leaving them to fend for themselves won’t bring in any new members or revenue.
As business slows down for the summer, why not use some of that extra free time on your hands to do some deep thinking about your organization’s social media strategy? Here on the Accrisoft blog, I’m going to be spending the better part of the summer discussing effective social media marketing for nonprofits. I hope you’ll join me each week for this fun, informative series: The Summer of Social Media!
DIFFERENT SOCIAL NETWORKS, DIFFERENT MARKETING GOALS
When you hear “social media,” you probably think of the Big Three: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. All of these social media platforms are extremely powerful marketing tools…if they’re used properly. Each social media platform was designed for a unique purpose, thus each platform has its own set of best practices that can be used to accomplish a unique set of marketing goals.
Facebook, for instance, was originally developed as a peer-to-peer social network. That’s why your connections are called “friends” and company pages are technically called “fan pages.” Facebook is the best social network for humanizing your nonprofit—by posting photos and images to your Fan Page, you can convey the personality of your organization.
Twitter, on the other hand, is a predominantly text-based social network. It was originally developed to be a microblogging site where people could share and discover links to interesting articles and blogs. Twitter evolved into a powerful marketing tool when organizations began tweeting links to their own content (in hopes of driving potential customers or members to their website). Twitter is the best social network for establishing your organization’s expertise on a particular subject.
To this day, LinkedIn is still used for its original purpose—to help people make business connections. Your personal LinkedIn profile serves as an online resume, and your Company Page enables you to showcase products and services. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for accomplishing your nonprofit’s business goals: growing membership, increasing donations and earning revenue.
ONE INTEGRATED STRATEGY
Understanding how to use each individual social network is only the first step. In order to be truly successful in social media, you must synchronize your efforts and build one cohesive social media strategy that integrates with your other marketing activities.
Here are a few examples of how social media can be integrated into your overall marketing strategy:
- Post links to your organization’s web content (blog posts, news articles, photos) on your social media profiles
- Add social media share buttons to your blog so readers can share it with their friends.
- Include social media icons in your e-newsletters to earn more followers.
- Embed social media feeds on your website to add dynamic content.
Later this summer, I will dive deeper into the topic of creating a unified and integrated social media strategy. Stay tuned!
UP NEXT: INTRO TO LINKEDIN FOR NONPROFITS
The first social media site I’m going to discuss is my favorite of the Big Three, LinkedIn. I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn because it’s the platform that enables your organization to accomplish those really important business objectives: identifying potential new members/vendors/volunteers, getting them interested in joining/supporting your organization, and developing long-lasting professional relationships.
Come back next week for an introduction to leveraging LinkedIn for your nonprofit!
CONNECT WITH ACCRINET
If you’re not already connected with my company on social media, follow Accrisoft to see how we’re using social media.