Marketing for a nonprofit can be tricky. You not only need to build awareness and generate interest in your organization, but you generally need to win over people’s hearts and minds in order to get them to support your cause.
There are various reasons why nonprofits should take advantage of the power of social media. However, despite the fact that social media marketing is becoming more popular than ever for nonprofit marketers, it is still mostly being used as a one way street or megaphone – simply a way for nonprofits to blast out their messages. There exists potential, however, for a lot more.
Nonprofit Social Media Is a Conversation – And A Storytelling Opportunity
If you think of traditional advertising as the aforementioned megaphone, you can think of nonprofit social media as a round table conversation. Everyone gets to share their story and opinion, and they all have equal chances to be amplified by the way that content can easily be shared and even become viral on the internet.
What’s more, social media allows for you to tell your nonprofit’s unique story, and let your audience ask questions, share their experiences, and answer back. All of this is invaluable for a nonprofit marketer that needs to win the hearts and minds of their audience.
Reach Your Customers Where They “Live”
Given the sheer ubiquity of social media nowadays, almost everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or some other service. In fact, the prominence of these sites is changing look of the internet: sites both big and small are now adopting a clean, minimalist look. However, these common networks aren’t the only option for nonprofit social media marketing.
Knowing which sites that your target audience tends to favor is essential. While some social media platforms are nearly universal nowadays, advertising on and participating in niche communities and forums may be more beneficial in the long run. Understanding where your true fans are actively participating on social media (as opposed to more passively participating by following your nonprofit on Facebook or Twitter, for example) is some of the most important knowledge that you can possess as a marketer.
Social Media Users Are Open To Engagement
For a user to reach your nonprofit’s website or sign up for your email subscription list, they have to actively show interest and awareness by searching for it or otherwise seeking it out. In other words, they have to be actively interested in your cause or know of your organization.
On the contrary, people interacting with your nonprofit on social media tend to be more likely to get involved – after all, they’ve already opted in to receiving your nonprofit’s messages. This group is perhaps your biggest asset as a social media marketer, since they’ve already expressed an affinity for your nonprofit. Use them to amplify your brand by giving them exclusive content or insider access to your organization through a public conversation.
Learn From The Masters – But Tell Your Own Story
Some nonprofits have managed to use social media to achieve some serious marketing successes, and using their case studies as an educational tool and model for your own campaigns can be a great way to get started.
That said, while learning the best practices from other experienced marketers can be quite valuable, you need to adapt them for your own business. It is essentially a way for you to speak directly to your current and prospective audience, and allow them to share your mission amongst themselves – so you need to keep that in mind first and foremost!
At the end of the day, various types of nonprofit social media marketing can actually be more valuable than it is for traditional brands. These platforms give you the opportunity to share your background and express your unique story, along with making it easy for your users to share your message with their friends and family.
Owen is a tech writer and multimedia enthusiast based in Southern California, who has spent several years writing for publications both in print and online.