Social Media Tips for Non-Profit Organziations

03.09.2010

As I wrote in one of my recent posts, I attended Gravity Summit's social media conference last month. During the conference, there were a couple of breakout sessions, one of which was Social Media for Social Good, a panel dedicated to providing social media guidance for non-profit organizations.

Below is a combination of tips I personally would give non-profits and some of the highlights from the Social Media for Social Good panel.

First and foremost, define what you want to accomplish through your social media outreach. Is your primary goal to increase donations? Do you want to get more press coverage and create more buzz about your organization? Are you looking to educate supporters? Do you want to gather more volunteers? This will help you develop the correct strategy.

"Use FlowTown™ to run your emails through and discover your friends and contacts in social media." This will help you figure out where your supporters are spending their time online. If they are on LinkedIn, you should be on LinkedIn. If they are on Twitter, you should be on Twitter. Go where your audience is. Another way to find out where they are spending their time is to ask them. Send out a survey or post one on your website.

Use social media to develop relationships with supporters. "People are much more likely to donate if they are asked by a friend. You need to engage people to spread the word on your behalf. [to their friends]"  - This is especially important today, when everyone is bombarded with information about so many worthy causes.

Provide a variety of content and don't just focus on news, news, news. Give your supporters something to interact with. "An easy way for non-profits to have more content is to ask fans for help." - Fans will be happy to submit video, photos, etc. for you.

"Send the message out through various platforms, but have one central 'hub' for all content."

"The key is creativity. Research other successful campaigns, but don't be a copy of them. [And remember that] causes don't need to be boring and sad."

"Be kind. Be courteous. Be someone they WANT to support."

"Ask people to be a part  of the movement, don't just tell them what to do." Find a way for your supporters to participate. "People, when approached, are more willing to give you time first. Then, they are more likely to give you money."

"The more eyeballs the merrier. Money should not be your first thought. The more supporters you have, the more money should follow."

"The small donations can lead to the big." Although larger donations are certainly nice, don't underestimate the power of the many. A lot of people are going through tough financial situations right now, so they may only be able to support with $10. However, if every one of your followers donated $10 that can add up very quickly. Also, remember that money isn't everything. "A donation is actually a very low level of engagement. Long-term engagement can be much more valuable in the long run."

If you are a part of a non-profit organization and have any questions, please comment below. Or if you have have any successful case studies or tips of your own that you think will be beneficial to other organizations, I invite you to share those as well!