Social Media for Nonprofits

481364089Through Kickstarter campaigns for TV series, flash mobs in the street, and memes that spread like wildfire, the Internet has shown its ability to motivate people to act for various, sometimes silly, causes. Nonprofit organizations should use this ability to organize people to their advantage.

When used properly, social media marketing can encompass all the major functions of non-profit organization, including advocacy, fundraising, community outreach and service delivery. This article explains how marketers can grow, fund and staff a nonprofit organization through social media marketing.

Perhaps the most important way that social media can help nonprofits is through content distribution. Social media marketing lets nonprofit organizations get their message to demographics and target audiences who may not know about an issue.

Research has shown that most people, especially the younger generation who will make up the donors of the future for a non-profit, learn about new brands and products through social media. In fact,  according to a study from Adroit Digital, 26 percent of millennials said they were most likely to be introduced to something via social media.

By having a social media channel and promoting content from the nonprofit’s website, marketers can attract more readers than they would by simply posting on the site alone. According to data from the fourth quarter of 2013, more than 22 percent of web traffic comes from social media

There’s also good reason for nonprofits to use multiple social networking platforms to increase the reach of their content. Another recent study found channels like Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube bring in more, and longer-lasting, referrals than other social channels.

The targeting options are equally important. For example, a marketer can target audiences on Facebook based on keywords like environmentalism, rainforest, recycling, etc. Marketers can target their campaign to audiences who should be most receptive to their message.

Fundraising is another way that social media can be helpful for nonprofit organizations. Just as it can be used to distribute content, social media can alert target audiences and donors about fundraising opportunities. More than just being plausible, research has shown that media contributes greatly to the fundraising efforts of modern nonprofits.

According to a study from YouGov, 11 percent of the younger demographic responded to social media for their last donation. The study also found that social media appears to have a higher response rate for low-income households, also with a response rate around 11 percent.

There are a lot of ways marketers could use social media for donations and fundraising. Nonprofit marketers could set up an app that processes donations so the user doesn’t leave Facebook to donate. They could also use ads to send people to fundraising pages on the nonprofit’s site.

Finally, social media can also be used to help a nonprofit deliver its services to the groups they seek to help. By being open to accept information requests increase through social media, nonprofits increase their ability to help those in need.

As noted by a study last year, just about everyone has a social media account of some form, including many of the homeless. A University of Alabama study found that 75 percent of homeless youths had Twitter or Facebook  accounts.

Another huge benefit of social media for nonprofits is in organizing volunteers. Like with flash mobs, nonprofits can quickly connect to their volunteer base and find those who are capable of helping them with their projects.

In the end, the best way to reach as many people as possible is for a nonprofit to use an integrated marketing strategy with email, print ads, TV ads and so on. Social media would just be a part of that overall strategy.

Social media marketing is a very powerful tool for any organization and nonprofits are no exception.

People use social media to find things to do, issues to care about, and things to share and do with their friends. Nonprofits can make their cause the thing that fills this need but only if they’re using their social media properly.

Peter_Roesler-1-2Peter Roesler, president of Web Marketing Pros, has an extensive background in all things marketing, social media, and search engine optimization. His impressive work history includes VP of Development at AppSoft Development, Director of Multimedia at Advantage Services, and Creative Director at Mammoth Technology. He is continually drawing upon his own talent and skill to help small-to-large corporations all over the nation improve their overall Internet standing and appearance. Among his experience, Peter thoroughly enjoys the continual challenge that SEO work brings. To keep up with the ever-changing dynamic of optimization, Peter studies and researches current methods and standards of the process. When he is ahead of the game your company is, too.
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