Social Media For Charities: Tips For Non Profits
Social media has opened up many new opportunities for charities to engage with their audience. More and more non profit organizations are realizing the power of social media for charities and how it can help further a cause – financially and to raise awareness.
Why is social media for charities important and how can you make the best of it to market your organization? Let’s get straight to the answer…
Advantages of Using Social Media for Charities
1. Reaching Massive Number of People at Once
When you use social media to market your charitable organization, you have the potential to reach a huge number of people in a short period of time compared to majority of offline activities.
2. Relatively Low Cost of Operation
Times when charitable organizations heavily relied on television, radio and print advertising for their events are long gone. Social media is now a newer mode of advertising that is not only a low cost effective channel of communication but also yields similar, if not better, marketing results.
3. Ease of Accessibility
Social media has continued to gain popularity all over the world due to affordability and ease of access. People no longer have to be glued to the TV or radio to access information on a certain charity event. All they need is a smart phone and access to Internet.
Even for the charities, accessing and using social media is quite easy. Within a few minutes, you can create a status, share a photo or a video and inform followers about an urgent situation or event. Messages of donations and immediate help can then be shared in a matter of seconds using different social media platforms.
4. Two-Way Interaction with your Audience
Social media platforms are two way communication channels. When a non profit sends information about an upcoming event or calls for donations through social media, people are able to ask questions or seek clarification pertaining to that information. Social media enables immediate feedback between the organization and its followers.
For instance on Facebook you can get people’s opinions on a cause you are championing and even have a conversation about it as you can see on this post by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Again, it is not all about raising money and calling people to help. Social media’s main agenda is to provide a platform of communication between the organization and its audience. An organization can hence take advantage of this amazing power of social media and get to interact more with its audience.
5. Variety of Sites to Choose From
Social media sites are varied, have different uses and attract different types of audiences. It’s upon you to find the best social media platform that will give you the best results.
There is no one site fits all kind of platform. An organization can use a combination of sites for different purposes. For instance, Instagram is perfect for sharing event photos while Facebook is great for announcing events and keeping your audience updated on the upcoming events.
Here’s an example of UN Foundation’s Instagram page
7 Ways to Use Social Media for Your Charity
1. CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM ACCORDING TO MESSAGE AND AUDIENCE
With so many platforms to choose from, you may be tempted to test your luck in using social media for charities by having a presence on every available platform. While this is not wrong, you might want to concentrate only on the sites with more value to your organization.
To know which platforms are best for your charity, first understand your audience, their needs and the social platforms they mostly use. Secondly, consider your messages and the channels that will be most
effective for you to use to spread them.
When you use these two factors to pick your social media platforms, it will be very easy to create a cross-platform campaign that maximizes the success of your social platforms.
2. Dedicate Time for Social Media marketing
Social media can be both productive and time wasting. To make the best use of your social media efforts, decide how much time your organisation will devote to social media marketing.
You can choose to spend an hour everyday engaging with your audience on your chosen platforms and one day a week to create content. Time spent on social media will be determined by how high a priority social media marketing is for your organisation.
3. Plan your Content
Don’t get started on a social media for charities strategy if you are not sure what you want to achieve. Have objectives and then come up with relevant content that will help you achieve those objectives. If you want to raise donations, then have content geared towards asking people for donations. If you want to simply update your audience on your organization’s events, then have appropriate content.
To make it easy to plan your content, have an editorial calendar that clearly captures the content you want to share, which platforms you will use and when you will share the said content.
4. Encourage Dialogue and Participation
It’s normal to assume that social media is just good for broadcasting messages about campaigns, events and news. However, social media users are interested in having their opinion heard as much as they are interested in gaining information about your organization.
When sharing content on your social media platforms, ensure that it encourages dialogue and participation. This way, your audience will feel appreciated and a part of your organization and the work you are doing.
Boy Scouts of America invites participation through lots of questions to its audience.
5. Use Emotive Content with a Strong Call to Action
Social good is an area that most people hold close to heart and many people are willing to help but sometimes they don’t know how to help or why they should support a certain organization.
When you are raising funds or looking for donations on social media, use emotive content that will make people want to help. Ensure your messages provoke a range of emotions from your audiences and don’t forget to add a call to action asking your audience to take a certain action such as donating money.
This tweet by American Cancer Society is a good example of emotive content with a call to action.
6. Find out what People are Saying about your Organization
Social media is not only great for passing out information about your organization, but also very effective in learning what people are saying about your organization and its activities.
Use social media to find out what other charities within your sector are saying or doing. You can do this by searching relevant keywords on the platforms that you use. When you are aware of what is being said within your sector, you will be able to make better decisions to improve your organization.
7. Measure your Success
Every effort that you make to market your charity should have some sort of return on investment. The same holds true for social media marketing. It’s important to find out whether your efforts are paying off. Success will depend on your set objectives.
Various platforms have different ways of analyzing performance. On Facebook and Twitter for instance, you are able to get statistics on number of page likes, followers, post likes, retweets and shares. You can also see the characteristics of your audience. On Facebook, you can see how much money has been contributed towards your cause especially if you are using a Facebook fundraising page.
Such information is important because it enables you to gauge your performance and decide where to direct your marketing efforts or the changes and improvements that you need to make.
It is no secret that social media for charities has revolutionized how non profit and charitable organizations operate. Why don’t you try the above tips and propel your charity to success!
Have you tried using social media for your charity? How did it go? Give us your comments below.