Nonprofits to increase use of social media marketing

July 18, 2013

Nonprofits to increase use of social media marketing

Many nonprofits don't have the marketing budgets to carry out several initiatives to build up their donor network and spread the word about the organization. This is why social media is a platform that board members and top decision-makers at nonprofits have used to relay the mission statement and breaking news at the organization. Investments in sites like Facebook and Twitter are expected to grow as a greater number of people join them and the Internet becomes increasingly accessible.

Advertising and marketing executives at organizations know the importance of social media and plan to spend more on the online platforms in the upcoming year. A new study conducted by staffing firm The Creative Group found 62 percent of respondents expect to increase the amount they invest in Facebook marketing in the next 12 months, while 48 percent said the same when referring to Twitter. Nonprofits that want to use their marketing budgets wisely must take note of the success the organization has had with social media platforms in the past.

"Today, there is a social media component to nearly every marketing campaign," said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group.

Farraguia added the primary challenge in these campaigns is figuring out which channels make the most sense and what initiatives will help organizations engage a greater following.

Nonprofits can benefit from help with social strategies
While social media channels are fairly user-friendly, that doesn't mean that once nonprofits assign someone to manage their Facebook and Twitter presence it will be smooth sailing from then on. It takes the right personnel, as well as a lot of time and effort to build a social media strategy that will bring in a high return on investment.

"As organizations increase their social media investment, they seek professionals with experience planning, executing and measuring the success of social media activities," Farrugia said.

Start social strategies off on the right foot
Nonprofits that want to benefit from their use of social media need to have a solid marketing plan in place for the platforms they decide to use. Here are some tips provided by a blog post for Constant Contact that can help nonprofits organizations utilize social media to their maximum potential:

  • Take a lot of pictures: Photos get looked at more than written content on social media sites. By using pictures to tell a story, nonprofits have a better chance of getting people to follow along.
  • Show how donations are used: If people are going to donate to an organization, they at the very least want to see what their money is financing and what initiatives the nonprofits is leading to support its cause.
  • Try blogging: Blogs are fun, and can be an informal way to share a story or talk about something that is going on at the organization. Posts can be from volunteers, board members or donors who want to have something to talk about and post on social media.
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