Non-profits have many of the same opportunities in social media as for-profit businesses—it's just a matter of altering the strategy.
Non-profits can focus their social efforts to drive awareness, share their story, cultivate donor relationships and open up two-way communication with advocates in ways never before possible.
Here are ten tips that virtually any non-profit can easily take advantage of at little or no cost. These tactics can supplement many marketing efforts already in place and in some cases expand those efforts exponentially by reaching an entirely new audience with a creative and unique approach.
#1: Evangelize your organization's mission with an interactive presentation
Sliderocket is a groundbreaking tool that lets you create stunning presentations in a collaborative environment to complement your social campaigns.
Tell your story and illustrate your mission by adding interactive engagement tools such as poll questions, viewer comments and integrated Twitter feeds.
#2: Get organized with a social CRM tool
Social customer relationship management is the easiest way to manage your social following and monitor conversations.
SproutSocial is a useful tool that keeps all of your contacts across all social networks in one easy-to-manage platform. The professional account is only $9.00 per month and they give a 50% discount to non-profits.
Another option is Nimble, which allows you to manage all of your social profiles including email contacts. In addition, you can collaborate with other members of your organization for complete cross-functional customer engagement.
#3: Leverage the power of video to advance your cause
Once you are accepted into the network, your organization receives special non-profit benefits such as premium branding capabilities, increased uploading capacity, an optional Google Checkout “Donate” button, a listing on the Non-profit channels and the Non-profit videos pages and the ability to add a Call-to-action overlay on your videos to drive campaigns.
#4: Get to know your donors, volunteers, partners and clients/beneficiaries on a deeper level
If you want to know more about your non-profit's social following, ask them.
Launch an online survey or poll directly into your social channels or embed it in your blog.
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Doing so will help monitor overall satisfaction, gauge interest in events and fundraisers, understand donors' reasons for contributing and determine areas/issues of interest to constituents.
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#5: Get to know the new kid on the block
Google+. Although business pages do not yet exist, it's a good idea to jump in and become familiar with the platform. The Hangouts feature could be an invaluable tool to connect, and the Circles feature can organize your donors, etc., into manageable groups.
#6: Turn Facebook into a fundraising hub
Facebook Causes is a tool that allows non-profits to develop campaigns on Facebook and can be a successful way to attract new donors, raise money and share information about volunteering opportunities. Causes have built free, customizable fundraising pages that integrate with Facebook.
#7: Power to the Tweeple: Take your petition to Twitter
Act.ly is a friendly and intuitive way to launch an online petition. Simply identify a target (a Twitter handle), type what you want them to do or stop doing, then every time anyone retweets the message, they've signed the petition.
#8: Connect with other non-profits on a Tweetchat
It's open to everyone who has an interest in non-profits and you are sure to leave inspired with some very useful ideas and tips.
#9: Create a LinkedIn company page
LinkedIn Company Page is free and it will create an official presence for your organization on LinkedIn. In addition, make sure to complete your personal LinkedIn profile to 100% and encourage your staff to do the same.
Stay up to date on top news within the non-profit space by utilizing LinkedIn Today, which aggregates the top articles shared on LinkedIn and Twitter by people in your network.
#10: Keep it transparent
There's nothing that donors and supporters like more than seeing exactly where and how their donations are being used.
Adding names, faces and compelling captions to photo-sharing sites such as Flickr or Shutterfly demonstrates the impact of supporters' contributions and can reassure them that their contributions are being put to good use.
These are just a few tips to get you started.
What have you been using to promote your non-profit or cause? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
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