Social media is a cost-effective marketing option for nonprofit organizations. These organizations may be focused on furthering social causes or advocating for shared points-of-view, and social media can serve as a vehicle to help them reach their goal. It offers a central place to collaborate and connect, and gain feedback from constituents and stakeholders in the organization.
Benefits of Using Social Media
Social media serves as a tool to help people grow their nonprofit organizations and enables individuals with specific interests to share them with others. It enables these organizations to create relationships and engage with their constituents. Stakeholders take an interest in causes that relate to them, and social media creates an overall integrated experience with those stakeholders. Social media allows nonprofits to nurture their online communities which, in fact, creates a viral marketing effect with little or no effort. In addition, the costs associated with this marketing effort are often less expensive with better return-on-investment than traditional marketing efforts.
Getting Started Using Social Media
Nonprofit organizations should have a clear plan in place before using social media as a marketing tool. The first step is to create a strategy or marketing plan and a social media policy. Both should be written internally to ensure the organization's core principles are upheld. In addition, it is important to identify any human resource issues within the policy, such as activities that are are not permitted on staff time. Other items to consider include designating a spokesperson or allowing everyone to represent the organization.
The social media policy must be clearly written and easily understandable to all organization members. The strategy must identify the tools you will use and how they will be used. You will also want to identify who is responsible for responding to conversations and participating in social media venues.
Items to consider include:
- Spokesperson or voice of the organization
- Respondent to conversations and social media buzz
- Monitor of social media effects
- Monitoring tools
- Protection of the organization brand
- Blogging, podcasting, message boards, social networking, video blogging, and wikis
Social media can be a valuable resource for nonprofit organizations with little money to spare. To derive the greatest benefit from social media marketing, it is important that organizations have a clear plan and policy in place that is communicated and understood by all members. This will ensure that your nonprofit organization is a success.