The report showed that nonprofits were leading both corporations and universities in the use of social media tools. Nonprofits were more familiar with the tools and were using them significantly more often. Nonprofits had even delved into monitoring attitudes of others with regard to the use of social mediums, which is light years ahead of even some fairly large-sized businesses.
An updated study showed that even today 89% of charitable organizations are using some form of social media in their marketing. This includes the use of blogging, podcasting, message boards, social networking, video blogging and wikis. If this research isn't enough to convince you that social media is a viable tool for your nonprofit organization, consider that 45% of these organizations stated that social media played a very important role in their fundraising strategy.
Why does social media work for Nonprofit organizations?
It's simple, really.
Stakeholders take an interest in causes that relate to them and social mediums create an overall integrated experience with those very same stakeholders.
Additionally, social mediums enable nonprofit organizations to create relationships and engage with their consituents. This allows them to nurture their online communities which, in fact creates, a viral marketing affect with little or no effort. And the costs associated with this marketing effort are often less expensive with better return-on-investment than traditional marketing efforts.
The realm of social media helps equip individuals with an outlet and tool to help in growing their own nonprofit organizations, as well as enabling individuals who have a specific interest in a charitable organization and who want to share it broadly.
Social mediums provide a central place for nonprofits organizations to collaborate and connect. And, as touched on earlier, they help Nonprofits gain feedback from constituents and stakeholders in the organization.
As a nonprofit organization it's important to take the proper steps when delving into social mediums but, as you can see it, has proven to be beneficial to many organizations just like yours.
How can you get started in the social media marketing of your nonprofit organization?
You must create a plan, as well as a social media policy. It's important when entering into social media that if you decide to do it internally you'll want to create a social media policy and a marketing plan that uphold the core principles of your organization. I know it sounds complicated - but it's really not. Your policy and strategy plan should include the following:
- Who will be your spokesperson and the voice of your organization?
- Will the voice of that spokesperson be personal or professional - what does that split look like?
- Who will be in charge of responding to conversation and social media buzz that is created?
- Who will be monitoring the social media effects?
- What, if any, monitoring tools will you or should you use?
- How will you protect the brand of your organization?
- Which vehicles in social media will you use? Your choices include blogging, podcasting, message boards, social networking, video blogging and wikis.
This will get you started in creating your policy as well as your strategy. You will also want to identify any HR issues within this policy, for example what social media activities are permitted on staff time and what is not? Who will be your spokesperson or is everyone allowed to act as the organization's spokesperson?
Your policy must be clearly written and easy for everyone within the organization to understand. Your strategy must identify what tools you will use and how they will be used. You will also want to identify who is responsible for answering conversations and participating in the social media venues. The worst thing that could happen is that you start a social media marketing campaign, but do not interact or engage with constinuents and stakeholders.
Follow these simple steps and you're off to a good start!