Nonprofits and Social Media – Where to Start?
“Social media” can be an intimidating phrase for nonprofits due to a lack of understanding of its potential benefits. PMA has seen the need for social media assistance, and works with clients to create social media plans. However, an important first step is in identifying the key tools available for delivering an organization’s message.
The obvious and most important element to have in place before starting a social media campaign is a website. Your website will serve as the home for your online presence. Visitors to the website can expect to find history, mission and visions of the organization.
When someone is looking to contact your nonprofit, the website will often be the first place they look. Other information to consider posting on the website include photos, videos and presentations.
A website gives your audience the key static information about your organization, but a blog can act as a place to continuously update and spread a message. Think of the blog as the “voice” of the nonprofit. A blog can promote events, speak on important issues and create dialogue.
Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
While the website and blog will provide a location for content and message, social networks are the carriers of that information. What good is posting an event on your blog if no one ever hears about it?
Communicating with an audience through services like Twitter and Facebook allows an organization to market its services and educate the general public about its needs. Connecting through such outlets opens up a nonprofit to a larger audience, as loyal followers will start promoting an organization as well.
Sites like YouTube and Flickr are other options to consider when enhancing a social media presence. Videos and photos can often separate an organization from others while connecting on a more personal level.
The ultimate goal of social media for nonprofits is to create a dialogue that drives an audience to interact and take part in an organization – whether through volunteering, fundraising or user promotion. A fundamental understanding of each aspect will be the first step to a successful social media plan.