Media Buying and Inbound Marketing Blog

Nonprofits Need to Add Social Media to Their Marketing Strategy

By Jane Peters on August 8, 2012 |

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Using social media as part of your marketing strategy is a great way for nonprofits to increase awareness and pump up donations.                        

A 2012 study from Ipos OTX and Ipos Global@dvisor revealed that 22% of global internet users said they would purchase from a brand if they saw that a friend liked or followed the brand on a social network such as Facebook or Twitter.  Translation… social media influences purchasing decisions.

Here are a few ways nonprofits can benefit from social media:

1) Use Twitter Live Feeds and Conversations

39% of Twitter users said most of the news they got on Twitter was material they wouldn't have read elsewhere, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.  As a nonprofit, using Twitter personalities, such as your CEO to report about all the exciting events and happenings within the organization allows people to feel connected.  Those followers tuning in to the live feed of an event are the most likely to donate to your cause.

One creative way to drive donations is by tweeting links to your charity’s donation landing page and letting them know how their donation makes a difference. Every time a donation is made, you can tweet back at the donor and explain to them the difference they have made to your organization and its cause.

Let your donors know how many families their money was able to feed or how many children could go to camp.  It will put into perspective what they were able to accomplish with a quick acknowledgement. Recognizing the generosity of your donors support on social media where all their friends can see it makes them feel appreciated.

2) Use Facebook to Tell a Story

Storytelling can play a key role in driving donations.  Facebook is an excellent place for this. Engage those who like your Facebook page by providing them with a place to share their own stories or comment on yours. Your stories can establish an emotional connection with your audience.  This is essential for nonprofits.

As a nonprofit, you can also pick the most moving post on your Facebook page and have it featured as "Inspiration of the Week." You can even use Timeline's new pinning feature to expand the visual real estate of the post on your page and draw even more of your fans' eyes there.  Facebook even allows you to create donate buttons.

3) Pump Up With Pins

Sharaholic reported that 21% of  Pinterest users have followed through with a purchase after discovering it on Pinterest -- that might be a social media investment worth investigating for nonprofits trying to drive donations. You can get started by creating pin boards with images that relate to your cause.  Show pictures of your organization in action such as volunteers helping at an event.

You can upload photos of the items you "sell" to drive donations, like tee shirts or hats from your organization. To ensure donations, include URLs to landing pages in the "Edit" section of your pins (not the description section to avoid being flagged for spamming).

For more information about Pinterest check out our blog article.

4) LinkedIn Happy Hour

LinkedIn is the best social media platform for reaching professional people.  A nonprofit organization can use LinkedIn to connect with potential donors. Using LinkedIn Events you can create and share an event.  LinkedIn’s Event tab makes creating these easy.  Your nonprofit can create and share an event with your connections and with the "Find Events" tab, companies interested in attending can find your event and attend.

5) Host a Social Media Contest

Social media audiences love contests.  Your contest could be about who can make the best video about your cause, who can pin the most inspiring photo or who can tweet your event to the most people are all contests that can successfully motivate people to get involved with your organization.  The reward could be a donation made in their name to your organization.

There are many creative ways a nonprofit can use social media to help publicize their cause and raise money.  I hope these ideas will help you think of others. What ways can you use social media to get donations?

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