Non-Profits and Social Media: A Good Match or a Big Mistake?

Jul 18, 2014 | Non-Profit Organizations, Social Media

Hands putting two puzzle pieces together

 
Running a non-profit is hard (and before you ask, yes, I have been thinking about changing my name to Captain Obvious Jacobson). Resources are stretched pretty thin, and most of the time money is not allocated to advertising. So how is a non-profit supposed to grow its reach? 


Well, it’s a good thing people like Tom Anderson (Myspace founder), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder), Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, and Evan Williams and Biz Stone (Twitter founders) were born! Because of their projects, non-profits are able to connect with more people than ever before. 


You may be asking, “Captain Obvious Jacobson, why would I need to use a social network? I don’t think it’s a good idea.” To this I would say, “That’s foolishness!” There are plenty of good reasons to use social networks for your non-profit.


It’s Free!


You are able to set up an account on any platform you choose, have content up in a matter of minutes, and be growing your follower base without paying one dime. There are many non-profits I follow who do not pay for any ad space and still have a growing and engaged followership. Your followers will be more apt to engage with you if your content is great (more on that later), so make sure it is content that they actually want.


Almost Everyone Has an Account


Whether through a Twitter account, Facebook timeline, Pinterest profile, Instagram page, or other platforms, there are multiple ways to reach millions—if not billions—of people.
 

Think about how often you see people snapping selfies. While they might print off these pictures to hang in their houses, the safer bet is that they are posting them on their social media accounts. Now think about how many likes each selfie will get. (It sickens me to think about the number of likes selfies receive.) Could you imagine if it was actually a well-crafted picture with purpose? As a non-profit, you have a message that’s actually worth sharing!


Great Content Goes a Long Way


If you are posting status updates about the donations you have received, make sure they are engaging and informative. If it’s a picture, only use a high-quality image. Keep content relevant and helpful for your audience. Also be sure to double check your posts before you publish them. Always proofread! You wouldn’t want to say you had received $18,000 of your $10,000 goal when in reality you had only gotten $1,800.


Generating great content takes time and energy. It will not happen overnight—so don’t be discouraged if your numbers or involvement stay the same at first. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience questions on what they would like to see from you in the future. This will drive interaction between you and your followers, and help them feel more connected to your cause!

This only scratches the surface of why non-profits should use social media. If you want more information from our social media experts, get in touch with us!

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below!

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