How Much Social Media Does Your Nonprofit Need, and Why?

3 building blocks, A, B, C

3 Building Blocks for Online Marketing

Earlier this week I posted on the Windmill Networking blog about three essential building blocks to kick-start a successful online marketing program. For the time-challenged, however, here’s a brief summary:

1.  Your website (with a companion blog) is the home for your message. If your website still looks like an online brochure – with very little in the way of visuals or interactive components — it’s time to change.  If it’s difficult to make changes to your website – you find the content tends to quickly get outdated – then it’s time to change. If the lion’s share of content on your website is all about how awesome you are — all the awards you’ve won and a long recitation of your history – it’s time to change. Content is still king. And what people really want to know about is the people you’re helping. And speaking of website content, you should have a blog [Check out 8 Answers to Why Nonprofits Need a Blog].  In fact, more and more businesses – both for profit and nonprofit – are beginning to merge their blog and website so they’re one and the same. Your website/blog is the hub of your activity; a point of embarkation/disembarkation for all your content and socialization.

2.  Email gets your message heard.  And it’s still the biggest communications tool we have.  It’s direct and segmentable.  And, research shows that email marketing converts better than search and social channels. More people complete the transaction with email – 33% vs. 3%. So building your email list should be a key part of your social strategy. And you can drive email opt-ins from your social pages/spaces.

3.  Social media gets your message shared. John Haydon  explains here why you need both email and social media. Email is unbeatable at this point as a distribution mechanism.  However, it’s not a tool for collaboration. It’s not a place where people collectively come together. In other words, it isn’t “social.”  So, pick something. I suggest you keep it simple. Don’t ‘spray and pray.’ [Check out The 3 Worst Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business (And What You Should Do Instead) from Social Media Today]. And don’t just do ‘transactions’. Think about ‘engagement’. In the early days of social media, organizations thought of it as a tool to push out information — raise awareness, communicate project news and so forth – all with the end goal of asking for and securing a donation.  This is no longer the primary benefit of social media.

Don’t try to do everything at once – find where your audience is online and work from there. Having a single, established social media destination is better than having a dozen, half-finished ones. I encourage you to read the full post here.

And don’t forget to sign up for my free webinar — The Keys to Successful Nonprofit Blogging that Drives Engagement.– with the folks at Good Done Great on Tuesday, January 16th .

If you disagree with these 3 building blocks, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. Thanks for simplifying the overwhelming world of social media for us. I think if people build on these 3 principles they will be well on their way to building a strong online brand.

  2. Dave Sena says:

    It can be overwhelming. Having a coach is a great way to start. They can give tips and get success that you can build on. This will keep people motivated to learn and engage in social media. Thanks for the tips.
    Dave Sena recently posted…When in doubt, make a decision!My Profile

  3. “Having a single, established social media destination is better than having a dozen, half-finished ones. ” AGREE! I think social media efforts often fail because we try to do too much all at once. Great advice in this blog, and I appreciate all the sources and evidence.

  4. Thanks for the tips! We’ve just launched our updated website, so this is great timing for us, since we will be ramping up our social media to advertise it!

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