Small businesses can use a bevy of marketing tools that can
help bring personality and engagement to an online conversation with customers.
However, non-profits organizations have always had to be cost conscious because
of the lack of budget many of them have when it comes to marketing, so they have
always had to be creative in this arena. It so happens that social media is a
cost effective way for them to extend the messaging of their email campaigns.
Plus, no one can tug at my heartstrings or wallet like a good non-profit.
Here are a few things that I think non-profits can benefit
from when using the free social media tools that are available to them.
If you are a non-profit and you haven't started a blog this
should be your first step. A blog is a great way to tell your story and it will
help you reach more people and show people the meaning behind your work. Typepad and WordPress both have great free tools that make it very easy and very cost effective to
set up a blog.
If you're stuck for ideas Small Business Trends just posted
a fabulous article, 100+ SMB Blogging Ideas to Kick Start 2010.
you need a little convincing our CEO wrote a blog post last week that
is a must read, Start Blogging! 10 Reasons Why You Think Time Wasted
Might Be Time Well Spent.
and Video to the Mix
Photos and videos can increase the emotional investment of
volunteers, supporters and donors. If you ever host events make sure to have
someone walking around with a camera. If your non-profit is benefiting someone
or something that can be photographed, make sure you show the world by easily
hosting it on YouTube and directing people to it from your email marketing
campaigns and your social media outlets.
YouTube has a non-profit program that is pretty cool for
vidoes. Within the program they do everything from show you how to run a video
campaign to how to add a donate button.
One of our non-profit customers sent us a great video of the
people they help. It took them no
time at all to do and we blogged about it here.
Flickr is a great place to share your photos, not only can
you link to your Flickr page and share it with anyone but anyone can stumble
upon your photos which will continually increase your reach. If you use Flickr
to share your photos make sure to link back to your website so if people want
more information about your non-profit they can find it easily.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and
Twitter are all free, easy to use tools that allow you to
listen to your audience and connect with them. This can be a really fun way for
non-profits to market themselves because people are more likely to comment on
what you're posting.
Set up company profiles on each of these platforms but keep
in mind that they are not a ‘set it and forget it' tool; you will need to
nurture these profiles with updates and comments. If you don't have time to do
this as a business, encourage your employees to pass on your messages on their
Many times non-profits start with Facebook and Twitter
first, which is great but don't forget about LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be an ideal
place to connect with employed professionals, which could turn into donations, as
well as connect with other organizations with similar goals and missions which
could turn into potential partnerships.
This isn't a list of everything non-profits can do on social
networks but hopefully a place to help get you started. Add comments below with
other tips and tricks you have learned that can help non-profits in the social
Social Media Lead