If nonprofits wish to survive and thrive, they must have support. This support can come in many forms such as advocacy, donations, and volunteering.
Increasing Support Doesn’t Have to Be Costly
At its heart, social media marketing allows nonprofits to use one of the most successful, and oldest, forms of advertising to increase its base of support: social influence, or, word-of-mouth marketing. Social media campaigns are effective for increasing an NFP’s reach because their cost can be easily controlled by scaling campaigns up or down.
Once the initial content is created, connections within various networks spread the message on their own, creating organic support and traffic without incurring additional cost. Using social media to find and recruit supporters, however, isn’t just about controlling costs. The following is a brief overview of two additional reasons why nonprofits need to be using social media in their marketing campaigns and communications.
To Stay Competitive
Competition is a key factor that affects the impact and growth of every nonprofit, despite the increase in collaborations and partnerships between third parties.
Nonprofits compete to recruit skilled, talented people to serve on boards, and as staff members and volunteers. Funds are also a scarce resource, as there are not enough grants, endowments and individual contributions to fund every need.
Research shows that if you want your nonprofit to be able to recruit enough staff, volunteers, advocates and donors, then your nonprofit must have an online presence, and be using social media to spread the word about your cause and how others can help.
According to statistics provided in the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report, most not for profits worldwide are actively online using multiple social media channels to connect with supporters, accept donations and spread awareness about their NFP’s mission. A full 92% of NFPs have a website and 46% blog regularly, making it easy for online users to discover information about their mission and projects.
75% email their supporters’ donation requests and other news, and 75% accept donations online. 95% have a Facebook page, 83% have a profile on Twitter, and nearly 40% use Instagram to keep their supporters up-to-date and motivated about the good work that their organisation is accomplishing.
To be effective, nonprofits must use social media to stand out from all of their competitors in both the for-profit and not-for-profit world. They should use it to firmly establish their brand, and link their brand to their cause, their vision and the work that can be accomplished with the support of others.
To Remain Relevant
It’s not just other NFPs that are online. According to data on social media trends provided by Track Maven, nearly one third of the entire world’s population will be online by next year. Global Web Index statistics reveal that most online users have about 6 social media profiles and regularly use nearly half of them.
This data clearly illustrates why it’s so important for your nonprofit to enter this space! A growing number of us no longer get our news from traditional network broadcasts and media outlets. Instead, we are leveraging our social media networks to stay up-to-date on the latest news and events. We then share those stories that personally connect with us and then like or otherwise express an opinion about these posts with our connections.
To become a part of these crucial conversations and exchanges of ideas, you must be online, and using the social media channels where these conversations are taking place. To engage with potential supporters, you must be online where your supporters are likely to be. Otherwise your cause will go unnoticed and your projects will go unsupported. To stay relevant, nonprofits need to include social media in their marketing strategies, and engage their supporters on the social media channels of their choice.
If your nonprofit is struggling to build its base of support, this is likely a sign that your social media strategy may need some fine-tuning to return the results that your nonprofit wants and needs.