If social media is used correctly, it can open a channel to a new audience, potentially gaining new support for your organization. Social media can connect with people your organization does not reach through its programs or more traditional communications. Social media can facilitate communications, particularly if the organization’s target audience is already comfortable with social media tools.
The most important part of fundraising through social media is finding potential benefactors; this means knowing which sites your constituents frequent the most: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, your blog, etc; becoming familiar with best practices in each of these segments is vital. A few rounds of trial and error can be a good investment of time rather than sticking to one method from the start.
Facebook: Facebook can be a useful option for non-profits and some sponsors will even donate based on how many likes, posts, and mentions a page receives. A more effective way to pitch your cause is by personalizing your message with an anecdote or experience instead of generalizing. A great example is The Girl Effect, (girleffect.org) a cause that promotes education for girls to end poverty; on their Facebook page is a video about a young girl named Addis. It can be viewed: HERE. Facebook experts can customize their landing pages in order to stand out and better reach their target audience or, even better, gain new supporters via viral marketing.
Twitter: Tweeting daily can be a great way to get your information out there in small, digestible bites. You can also cross-post your Tweets to Facebook, to encourage your Facebook fans to also follow your Twitter feeds. Effective social media users utilize these services for more purposes such as advocacy and cause marketing. The longer non-profits use social media and the more platforms they use, the more successful their efforts can become. Getting familiar with the tips and tricks that work for your audience is the key to a successful social media strategy. When social media is integrated into efforts to drive traffic to websites and increase search engine rankings, it not only increases the quantity but the quality of traffic.
You can’t and shouldn’t do it all yourself: Utilize figures of influence, whether they be community leaders or celebrities, because you never know who will be interested in helping your cause if you don’t reach out. Even finding just one person who has a large sphere of influence to tweet about your organization is a good first step. Word-of-mouth and viral marketing can spread like wildfire! A fantastic example of this is when UNHCR posted a video of Angelina Jolie’s visit to their operation in Afghanistan on YouTube: Click Here.
Utilizing the free social media tools at your disposal is a must for any non-profit organization.