Social media is here to stay whether we like it or not. It is a powerful tool for non-profit organisations but only if it’s done in the right way.
There are currently over 1.15 billion people on Facebook, over 500 million people on Twitter and over 350 million people on Google+. These figures are staggering to say the least! That’s a lot of people and a lot of potential customers waiting to be introduced to you and your business.
Afraid of the Unknown
A national fostering agency had a problem engaging with their current foster carers and with their carers engaging with each other. They only had carer support groups as a main meeting point and wanted to find some way of creating a community for them.
The fostering agency had obviously known about social media but didn’t know how to embrace it. They were curious and also cautious of social media. They were afraid of the unknown.
“What if something negative is said about our organisation?”
“What if the names of looked after children or young people in our care got mentioned?”
“What if photos or videos of looked after children are posted on these social media websites?”
These were just a few of their main concerns.
The fostering agency decided that a Facebook page would be best suited to their needs, as research showed that was where their main target audience lay.
They discovered there are all kinds of security measures that could be put in place to help control and moderate what was posted onto their Facebook page, and with a little guidance on how to deal with negative posts the fostering agency’s worries disappeared.
Now they are posting daily, and current foster carers are now engaging with each other and with potential foster carers. Over 1000 people now like their page. Each of these is a person they can engage with.
Benefits of Social Media for Non-Profit Organisations
There are a number of benefits of social media for non-profit organisations.
1) Marketing costs are reduced
We all know marketing can become an expensive game. Social media can reduce your overall marketing costs as marketing agencies are quite competitive when it comes to providing a social media service for non-profits. People are constantly checking their social media profiles, therefore one post can be seen by thousands.
2) Targeting your specific audience
Some social media platforms have the option of paid advertising that allows you to target your audience. For instance you can target people who are in specific localities or like a certain subject.
3) Create brand awareness
Social media marketing allows you to reach customers easily. If you share a post, and someone shares and engages with that post, then their friends and other acquaintances may also do the same; spreading your brand far and wide.
4) Engage with your customers
You can use social media to find out what your customers are saying. You can engage with them, ask questions and creates polls to find out what they think of your products, services and organisation.
5) Provide a better customer service
Some businesses utilise social media as a customer service desk where customers can express their concerns and ask technical questions. The company then responds in a swift professional manner to help resolve any issues.
Running a robust social media campaign will hugely contribute to your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts and drive more traffic to your website, ultimately generating more leads or sales.
So there we have it! Social media is not going anywhere any time soon. There are many social media platforms out there that non-profit organisations can easily benefit from if approached with the right strategy and guidance.