9 reasons why social media marketing is important for your not for profitSep 14, 2022
Social media has the potential to reach up to 90% of the population here in Australia, which shows you just how important it has become to the not-for-profit marketing mix. If you’re not yet making the most of this opportunity – you are missing out on a big opportunity to impact your organisation and your bottom line.
I recently surveyed not-for-profits in my community and one of my questions was the biggest struggle you have with marketing. By far the most common answer was limited budgets.
When it comes to marketing, social media marketing is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing available. Setting up a social media account for your charity or not-for-profit is free and even if you do decide to add in paid advertising – it has one of the lowest budget limits for any type of marketing.
Most not-for-profits I work with don’t even have a dedicated social media manager, it is an extra job handled by your marketing and comms person or even your fundraiser or volunteer manager. Even sometimes CEOs take the reins.
It is accessible to everyone and is likely to get you the highest possible return on investment for the money and time you spend on it.
Increased potential reach
Is your not-for-profit one of the best keep secrets in your sector? It doesn’t have to be that way. As a cause organisation you have passionate people and a powerful story – show me any cause organisation and I’ll show you a tonne of high-impact stories just waiting to be told.
The challenge your organisation has is that not enough people in your ideal market know you exist, what you do and how they can support you. Social media is a great way to build a community of people interested in what you do and ready and willing to help.
Start by thinking about the types of people you want to attract around your organisation and identify the social media platforms that those people hang around on the most. Then go ahead and set yourself up an account and start networking with others.
This is the place where you can connect with others, ask questions, start conversations, share stories, and improve the experience your community has with your brand. Social media increasing your visibility, relatability, and transparency – all at once.
It’s okay if you have a small team. Have you ever seen how widespread RUOK? Day messages are spread on social? They are a very small charity, but you wouldn’t know it because they have an engaged community who does a lot of the social sharing for them.
You don’t need a big team to do social well, you just need a simple 1–2-page strategy and plan and someone who has around 4-hours per month to execute your content creation plan. Monitor and engage with your audience through the month and you should notice a difference on multiple fronts.
Spread your impact
While a lot of charities and not-for-profits do use social media for fundraising, product sales or volunteer recruitment – it’s also a very powerful place to spread your impact. Not able to help everyone your organisation has on your waitlist? Social channels are a way to amplify your impact to bigger communities at one time.
Are you already funded to educate or spread the word about an issue or cause? Social will help you easily scale your message and allow you to reinforce that same story again and again over time.
The best thing about social media versus other forms of marketing is that it is two-way. Unlike a newspaper ad, which talks to your audience, social gives your audience a chance to talk back. Let them engage in conversations with you and with each other. Share value and become a tight-knit community.
It’s also a great way to understand what your audience wants from you, what they like and what they most value. It also creates a deeper connection between your cause and your community.
Create emotional bonds
All the research shows us that emotional connection is vital to charities, particularly when you want people to donate (goods, money, or time). It’s hard to build a relationship in a 30-second television spot or a piece of marketing material, but it’s not hard to do it through an Instagram account or Facebook feed.
Use emotional language and tell real stories on your social channels and you will forge and strengthen the emotional connections to your brand. You will keep people in your community connected to you, understanding why they support you and coming back to you time and time again.
Social media for the sake of getting lots of followers is a waste of time. Yep, I said it. Social media that helps your organisations bottom line (attracts customers, donations, sales), helps you achieve your critical goals (educates, builds awareness, changes hearts and minds) or in some other way furthers your future is good social media.
Social media is WAY more measurable than other forms of marketing because everything is online and almost everything is tracked. You can see exactly what did and didn’t work and know what to do next month to keep those numbers headed in the right direction.
Social media is an incredible tool for increasing traffic to your website or landing page. If you need more tickets sold to an event, you need more people to go to the website page and check it out. If you want more donors, it’s often a numbers game the more people on the page the more click throughs you get.
Always focus on quality over quantity where you can because you want to send the right people there and not waste money on volume that doesn’t convert. But create a good social platform that talks to your audience with messages they want to hear – your website traffic will increase alongside it.
Attract new demographics
If you’re facing an ageing donor base or you’re looking to expand to a new geographical market, social is a great cost-effective way to explore strategies to connect and engage new audiences. Whether you add a new social platform to your repertoire or shift your tone and content sharing, it’s a great way to connect to audiences you may have found hard to reach offline.
The best time to start a social media channel is always three years ago, but the second-best time is today. Just because you may be a little late to the party doesn’t mean it’s not worth joining the crowd.
Your organisation is unique, so is your audience and your story.
The truth is social media drives results for charities every single day. There is no reason it can’t do the exact same thing for your cause as well.
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