Amongst all the negativity and nasty politics permeating social media of late, for my final blog I felt compelled to write about something positive – and decided on the topic of how social media also helps to promote those who are trying to do good in the world.
What comes to mind for me specifically are non-profit organizations and charities. These groups’ social media efforts are crucial to spreading important and positive messages, creating awareness as well as raising much-needed funds in order to continue their good work.
Why Social Media is Important to Non-Profits
We all know the power of social media and how more and more businesses are embracing it as part of their communications and marketing plans. So too, are non-profits – or if they aren’t they should be.
According to Manoverboard, a design firm that provides digital tools and strategy to principled businesses and organizations, “Having a strong online presence is especially important for non-profit organizations, whose causes rely heavily (sometimes entirely) on their supporters. Since many non-profits already have to deal with tight budgets and limited staff, social media isn’t always high on their priority lists. However, while effective social media requires constant time and effort, the attention that your cause can garner along with the connections you can make with your audience are a worthwhile tradeoff.”
Here are Manoverboard’s top 5 reasons why non-profits should use social media:
- Engage and Connect
Social media networks are the perfect platform for asking questions and opening up discussions with your audience. Research has shown that posing questions, specifically those starting with the words “would” or “should” attract much more likes, comments, and shares than posting a simple statement. Opening up the dialogue with your followers make them feel as though their voices and opinions are being heard. This contributes to strengthening your non-profit’s relationship with supporters and building your online community.
- Drive Traffic
Most people will turn to a non-profit’s website in order to find out more about the cause and how to get involved – but will only seldomly check the website for updates, meaning they likely only think of you and your cause periodically. Having them like your page on Facebook or follow you on Twitter provides an opportunity to appear on their feeds and give them daily reminders of your mission. Social media is a great tool to help drive traffic to your website, and subsequently attract donations, volunteers, and raise general awareness for your cause.
- Shareable content means more exposure
The more shareable content you produce on social media, the more people will see what your organization is doing and be motivated to get behind it. Given how easy it is to share content online, social media is a great place to create momentum for your organization and any campaigns you may be running.
- Marketing Tools
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is only one example of many fruitful online campaigns. As opposed to traditional means of advertising such as television, radio, and print ads, social media is a great and affordable way to run a marketing campaign that has potential for wide reach.
- Extend your PR reach
Having the right amount of digital influence can boost your presence in the public eye. Social media can also allow you to connect to far away supporters and like-minded organizations that you can develop partnerships with. Part of your PR strategy should include having your friends and partner organization link back to your site.
One of My Favorite Non-Profits – Friends For Harmony
Combining two of my passions and great interests, music and mental health awareness, Friends for Harmony is a Registered Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporation, based in Milton, Ontario that provides music and arts-based programs and opportunities that support community engagement and promote inclusive participation. They also promote mental health and well-being in youth and send strong anti-suicide and anti-bullying messaging using art and music.
This group does great work. Check them out here – they use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to promote their activities and events: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsForHarmony www.Friendsforharmony.org
So there is my plug for people who do good in the world. How about you? Do you have a favorite charity or organization that does good in your world?
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