Social Media for Nonprofits: 7 Common Misconceptions
Social media has become a vital component of nonprofit digital marketing strategy. Whether it is to help grow awareness for yourÂ organization, to engageÂ possible target groupsÂ or to helpÂ your website’s SEO, social media for nonprofits has become a dominant component in your nonprofit’s digital strategy.
Use theÂ 7 common misconceptions below to help your nonprofit whether you’re just getting started, or you’re a pro who needs a few tips.
1. I have to have it.
Yes, many brands, corporations and nonprofits have social media accounts. However, if your audience is not there on social media, thenÂ you don’t need to be wasting your time on everyÂ type of social media. Some platforms such as Google+ help with your organizations SEO, which is nice, but ultimately, if your audience is not on that platform you do not need it.
2. It is FREE!
Social media is not free. Yes, access to these platforms is in fact free, but implementing an effective nonprofit social media strategy is not free. Often times it will consume your nonprofits most precious resource: time. If you choose to run your social media accounts in house it will in fact take up time and lots of it. Choosing an agency to do so may not take up time, but you will be paying for their time. The question you will need to ask yourself is what is more valuable your time or the cost of someone else’s time?
Â 4. Every platform is the same.
Every platform is different. Whether you are on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, each platform operates differently and should have its own strategy. Different audiences engage differently on social media platforms. This will change the type of content you share and the messages you write.
Â 5. I can just promote my organizations content M-F.
Social media is about conversation. This means it is constant and a two way street. Content should vary and follow the 80/20 rule, 80% other content and 20% your own. News and information is constant and there is no time stamp on it. Your organization should be active daily and frequently engaging with users and followers.
Â 6. Social Media is only for younger generations
Social media is not just for the younger generation. It varies based on platforms. Facebook, for instance, has an average age of 22-45. It skews a lot older than many people think. If the audience you are targeting is not using that platform, then your organization does not need it.
7. Direct mail is working, I don’t need social media.
Social media is more than just a communication device. It helps develop your nonprofit’s brand in the digital sphere. It enhances communication, fundraising, SEO, as well as many other important aspects of your organization. Social media and direct mail are two components of an effective nonprofit marketing strategy. They are not the same, but can tremendously help your nonprofit.
If you think your nonprofit social media strategy could use some help, check out our 9 Step Social Media Audit or we’re always here to help!Â Leave a comment below, send a tweet toÂ @mediacauseÂ or write to us at connect [at] mediacause [dot] org.