Social Media for Nonprofits: How your marketing strategy should differ

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Nonprofit organizations are an essential part of every community and a growing career option. While many nonprofits run very similarly to for-profit businesses, the marketing strategies of the two should differ. Unlike a for-profit business, your key objective is not to sell a product or service. Also, the emotional impact you wish to make on your target audience will be much greater. Social media is a critical part of this marketing strategy and a powerful tool for nonprofits – but only if it’s used effectively. Here are several key differences that should be incorporated into every nonprofit’s social media strategy.

Aim to inform, not sell

Social media is an opportunity to inform your audience of your mission and everything you’re doing to further it. It’s not effective to simply direct people to a “donate now” button on your web site. You must first begin with a base of education as to why – someday – they may consider supporting your cause. Build a level of trust with your audience and establish yourself as a resource by offering valuable and interesting information.

Connect on an emotional level

Nonprofits have the benefit of emotional appeal when it comes to connecting with their target audience; be sure to make use of this opportunity! Social media allows you to connect on a very human level by sharing photos and stories about the people you’re helping. Use social media as a way to engage people by making them feel good and this positive emotional will be associated with your brand.

Make your network feel a part of your success

Two different social media posts can both say the same thing, but depending upon how they’re written they can make people react very differently. Nonprofits should use social media as a way to make people feel a part of their success. When you achieve a milestone such as a record number of funds raised or the launching of a new program, be sure and relate this success back to your audience in some way. If they feel as those their effort helped make this possible, they will be more likely to continue supporting your work in the future.

Offer ways to get involved

Unlike a for-profit business, nonprofits have the advantage of really engaging the community by offering them the chance to become a part of their work. Focus your social media on emphasizing upcoming opportunities to join in the action. This could be a 5k walk or run, black-tie gala or even just a general call for volunteers. All of this makes for great content on social media. Not everyone who sees your posts will choose to get involved, but by promoting your activities you will help increase brand awareness.

Understanding the differences between social media marketing for businesses versus social media marketing more nonprofits will help you to become more effective at both. With nonprofits it’s important to inform your audience, connect with them on an emotional level and make them feel welcomed to get involved. Just as your services and objectives differ from a for-profit business, so too should your social media marketing strategy. ~Stephanie

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Filed under Audience, Business Strategy, Capturing Audience, Social Media

2 responses to “Social Media for Nonprofits: How your marketing strategy should differ

  1. Andy Welfle

    Informing, rather than selling is not just the preferred strategy for nonprofits; for-profits should be focussing on that, too.

  2. Reblogged this on Preston Byrd and commented:
    How are you marketing your Nonprofit?

    I’d love to hear from you.

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