Social Media in the Social Sector Means More Than Just Marketing

I can’t open my email or spend time online these days without reading something telling nonprofits that they need to “pay attention” to social media. As a communications firm working in the social sector, I agree, but I think every organization needs to re-evaluate its outreach philosophies first.

Today, it’s not just a matter of creating a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Do you want your social media to be effective? If so, it’s important to listen first, and come up with a strategy to connect with your audience after you understand who your audience is and what they want. With the right approach, social media holds the key to connecting with supporters of your causes.

Here are three tips for powerful social media:

Join the Conversation

Analyze your organization’s interactions with your audience and determine if you’re inviting people to share and engage in feedback. If not, you are merely playing at being a part of the social media conversation and are not an active participant. You need to take an ask, rather than tell, approach. Listen to the online community in order to understand what your audience is saying and invite them to participate.

Share Quality Content

Content is another term that we’re seeing everywhere. And there is a reason for the saying: “Content is King.” These days, compelling and valuable content enables your audience to be spokespeople and promoters of your mission in a way that traditional communications efforts cannot accomplish. Social media provides an immediate way to engage your audience, and they, in turn, can promote your content to even more potential supporters. Try to connect your work to thought leaders in your field and provide valuable information that cuts through the social media content clutter.

Listen To and Integrate Feedback

This advice reiterates the first tip, which is to really listen to your audience’s feedback and use it to guide your organization’s future plans. Integrate the feedback you receive into future plans to improve your social media outreach. Using social media correctly can make your social-good brand stand out and help foster great relationships in the process.

Today, every organization should be using social media to listen to its audiences, get feedback and re-evaluate traditional communications and outreach campaigns. Your challenge, especially in the nonprofit industry, is to shift your focus from an old-school philosophy to a proactive, engaged, online mentality so you can stay on top of the wave — not behind it.

Need help getting started? Check out our other social media tips blogs, and our social media services.


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