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Non-profits survive on the generous monetary donations and the time given by volunteers within their communities. Traditionally, non-profits have relied on community fundraising, mailings, cold calls and more to connect with citizens. However, many non-profit organizers are now utilizing the power of online social media to advance their causes.
Not only are online social networks free marketing tools, they’re also often the best ways to connect with younger generations and teach them of the importance of giving back to their communities. Here are four ways non-profits are now using online social media to make this happen.
Connect with Audiences on Their own Turf
One of the best methods non-profits have used to connect with audiences is by developing brand personas on the social networks already being utilized by target audiences. While non-profit organizers can create forums on their websites to promote their causes, those forums likely won’t generate the desired amount of traffic, since these venues are outside the realm where online visitors normally connect.
Rather, non-profits such as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network have created social media personas to communicate with audiences where they naturally migrate. Additionally, these social media personas simplify the ways in which audiences can connect with non-profits to learn about specific causes and upcoming non-profit events.
Promote Feelings of Citizenry
People love to receive recognition for their actions of volunteerism and non-profits using social networks such as Foursquare and Facebook can capitalize on this desire. This can be accomplished in several ways, including:
- rewarding volunteers and contributors with badges on Foursquare
- mentioning the efforts of those volunteers on Facebook
- use of social media to announce fundraising campaign results
- utilize wall posts and discussion boards on Facebook to answer questions and get people talking
Monitor Other Non-Profit Efforts
The online world is forever evolving and, to maintain the level of exposure needed to advance their causes, non-profit organizers must also evolve connection efforts with online audiences. One of the best ways to improve one’s efforts is to analyze how others are acting. Non-profits can use the power of social media to monitor and learn from the efforts of similar organizations.
Allow Audiences to Connect
A powerful result of non-profits using social media to reach online audiences is the platform that this provides for audience members to connect with each other. Organization brand personas such as American Cancer Society’s Facebook page allow cancer survivors and families to connect with each other and discuss their stories, which may not have been a possibility otherwise.
Online social networks are powerful tools being utilized by non-profits to advance their causes. Social media can provide exposure that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible for many organizations. Plus, it’s a free tool that can keep organizational costs at a minimum. As the online world continues to expand, non-profits will undoubtedly find additional ways to connect with audiences and promote social involvement.