Most non-profit organizations do phenomenal work, depending on donations and volunteers to help the downtrodden and the oppressed. That being said, many non-profits fail when it comes to their social media policies, especially the smaller organizations that cannot afford to create and maintain a proper social media plan. In this day and age, however, can they really afford not to?
Social media should not just inform. It should engage the audience to take action, whether the action is buying something, voting for someone, donating money, or volunteering time. How much more important could this be than for a non-profit organization? A good social media plan, instituted properly, can inspire people and motivate them to get involved. An excellent social media plan will enable the audience to get involved immediately. This is more than just having the option to donate online.
Here are just three ways for non-profits to increase engagement on the social web:
- Pictures. Everyone loves pictures. They’re so relatable. And people want to get involved in charities with which they can relate. An organization can start a Pinterest board, get active on Instagram or even start a photo contest. It depends on the charity. The United Nations Development Program ran a photo contest to raise awareness of World Humanitarian Day. They asked people to share photos of their community heroes, someone who inspired them. It was a great way to recognize the great work of all those unnoticed heroes, to engage the audience in the program and to bring awareness to the cause. Brilliant. For more information, click here.
Videos. Videos used to be expensive; producing one used to require a big budget and fancy equipment. That isn’t the case anymore, and non-profits must take advantage of the lower costs and higher yield of videos. It is the fastest way to tell a story creatively. Non-profit organizations should make their own videos, but if they can’t, or can’t make enough, they should definitely curate videos of related material. This article explains exactly how non-profits should go about using video to create awareness and engage audiences.
Guests.Nothing builds credibility like someone else saying how great you are. Just remember that subtlety is a virtue. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba, brings awareness to many different human rights issues both in person and online. Its blog is a great place to go into detail about the great work being done and the events hosted, but it is also a place for other people to get a voice. The CMHR invites activists, authors, and others to write articles about human rights issues. It is one more way they give a voice to the voiceless. That being said, the CMHR came under attack a little while ago for taking down a blog post they found too political. If a non-profit, or any organization for that matter, is going to have guests post, there needs to be a clear set of guidelines.
Social media is inexpensive and largely user friendly. There is no excuse for non-profit organizations not using it optimally. Regardless of the social media plan, there must be a clear social media policy and constant oversight. This video, though about corporate, not non-profit, organizations, shows how important it is to keep an eye on an organization’s social media.
Keep your goals in mind and you’ll be set. The world is at your fingertips!