Social media is not the only way to build your social network. How your charity or non-profit organization is perceived, how you interact with constituents, and build relationships and partnerships are equally as important. The message you send verbally and visually with every transaction forms your perception locally and globally.
Nonprofits with an active social network engage people in their work. They activate their community to carry out their mission. The more approachable organizations are within the community, the more socially networked they are. Their nonprofit website is easy to use and articulates their programs. Their social media marketing lights a spark.
5 Keys to Your Social Network
One of the keys to building a nonprofit social network is your brand. The art of keeping the same voice in emails, websites, social media platforms and newsletters portrays the impact writing has on your social network. While some of these communications are more casual than others, having the same unique personality is vital. Your look and feel is also essential to your brand. And your nonprofit brands itself by how donors feel.
- Logo, banners, colors, photos and fonts
- Emails of every kind – donation letters and more
- Fundraising letters (see our recent article regarding their intricacies)
- Social media pages on all platforms
- Your nonprofit website
- Event websites
- Twitter vs Facebook vs Instagram – all have different verbal approaches
- Flyers and printed materials with a consistent look and feel and voice
- Your donation page speaks volumes in how donors experience your organization
- Your outreach staff and how they speak and communicate by email with donors
Most donors are swayed to get involved and donate by how you affect them emotionally. Considering this in every communication impacts your social network strength.
Social Media Marketing
You compete and stand out from the crowd based on your mission and shared values with donors. Always remember what you offer is unique even though on highly popular and competitive platforms.
- Use storytelling techniques in your posts…add a new paragraph every day to a story and tell stories in blog articles
- Promote matching campaigns that stir involvement with corporations and excite your top donors – see details
- Offer unique giving campaigns like crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising events which bring new supporters
- Follow-up with emails on all campaigns and write passionately about your cause – offer interesting updates
- Be direct in your social media appeals and add a donate now button that is visible and add your donation pag link
- Always update and test your donation form within your donation website for donor retention
- Facebook contests gather a crowd for your network – find apps like Hero
- Graphic design contest anyone? Poetry contest? Short story contest? T-shit Sales contest?
- Respond to people – think of what “likes” feel like to you – don’t be too cool 🙂
Your Approach with Volunteers
Volunteers are the champions of your nonprofit brand. They wholeheartedly want to talk about giving back and the nonprofit they are devoted to. They are your best source for building your social network.
Focus on volunteer recruitment. Find ways to attract young volunteers. Open the door to a more diverse volunteer base. Create partnerships with corporations and employment agencies. Discover virtual volunteerism which engages volunteers globally.
Use your existing social network to reach more volunteers:
- Host a special volunteer day set-aside to meet potential volunteers
- Ask teachers and parents to promote volunteer opportunities and the benefits
- Leave flyers with doctors and lawyers in their lobby to recruit more volunteers
- Ask community leaders to be a part of a lecture series on volunteering at your nonprofit
- Contact your local TV and radio stations with interesting stories about a volunteer helping one of your projects
- Host a call-in to promote your organization and the richness of volunteering
- Place short radio and TV ads on the benefits of volunteering and involvement with your nonprofit
- Post stories and photos of volunteers on your nonprofit website homepage
- Add a volunteer section to your website and expound on the benefits of volunteering for your organization
- Post a volunteer sign-up link to your fundraising website and organization website
- Host fundraising events managed by volunteers – give them opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishment
- Advertise in your newsletter and share photos and stories of volunteers in each issue
- Find opportunities to advertise in newsletters with libraries, job programs, vocational training centers
- Place a volunteer recruitment ad in local newspapers
- Add openings for volunteers and internships in the jobs section
- Create an opportunity for publications to offer free ad space grow their business
- Hold information sessions everywhere and find volunteers in places you may not expect
Your Ability to Share Well with Others
Nonprofits grow their social network by sharing quality posts and taking advantage of the many platforms and interlinking them. This improves their SEO ratings and reaches a greater audience. They make it easy for donors and volunteers to share their cause.
- Make it possible to “like” your website and blogs without going to Facebook
- Use pop-up buttons on social media platforms after videos or ebooks asking if folks “like” it
- Speaking of ebooks, use them more – they are sharable and a great way to educate on your cause
- Use all platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and Google +, YouTube and scads more
- By the way, Twitter is short and sweet but mighty – it’s everywhere in the media even TV – tweet tweet tweet
- Share buttons to social media pages on your website and event fundraising websites to make sharing easier
- Link back to your nonprofit website–your greatest online hero
Your Nonprofit Website
Your nonprofit website should be viewed from the eyes of your donors. If it is easy for them to use they are more likely to donate. And if they can find out easily what your mission and programs are all about, they’re more likely to engage with you.
Popping up in the web searches of potential donors and volunteers is often their first point of access to your charity organization. Learning all about key words is vital. Be available to the public by increasing your search engine optimization (SEO). Use your best keywords in blog articles, web content, web addresses and social media posts.
Keep the public from leaving your site once they find you. Everyone likes to hang out on a beautifully designed website and find out more about the organization who created it. Outdated website designs stand out among competitors. New designs are easier to use and assist in social medial marketing and sharing.
Engage with services like DoJiggy to assist you with nonprofit website design. Seamlessly incorporate nonprofit fundraising campaign websites – walkathons, golf tournaments, charity galas, donation campaigns and more. Each nonprofit website and fundraising platform shining in mobile-responsiveness, secure online donations and great design is a big step in building a strong social network.