10 Social Media Strategies That Work for Nonprofits

There is no such thing as a “silver bullet” social media tactic that will save your organization. Every situation varies depending on the nature of your work and your intended outcomes. Volunteer mobilization strategies don’t have the same as issues fundraising or advocacy online. But there are some strategies for using social media that apply in most situations for maximum guerrilla impact. Below are 10 strategic principles you can use to get the most out of your social media outreach.
1. Message: In order for your message to have any impact for your cause, it has to contain your message. As in all advertising, a funny or interesting video, even if it becomes a very popular online phenomenon, if it doesn’t get people to take action, it is useless to your nonprofit.

2. Meme: The message of your viral outreach needs to be easy to grasp without explanation and easy to pass on to others.

3. Meeting: Find the media that your target audience likes to use and go where the people are. Media researchers estimate 60% of adults belong to a social network, but most only belong to one. Spread your virus in a variety of networks.

4. Manage: Funnel the contacts you make in social media toward your website or blog. Make your website the second tier of your social media strategy. The third tier, when people register with your site. Mobilize the people who sign up on your site to take action and help spread the message.

5. Material: Give people the content they need to pass on your viral marketing. Provide assets for your audience to make their own videos, allow them to put their picture in an e-card, anything that helps to put them into the story line and send to their contacts.

6. Mobilize: Make it easy to pass your content through word-of-mouse. Choose the video tools that allow you to embed your videos directly into Facebook, blogs, etc. Social bookmark tabs need to post you link and teaser copy into other sites.

7. Medium: Make your content a good match for the medium. Long videos will not be watched as much as shorter ones. Break up paragraphs in articles and write lead sentences remembering they may also serve as the teaser copy for the links when they are visible on other sites.

8. Marketing: Your content needs to have links back to your sites and copy that promotes your organization. Don’t leave the “More Info” section blank; include good copy using your key words and links.

9. Metrics: Watch the statistics. Check not only how many people view, forward, or Tweet your content, also track how many click through and take the next step with your message.

10. Momentum: Start the ball rolling by forwarding your content to the networks of your intended target. Leave room in Tweet messages for people to “re-tweet” (RT) your messages. Prime the commenting by starting the first comment on links and posts you put in other networks. Push your virus into new networks until it takes off on its own.

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