The benefits of social media for any organisation are often discussed at great length, which in turn encourages more organisations to feel they need to be doing it. This applies as much, if not more so to charities, who see social media as a way to increase support and exposure while decreasing marketing costs.
If you have the time and resources to devote to social media you can see great rewards. Facebook and Twitter are used by many organisations to effectively market to their supporters and potential supporters.
Before you jump straight in, here are some things to consider:
What are your competitors doing?
Every organisation, even charities should be able to identify competitors, or other organisations who market to a similar audience. Look at what social media platforms they are using and what sort of response they get to their content.
Which platform is right for you?
Everyone jumps on Facebook and Twitter, which are the most popular social media networks at the moment, but are these tools appropriate for the type of communications you want to have. Consider whether email marketing or a forum/message board would be more suitable.
Who is your target audience?
You need to have an audience in mind for you social media efforts. Think about how you are going to attract this audience, and whether they are an appropriate demographic for the platforms you have in mind. (For example, Twitter is widely used by younger people, but not so much by older people, who are you marketing to?)
Have a plan?
Effective use of social media doesn’t just happen. Someone in your charity needs to be in charge of monitoring and maintaining pages and posting content to keep your users engaged. Consider how often you want to post, what content your charity has that is appropriate and who actually has the time to do all this.
How will you measure success?
Often simple metrics like “Number of followers on Twitter” are seen as good measurements of success, but does this really fall in line with your charities goals. Having followers or members on a social media platform means nothing if they don’t engage with you, or take action that actually supports your charity such as making a donation or getting involved with an event.
Don’t be scared! Social media is difficult to get right, but easy to get started with, and you’ll learn as you go along. If you have the time available to make social media a priority you can make effective use of the tools available.
If you’d like to discuss social media in more depth give us a call and we’d be happy to discuss your options with you, and help you to develop a suitable social media plan.
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