Social Media - We don't have a choice!
As people spend more and more time online and using social media; an increasing number of charities have begun to implement digital communications tactics as a natural and key part of business and marketing planning.
"We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it? " - Erik Qualman
After working with a number of charities and not for profits to reach digital marketing goals, it is #charitytuesday and we have been reflecting on the approaches that lead to success. Depending upon the nature of the charity’s aims and work; audience acceptance of digital marketing channels can depend upon how active and well versed they are in accessing online communications and social media.
The target audiences of charities are often made up of multiple stakeholders with service users/beneficiaries and their families, and existing or potential supporters and fundraisers being the two priority segments. At the outset, if the needs of the target audience are taken into consideration, an upgrade and continued focus on digital marketing can provide an increase in engagement and positive return on investment.
It is human nature - people like to chat about the charities that they have donated money to or engaged with. Social media channels provide an opportunity for people to connect with people across the entire world, and posts go viral. Quickly. Remember the ice bucket challenge and makeup-free selfies?
A charity therefore often has dedicated brand evangelists who are happy to become regular website visitors, followers on Twitter, fans on Facebook, members of a Google+ circle and a LinkedIn connection. Once you have them on board, there is then a chance to reach audiences on an on-going basis with specific messages such activities, news or events your audiences can share and participate in. In turn, audiences will know to turn to these channels for the most up-to-date information.
Digital channels are also an effective way to encourage two-way communication. Open and honest questions and discussion can take place online and through social media and with good management, you can witness the creation of an active and engaged community right before your eyes. Social media has also rapidly become to go-to place for voicing an opinion so monitoring what is being said online is also essential to maintain customer service and uphold your strong reputation.
Social media waits for no one, so if you are a charity who is yet to begin, it is better to be late to the party than not to go at all. Establish a baseline to benchmark your activities and go for your goals. To quote Susan Cooper, it is time to engage, enlighten, encourage and especially…just be yourself.
Published on: 11th August 2015 by Steve