3 things to do if your nonprofit is new to social media

23 Jul

The best campaign results we have seen with our customers has been driven through and via social media. The sharing and trending we have seen for social media-centric fundraising campaigns is eye-opening and yet somewhat to be expected since sharing and following are easy to do via the device at arms length 91% of the time-a mobile phone.

All social media is now (and always has been) mobile-centric and becoming increasingly so with each passing day. Email is the same with almost 70% of email being opened first on a mobile phone. This is indicative of the mobile phone supplanting the PC as the primary (or exclusive) internet access device.

And yet, as powerful as social media is, some nonprofits are on the fence or just getting started and are working to build their audience up to UNICEF-like size (almost 3M followers on Twitter). How did they get this big and can your nonprofit do the same thing?

Building your social following starts with one person, just like every great journey starts with one step. So let’s just say that your nonprofit has cleared all the internal hurdles needed to use social media-what now?

Here’s the 3 things I would suggest if your nonprofit is new to or just getting started in social media.

Work with others that have larger followings

Your nonprofit likely knows and hopefully works with local businesses and organizations who may have much larger social followings than yours. Work with them on what messages and frequency they would be willing to let you place in front of their audience. The beauty of this is that both parties win. The business is seen as a good community citizen and they will introduce you to people that you likely would never meet on your own. A yearlong calendar of this would do wonders to help you build your audience. And as we’ve seen, this has also proven to be a WINNER when it comes time to raising money.

So all you have to say to them is “Hey, we are trying to build our audience and would you be OK with tweeting to your followers about what we do?” I don’t know of many, if any, that would say no.

Don’t give up

This one really applies to all of us using social media and that is be there at all times and don’t stop delivering your message. It may seem that it’s not going well but one mustn’t take a short term view on social media. Th goal is to build an audience and that means always saying something whenever you can. Planning social media posts can be fun for staff to create if you let it be that way. And the reward can be like we saw last Christmas-one of our customers received $2000 from a single tweet. This customer is a one man nonprofit and with a tweet he was there when the donor felt the impulse to give. Very powerful indeed.

Make sure conversation extenders are mobile-optimized

Focus on this point for a moment. Social media = mobile.


This is one that is perhaps the most cumbersome for nonprofits to address. Much of their social content points to links where the content is not optimized to be seen on a mobile phone. Besides presenting a broken link, nothing ends the conversation faster than making someone pinch, swipe and wait for the PC experience you want to share with them slowly renders on their phone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With platforms like ours the conversation can be extended easily to your fully optimized, stocked-with-content RAZ Mobile site.

The same applies even more with asking for donations in social media. The mobile donation experience must be easy to complete in the moment. Relying on a PC experience for mobile giving is a path to lost donations (and frustration at an impulse denied).

Social media, no matter how your board feels about it, is powerful and here to stay. Get started today or if you’re having trouble getting into a groove, hopefully these tips help.

Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create an content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting and negative QOS.

One Response to “3 things to do if your nonprofit is new to social media”

  1. Jared September 10, 2014 at 12:03 AM #

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m
    not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful

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