Social Media for Non-Profits: Bringing Change in the Digital Era
By Alessandra Ceresa
Social media can be one of the most important marketing tools that a non-profit can benefit from. With a solid strategy in place, a non-profit can raise funds, engage with fans, and bring awareness to the cause all with a very limited marketing budget.
Social media was created to connect people, and a non-profit survives because people connect and engage with the cause. Using social media provides organizations with the chance of making change through online interaction that bleeds into everyday life.
Nika Water, a non-profit bottled water company, started with very limited resources, but a big dream and a great team of ambitious, young individuals. When they decided to bring a PR agency on board, the CEO believed in the power of social media, and wanted to focus a lot of the company’s marketing dollars pursuing a successful strategy. Today, Nika has over 5,000 fans, and their social media team continues to engage and attract fans with their inspirational stories, great pictures, and fun events. Because a non-profit plays off the emotions of its audience, one must be aware that applying a social media strategy that leverages these feelings can be very beneficial in increasing the organizations chances for success.
Alumni Associations, as well as sub-groups of such associations, are another type of organization that can really make great use of social media. Many do not understand the power that social media can have. Some schools, like USC, for example, use the USC Trojans Group of San Diego to not only promote games and get their fellow Alumni together for fun events, but they also use that group to recruit players. Unfortunately, their online presence is lacking, and they could definitely use a boost. Many potential players reside online, and where better to reach out to them and get them involved then via Facebook? There is so much potential there that is not being sought after, but would change the game to a winning one.
Since organizations do not have the resources to exhaust dollars on marketing, social media provides these non-profit players with a chance to thrive in a market that they otherwise couldn’t exist in. Online marketing has become a gold mine for companies like these. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn digitally bring people together to give that viral effect to a cause that can promote great change to not only the fan base, but beyond. Once the word is out online, and the company continues to engage followers, potential is endless. People all over the world have a Facebook, and imagine the change that could be made if a company is engaging people not only in the US, but abroad as well.