There are tons of questions flying around about social media fundraising. Here are a few of the kinds of questions being asked.:
What’s social media mean for my ministry (company)?
How’s it useful for anyone but teenagers?
How can my organization benefit?
For today’s post, we’re going to start with an introduction to get us all on the same page.
What is it?
Social media marketing, sometimes referred to as social networking, a systematic process of acquiring, creating, developing, maintaining and participating in online relationships.
Social media marketing is:
There are tons of technology platforms and software that considered social media. The most common are:
-Blogging (WordPress is one such site)
According to an April 16, 2009 Harris Poll, 48% of Americans participate in some form of Social Media.
As social media emerged, individuals were the primary participants. But as the technology has matured, corporations and nonprofits have begun harnessing the power of social media for marketing purposes.
For nonprofits, social media marketing delivers significant benefits such as:
-Opportunities to have dialog with donors and prospective donors
-Powerful permission-based communication tools (the donor “asks” for the communication)
-Positioning for the organization to educate the public on pertinent issues
-Cost-effective communication methods for broadcasting events and news
-Gives fans of the organization powerful tools for recruiting others to become donors
-Allows the organization to have a constant feedback loop from friends and donors
-Being a thought-leader
With the growing range of social media marketing options and the increasing noise of so-called experts claiming to have answers, it can be tough to know how to effectively deploy a social media marketing strategy. At Oneicity, we’re investing significant time and money to learn, test and develop the very best social media marketing strategies. We are working with some of the very best social media experts. From that expertise, we’re building social media marketing strategies that are custom-tailored for ministries and nonprofits. Why? Because every social media strategy should be uniquely created for your ministry and not some off-the-shelf Brand X solution.
So where should you begin?
1. Spend time exploring, experimenting and listening personally before you begin organizationally.
2. Identify your goals
3. Set reasonable expectations (beyond just income and expense)
4. Figure out how social media will integrate with your current marketing efforts
5. And finally, if you still don’t know where to start, get some outside help. (Just be careful that you listen to people who really know what they are talking about.)
From this, you will be able to start on your own social media plan that will serve as your road map into the exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) world of social media marketing.
We’d love to know where you’re hanging out. What social media networks are you using and how are they working for you?
By the way, you can follow us on Twitter. We’re @oneicity. Love to see you there!
(photo credits: Todd Huffman)