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Successful Ways for Nonprofits to Leverage Social Media

Friday, September 27, 2013

Social media is an excellent online tool for all businesses. Nonprofits can use the same approach as for-profit businesses and they can become just as successful at reaching and engaging their audience, creating a wonderful momentum and building a community.

There are many ways in which you can leverage social media for your nonprofit business. It is very possible that some of the approaches may not even have occurred to you.

Tell your story with a blog

There is so much that you can do with a blog. If you choose, you can not only use text but you can also include photos and a video to tell your story. It is very important that you include either testimonials from other people or a sensitive description of the experience that you had with other people that demonstrates how you have helped them. Because you are in a nonprofit situation, your story may be far from over. In fact, it may be continuing for a very long time.

Make it easy for others to share your story

You should have a "retweet" button on your blog so that it is very easy for your readers to share your story with other people. You should also include a Facebook "Like" button and a "Share This" button for the same purpose. Those buttons will create endless opportunities for your content to reach a very wide audience.

Make it very easy for your readers to subscribe to your stories

Make sure that you have an RSS feed that is readily available to your readers. It should be at the top of the page (or at least above the fold in the page) and should be very easy for your readers to find. In order to ensure that things go smoothly, it is a very good idea to use a RSS feed provider such as Feedburner, Feedblitz or AWeber.

Use a video to tell your story

It really is true at times that a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to your story and nonprofit, video can be an extraordinarily powerful tool and will really touch many people. You may want to consider using YouTube's Nonprofit Program, which has some wonderful available benefits, such as a call-to-action overlay, a listing on nonprofit channels, a the option of driving fundraising through a Google Checkout "Donate" button.

Make a Facebook page for your nonprofit organization

Because of the nature of what you are trying to accomplish with your nonprofit organization, people will be touched by the concept and will be willing to "Like" the page. There is also a good possibility that they will want to get more involved in some way. It is an excellent idea to make your Facebook page as attractive as possible. You can custom design your branded landing page by including photos and a video or two. You should make sure that your wall is equipped to show posts from other people (other organizations as well as fans) so demonstrate that you aren't just doing this by yourself in a silo.

Connect with the Facebook news feed page

Even if people don't visit your Fan page every day, they will be getting news alerts every day, which will keep your business top of mind and will remind them that you are there and that you are working all of the time. The more people you get to like what you are offering, the greater your chances are that many more people will start to pay attention to what you are doing.

Use QR codes

The use of QR codes is an excellent idea. You scan the code with your mobile device and it brings you right to the information that you want the public to access. It is a quick way to educate them to what you are trying to accomplish.

Tag people in photos

Photos are a very important part of your online presence for your nonprofit organization. It is part of your trust building. If people are able to see a lot of the activities in which you are involved, they will start to trust you and feel that you are credible. The photos will gain the attention of other people. However, it is very important for you to use the photos wisely. The great thing about Facebook is that it has the capability of reaching so many people.

Create a group on Facebook for your cause

A Facebook group is an effective choice because you can send Emails from the group. People will respond and will want to be a part of the group and a part of the cause.

Promote your organization's events with geolocation tools

It is an excellent idea to create events for your nonprofit organization using geolocation tools and then having people "check in" when they arrive at the event. This is an effective approach for all types of events.

Ask people to retweet

There is nothing wrong with asking people to retweet whatever you have shared with them. If people are interested in what you have written, they generally won't have any problem retweeting. Of course, you need to be mindful of what you are asking them to retweet and make sure that you don't overuse the privilege.

Share your presentations online

If you happen to give presentations, you should put them online in SlideShare afterwards so that many other people can take advantage of them. That is an excellent way to increase awareness of your cause and to potentially raise more funds.


The social media tools that work effectively for businesses that are trying to make a profit also work just as effectively for nonprofit businesses. The approach is the same with very few exceptions. Telling a compelling and emotional story is at the heart of what you are conveying and people will pay attention and respond. If done correctly, your nonprofit business will be very successful at raising awareness and raising money for a very worthy cause. If you spend the time and effort, you will see that it pays off in many different ways.

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