Are You Using Social Media To Achieve Your Marketing Goals? Part I

The latest view on not-for-profit accounting issues

I recently gave a presentation at our monthly lunch ‘n learns about using social media in not-for-profit organizations.  If you are not using social media I strongly encourage you to look into it.  Social media is very affordable (as it is mostly free), easy way to connect with your supporters, great way to maintain relationships and an easy way to get information out about your mission and events you are holding.

The first thing you should do when implementing social media into your organization is to create a social media marketing plan. This is not very different from your organization’s marketing plan, but instead it’s geared directly towards your social media efforts.  When putting together your plan, make sure you include the following:
1. Set goals and objectives
2. Define your target audience
3. Integrate the plan into the organizations marketing plan
4. Plan to implement internally
5. Decide who is going to implement the strategy
6. Select the social media sites you are going to use based off your defined target audience
7. Define how you will measure your efforts

Once you get your marketing plan together you are ready to start your campaign.  Here are some do’s and don’ts of social media to ensure a successful campaign.
1. Do listen to your audience and make sure you don’t ignore them
2. Do be consistant and do commit to your social media marketing plan
3. Do give “kudos” to other not-for-profit organizations and don’t be selfish by making your updates all about you and your organization
4. Do follow other not-for-profit organizations to get ideas, but don’t steal their ideas
5. Don’t over do it and post updates 20 times a day as this can turn your supporters off

You have your plan; you have your accounts set up…now what?  A lot of people are not sure how to use their status updates and let alone what to say.  Here are some ideas on what to say to your audience by utilizing your status updates.
1. Promote special events and campaigns
2. Announce results of grants you have received
3. Promote the organizations mission
4. Raise funds
5. Share information about what is going on in the not-for-profit community
6. Entice conversation by asking questions
7. If you are receiving negative publicity you can use social media for damage control

Stay tuned as part two will provide you some great resources on using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

Jaimi Koechel


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