Nonprofit Advantage

16 Dec

As I was writing yesterday’s post I kept trying to work in some points and mentions of noprofits using social media, but I just couldn’t reconcile vernacular like ‘returning customers’ and ‘sales leads’ with the image of a hospice volunteer or pastor of a small church. So, I decided to give them their own post. In fact, they’ll probably get several. After all, their goals are very different from a business, so naturally their social media techniques are going to be different as well. Not only will their social media be different, but I think it will also be easier for nonprofits. Why? Nonprofits do better at social media because, on average, they understand relationships better than businesses.

Take churches for example. I refer to my own church as my church family. We help each other out, take care of each other, hold each other accountable, help each other succeed, feed each other, swap kids like they’re merchandise, make music together, study together… Isn’t this panning out to be a great definition of relationships? We are not a social club–all of these actions have a spiritual reward and benefit. I won’t go into those here–go ask a pastor! The point is that a church functions off of relationships even in completley nondigital cultures. It is a hop and a skip for a church to then use social media. 

Nonprofits have another advantage of businesses. Nonprofits can galvanize their networks to act with passion. Businesses have one action they want their networks to do: buy their service/product! It is extremely difficult to urge buying something without damaging a relationship, sounding spammy, or coming across as pushy. Are there more consumners than volunteers? Sure there are. I’m just saying it’s easier to engage volunteers than it is consumners.

A good example of this are political groups. They show the magic of niche groups better than any marketing webinar I’ve seen. There are groups for every concern you could have and then they’re specialized to location. The very fact that somoene has identified themselves online with this group, whether that be by following them on Twitter or liking their page on Facebook, most likely means they are looking for a way to do something about its specialized concern. Its interaction handed you to on a gold platter!

Finally, one last social media bonus. Nonprofits are active. It is the easiest thing in the world to post interesting content for a nonprofit because they are constantly doing.

Consider a hypothetical social media profile of a Big Brothers, Big Sisters county chapter. What type of content is available to post for such a group?

  • Local activities
  • Local school information and activities
  • Latest media pieces on mentoring
  • Latest media pieces on the national group
  • Guides and how-tos (Should you friend your little brother on Facebook? Are you allowed to post pictures of your little sister on Tumblr?)
  • Activities the county chapter is sponsoring (fundraisers!)
  • Children movie reviews
  • Children book reviews
  • We could go on and on…

Hopefully, soon, this case won’t be hypothetical. Stay tuned…

So, what is your favorite nonprofit’s social profile like? Please link to them!

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