Tag Archives: Relationships

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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3-in-1 Package

14 Dec

Today’s post is my ever-evolving sales pitch. In person it is of course much shorter. Consider this back story. 😉

Sales leads come mostly in three forms: returning customers, referrals, and advertising. Social media is a package that allows you to do all three.

Photo by John Hagstrom

Everyone prefers the known and trusted to the unknown and unproven. This is why people keep returning to the same businesses. I know the milk at Swan Bro.’s Dairy to be of high quality, so I keep going back. Through my household consumning about a gallon of their milk a day (true story) I’ve developed a congenial relationship with the brothers themselves, their family members that also work there, and a few nonfamily clerks. When they put out a crate of tomatoes for sale I bought some even though I had never had their tomatoes. Gardening and dairy farming only look the same on Hallmark cards, so it’s not that skills translate (that analogy would involve me buying cheese from them.) It’s because I had a positive relationship with them and I interacted with them regularly, about every other day.

There aren’t very many stores, outside of gas stations and grocery stores, that people frequent as often as I do Swan’s Dairy. What if a company like RCP Print Solutions started offering a new product or service? I will probably not see whatever fine little sign they put up in their storefront, like I saw Swan’s tomatoes. However, if they have been maintaining our relationship on Facebook or Google+ by posting engaging content consistently, and put up a blurb there about their new product I will see it and quite possibly act on it.

We're Watching You

On Facebook and Twitter anytime I interact with a page my whole network sees it. When I like a business’ page on Facebook it appears in my profile—right after where I work and who I’m dating! Anyone can see who I’m following on Twitter. My relationship with that business becomes part of my online identity. Both of these social networks keep track of what I do and use it to recommend that account to my network. “Anna Bavido has liked this.” “You follow a user who follows Magic Bottle Marketing.” Social media digitizes and amplifies word-of-mouth.

Photo by InCase.

If you do decide to do advertising online social media allows you to target these by an incredible number of variables. Unlike an ad in the newspaper or TV your online ad is relevent to the viewers and what they’re looking at. You can target by city location, zip code, what other interests they have, what they’re Googling, what language they’re using, age, and gender. You can even exclude certain categories, such as people looking for DIY or people you’ve already reached. I will probably have multiple blogs about advertising online and socially. Consider this just the top of the fork! (Hebrew saying equivalent to the tip of the iceberg)

Best part to my Scottish heart? All of this is free at best or significantly cheaper than other means at worst!