Social Media Mania: Why Your Non-Profit Should Focus on Channels That Get Results

Love it or hate it, social media is a critical element of any successful non-profit’s overall marketing strategy. Having a profound and clear presence in the virtual world is one of the best ways to ensure your message and mission are being communicated to the widest audience possible and that the message is translating into time, talent and dollars for your group.

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But what if your non-profit just doesn’t have the resources or manpower to keep all your social media profiles up to date with fresh, engaging content on a regular schedule?

According to Jay Wilkerson, a non-profit wizard who travels the country hosting webinars for cause-related organizations, it’s sometimes best to refine your efforts and just concentrate on what he calls “the big two ” social media sites that are must-haves: Facebook and LinkedIn.

Why these two channels? “Facebook is important because that’s where people are starting many of their online searches now,” notes Wilkerson. “You might not think of Facebook as a search engine, but it actually is.” Indeed, research shows that often, when an individual hears of and becomes interested in a specific organization, they type the name into the Facebook search field before executing, say, a Google search. And this certainly makes sense: so many people virtually live on the site and use it as a landing place for not only constant communication with friends and family but also as a streamlined way to find information.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is much more of a professional network, but it’s still “a way for you to be part of the conversation and the social fabric of the world where we live,” says Wilkerson. “It’s where you can easily connect with your board members, donors and constituents.” And, he adds, LinkedIn is an ideal way to engage with like-minded individuals in an effort to keep your cause visible and relevant.

Of course these are just general suggestions on how to make your social media marketing efforts a little easier to manage. The other “big four” outlets—Twitter Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram—all certainly have a prominent place in non-profiting marketing and the potential to increase your organization’s appeal. But for groups saddled by small staffs and limited budgets, honing your efforts on those channels that promise the greatest success is certainly worth considering.

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