What makes social media an essential tool for social enterprise is it's ability to give people reasons to care about a cause. And really, who gives their money or time to a cause they don't care about? No one.
Over time, through stories, commentary, information, and images, social media can present a personality for a cause and a perspective on why it matters and, especially, who it matters to.
It astonishes me to learn the good work that so many non-profits do that relatively no one knows about. When it comes time to give, can people be blamed for not giving to organizations they don't know anything about?
Non-profits are different than businesses
Non-profits don't usually sell products, they most often earn donations. Therefore, it is vitally important that they get people to care about what they do.
There is no better method to paint a clear and accurate picture, over time and engaged relationships, of why your charity matters to the people who might donate to your cause.
I might buy a product from a business because it meets a need that I have and I don't necessarily need to love it. But people MUST care about a cause before they'll give to it. That's the essential dynamic.
Social media needs to become part of every non-profit's DNA
While social media has been the 'new-ish thing' that everyone will get around to for far too long, the cost of procrastination and fear in this area is getting costly and is threatening the mission of many non-profits. Research shows that non-profits who use social media for more than just "marketing" are reaping significant benefits. Social media is the prime tool for
- Educating and engaging people who could and should care
- Keeping and growing the donor list
- Establishing the organization as the focal point for those who care about the cause
- Shedding light on misinformation and empowering your community to speak out for you
Most importantly and contrary to widespread opinion, social media will save time by leveraging the conversations and thought leadership that is happening in private and extending it to the wider world where enlightenment is needed. It takes a little time to learn how to use these tools effectively, but when it becomes part of your DNA and your team is put out front with confidence to engage, your purpose is clear to more people who care and your benefits are amplified.
Does your team know how to confidently use social media yet?