Why is Social Media Important for Non-profits?Tax Professionals' Resource
February 4, 2013 — 1,349 views
Non-profit organizations work with a shoestring budget and an extremely small set of human resource. Given the fact that such organizations render a valuable service to the society, and that the individuals who work at non-profit organizations are already multi- tasking to make ends meet in the work sphere, any arena that can add value to their labor is a welcome option. This is where social media becomes a blessing to the world of non-profits.
What Makes Social Media Attractive?
There are many features of the social media that can be used to benefit non-profits in more ways than one. It is noteworthy that social media is an ever ready platform of active individuals who interact constantly. This active interaction has built Twitter to a conversational reservoir of nearly 5 billion tweets. Facebook has approximately 800 million active users and Google+ has grown quickly to acquire an active user base of more than 300 million. What these millions of users do is communicate with each other, and at those numbers, the communication becomes a powerful tool that can bring about social change.
How Non-Profits can use Social Media
The most beneficial activity that a non-profit organization can engage in is communicating efficiently with relevant audiences. Delivering the right message to the target audience at the right time can generate a lot of desired results.
Communicate: Non-profits mostly communicate with two different types of audiences: the people who rely on them or the groups that they serve and the people who they rely on for funds, grants, etc. Social media does more than bringing the two groups together. Non-profits can communicate with not only these two groups but also with other non-profit organizations, regulatory bodies, and the general public. With a massive reach, social media has managed to bridge across barriers and make the invisible visible.
Strengthen Relationships: Social media is not just a launch pad to reaching new audiences; it is also an environment that supports constant contact with different people. Non-profits can find other supportive agencies in the online social sphere and maintain contact, keep each other updated, and remain in congruence with the latest provisions and developments in the field. A mutual support system is formed. This system will prove to be beneficial in times of need such as for fundraising. With an already expanded contact base, social media can help bring individual donors, grant commissions, CSR foundations, other funding agencies, and non-profits together.
Engaging Audiences: Considering that users of social media spend a lot of their time online, non-profits can use opportunities on facebook pages, twitter followers, Google+ circles, Pinterest boards, etc. This will help spread information about their cause or concern. The ‘Arab Springs’ phenomenon that began in 2010 saw the general public of a string of Arab and African countries protest and overthrow national leaders in order to reclaim justice. These movements were largely aided by social media. If this is any indication, these online users are agile and ready to actively engage with interactive non-profits to work for progress. Even if some users do not immediately move to action, they will at least contribute to your cause by simply clicking on your links, which allows other in their circles or lists to see what they have been doing. This will in turn prompt the rest to at least follow in the same direction.
The only task that lies ahead for non-profits is to learn how to make sense of the vast and vibrant world of social media. The best way to do it is to actively engage with members in various social media platforms and start creating a buzz. In addition, non-profits can also hire the services of a reliable social marketing advisor who is empathetic to the circumstances of non-profits, and use their professional advice.