21 Social Media Tips for Nonprofits from Top Experts

Marc A. Pitman

08/02/2013 15:50 PM
Total Views: 3335

But nonprofits don’t always “get” social media. While there are few truly firm rules about using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or any of the other myriad of platforms out there, there are some things that bug donors.

So I emailed some of the top authors and social media experts from around the world and asked them to quickly answer this question:


What is 1 thing you wish nonprofits “got” about social media?

The replies were great! Here they are.

Use Social Media for New Work

“I wish nonprofits would use it as a platform for new work, not a way to hide from doing the old work.”

-Seth Godin, New York Times Bestselling author and inspiring business artist

Focus on Being Useful

“Like most businesses, non-profits tend to look at social media as a money-first or money-only channel. So I would recommend they temper the expectations that social is about fundraising and just focus on being a resource, useful and/or entertaining to their core audience. Make people happy with your content. The donations will come.”

- Jason Falls, Founder SocialMediaExplorer.com

Use Visual Stories

“Using visual stories: That is taking pictures and posting them on sites like Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc. and then writing the story behind it. They could also take videos where the story is and recite it as it plays.

I have seen dog shelters do this. They take videos of dogs that came to them in very bad conditions and were then nursed back to health. It’s a complete story. Told visually.”

- Mitt Ray, Founder Social Marketing Writing

Use Social Media Year Round

“I would say consistency is so important. I often see non-profits only when they have an event or a campaign they want you to be involved with. I think they could increase awareness and response if they worked on building the relationship throughout the year.”

- Katherine Salt, Social Media Consultant at Marketing My

Create a Volunteer Social Media Corp

“Create a volunteer social media corp. For nonprofits to be really effective at social media, the first step is teaching your volunteers to amplify your messages. By ‘amplifying,’ I mean sharing with their own social profiles and connections, not speaking on behalf of the non-profit. To do this well, you’ll want to create some method of getting the word out to the volunteers when you have content that needs sharing. You can use a service like GaggleAmp or create a Facebook group or Google+ community.

“As you start to see that some individuals are more adept than others, you might want to start training them to actually become community managers. Even if in a group of volunteers of, say 10 people, each person took one hour per week, it could have an enormous impact on your social media communications. To read more about this approach, check out my blog post on Social Media Today.”

- Ric Dragon, CEO DragonSearch


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