Let’s be honest, every non-profit or cause organization, young or old, wants to be successful at what they do. Leaders start these organizations, because they want to do their part to change the world; their purpose is to recruit others who share the same passion and to do the same.
To be a successful organization, it is important to strategize how you will use social media to recruit followers and donors. Remember, the focus should not be to spread yourself thin or monopolize all the social media sites but to use them as your medium to communicate your mission to people around the world. (Check out successful not for profit organizations like Charity: Water or Invisible Children for ideas).
Here is a list of strategies to take into consideration when using social media sites to communicate your message to the world.
As a young or old organization, it is never too late to research other not for profit organizations. Be an effective researcher by taking notes and emphasizing things that you feel they are doing successfully to recruit followers. Remember, you are investigating strategies, what works for others may not work for you. Use them as a guide to form your own strategies, however, following will be a generalized list to get you started.
2. Mission statement
What is your organization’s goal? Narrow that down to the core and keep it under 150 characters. Keeping it simple, yet powerful, allows your group to focus on the core mission and not stray off message when adding new initiatives or programs later on as you grow. You want to make sure people understand what it is that you are doing for the community. Ultimately, use your social media channels to enable you to connect with others who share the same beliefs. You are creating the space for communication, but most importantly, the space for action to take place.
3.Create great content
Organizations such as Charity: Water and Invisible Children are successful because they invest in generating great content on social media sites. They include visual elements that keep someone who is browsing engaged. This can be video, photos, personal stories, informational graphs, etc. The purpose of all this information is to educate and communicate information quickly. Be aware and upload or send information that is worthy, timely and relevant. We all get those annoying e-mail updates for things that may not even relate to us. Respect your task force and only send out e-mails when something significant is taking place or to update them on specific internal information such as how money from donors is being used to fund a project.
4. Recruit passionate advocates
Every organization wants to grow and become successful. Building a strong team, full of passionate advocates will help you to achieve that and more. Recruiting proactive individuals will help jumpstart the cause and help spread your message. These individuals are your students and through mentoring, they will become leaders as well. Create and share videos to show how these advocates are going above and beyond to change the world.
5. Be a storyteller
Stories are powerful. They can touch emotions and empower others to help create change. One great thing about social media is that you do not need to rely on physical word of mouth. Social media channels like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook allow you to quickly share video content with other people while giving them the tools to share with their friends. Storytelling is a great way to connect to your audience on a more personal level and done right, good stories have a way of finding your audience for you.
6. Prove your impact
A lot of organizations are doing great things to bring about change in their communities, but do not always have ways to give evidence of the results of their efforts. Creating and sharing videos can show how the organization is changing the community by featuring those most impacted by the change. Also, make information such as case studies, annual reports, expenditure reports and online newsletters accessible to, and shareable by your audience and donors. That is one thing Charity: Water is great at doing. They show how their donors’ money is being used as well as how far it is going to help those in need.
Using social media for retention is one of the strategies most worth investing time and energy into. Retention means being able to keep your recruits, especially donors, engaged and productive after they have contributed their time or dollars. You want to keep them interested by keeping them updated with ways their donation has contributed to change, or find new innovative projects that will get them to want to stay involved. The ultimate purpose is to hang on to those who have supported your cause, and grow by recruiting more passionate individuals.
Use these strategies as a guide and as a personal checklist to ensure that your organization has a solid ground. Begin with your mission statement. What is so great about what you do and what is the change you want to bring about to the world? Stay true to that, and with tools such as social media, share with the world your successes. Through storytelling and engaging language, you will touch emotions and recruit people to help further your cause.