Non profit organizations probably have more difficulties being on social media. They are not selling a product, they are trying to get people involved. People are already quite apathetic to many causes, even the very important ones.
Lyndsey Hrabik wrote a very interesting article about the whole issue and argues that non-profit organizations were always thought of as something that have never stood a chance on social media. However, this is not true and she gives great examples of campaigns from non profit organizations such as Water is Life and UNICEF. Those campaigns worked because they were bold, straight to the point and well planned.
To build an online and social media presence for your non profit organization, a website is a no brainer. Facebook is a great place to share this content and keep followers up to date on what you are doing. With its more than one billion users, you get the best chances of exposure. Twitter is becoming more and more important, it has evolved in to a network that can start a revolution like in Egypt and is very fast and “in the moment”. Here you can share updates about an event, share Instagram photos or link to your Facebook page. Pinterest is another great tool, especially in terms of pictures. It is the leader when it comes to website referrals. Websites get a lot of traffic when they are linked to a pin, way more than in a tweet or a Facebook post. Blogging in general is of course very powerful, too. It all depends if the social network fits with the message you want to send. Sometimes it’s better to just focus on one network at a time.
While this applies to most organizations or businesses, there is something that non-profit organizations should be aware of:
Social media should not be all about fundraising. Just like businesses should not come across like they are only after people’s money, non profits should try and get engaged with volunteers, supporters and donors. Foremost it is about building a community that wants to help. Then, social media is great to promote fundraising events and will receive much more support from their followers.