Tag Archives: YouTube

Why Nonprofits Should Use Social Media

When it comes to marketing, nonprofits – like many companies – tend to go for the familiar. What do we know? What have we done in the past? Direct mail? Check. A print newsletter? Check. A fundraising event? Check.

Whether or not these tactics have actually been successful in the past, they tend to be the typical course of action. Even if they are not cost effective or time efficient, more often than not, everyone at an organization can at least agree on the statement “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

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Unfortunately, today’s funders and constituents are no longer consuming their information in the same ways. Today’s marketing tactics are not familiar. So how does a nonprofit with limited capacity get up to speed?

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What is a Social Media Marketing Campaign, Really?

pcggreen1I’ve been working in the Last Frontier (Alaska, of course!) using social media to stay connected to my industry (Internet) as well as friends and colleagues in the Lower 48 and worldwide. My company’s latest project is testing the power of social media marketing campaigns to reach highly-targeted audiences.

So what is social media marketing?

I define social media marketing as using online-enabled sites, applications and tools in an integrated way to empower others to share your message. So this could mean everything from uploading videos that others can pass along to having pages on social networks where others can not only “friend” your organization but also encourage their friends to connect.

While a campaign is usually carried out for a set period of time, the reality of the Internet is that once you upload anything, it tends to live on whether you want it to or not. A social media marketing campaign can leave a larger and longer-term footprint than you might think.

Getting Social in Alaska

The campaign I’m working on in Alaska is called Pick. Click. Give. (http://www.pickclickgive.org) and is very region-specific. The call to action is for Alaskans to consider giving to an Alaska nonprofit when they sign up for their Permanent Fund Dividend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Permanent_Fund) in 2009. In case you hadn’t heard while Sarah Palin was on the campaign trail, every Alaskan receives an annual check from the profits of the Alaska oil and gas industry.

Many Alaskans use their PFD to pay bills or to put toward a major purchase such as a new car. The Pick. Click. Give. campaign is trying to not only build awareness of a new way Alaskans can donate while applying for their PFD online but to encourage Alaskans to engage in individual giving.

Will having Pick. Click. Give. on YouTube, mDialog, CauseCast, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking and sharing sites reach the right audience? That remains to be seen.

But by carefully selecting the social media sites, applications and tools for rolling out a campaign online and immediately engaging some of our target audience to participate, we should be able to reach the right people. And all of their friends. And their friends…

What social media campaigns are you working on or do you support?

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