Being in the for-profit world, I don't often get the chance to hear business advice for nonprofits. The Social Media FTW conference in Portland, Maine this fall allowed me to sit in on Marc Pitman's presentation.
Known as "The Fundraising Coach," Pitman offered a variety of information about nonprofit marketing via social media. If you wish to invest the time, social media marketing is budget friendly and does what most development departments strive to do - build relationships with potentially thousands of donors.
Here is just a sampling of Pitman's advice on how to market your nonprofit business:
- Be succinct; people are driving by at 60mph. Think of it as a billboard.
- Retweet (or RT) to show love for your donors.
- Become the resource: tweet about other nonprofits, not just your own; live in a generous space.
- Use TweetChat to filter out the noise and focus on topics of interest.
- Retweet what the big influencers say; they have a gravitational pull for readers.
- Twitter chats for nonprofits to follow (can be found in a search on Twitter);
examples: #smnpchat, #fundchat, #blogchat
Use Facebook Insights to track stats and demographics of people who "like" you on Facebook.
- You'll get a better response rate if you can contact people through InMail; people can check out your profile immediately and then respond.
- LinkedIn Answers is a great tool to ask "What bugs you about (fill in the blank)?" Ask your connections what you're doing wrong.
- Google drives most traffic to most websites, get on board with Google+ and explore it. Google+ recently became available to nonprofits.
- If it seems like a ghost town in there, you're not following the right people.
- Google+ is verbose, media-rich and offers a deeper level of conversation.
- Offer a weekly Google+ fireside chat with your CEO. It's also great for staff meetings, offering video chat for up to 10 people.
Other Websites and Tips
- Flowtown: See where your donors are.
- Twestival: Uses social media globally to raise money for local nonprofits.
- Ask your audience to post a picture of themselves at your event, wearing your merchandise, using your product, etc.
- Be sure your customer service reps are out on social media. Customer service has never been faster or friendlier.
Even if you are fundraising for a serious cause, Pitman says having fun in your social media marketing is a sure way to build a strong community for your cause. You can follow Marc Pitman on Twitter at @marcapitman.
Margaret Hansen has been writing professionally since receiving a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maine. She has worked for multiple organizations as a weekly newspaper reporter, a weekly newspaper editor, and in a variety of internal/external marketing communications roles. Her freelance career has focused on writing and editing for print, email and web publications in the employment industry, as well as manuscript editing and resume writing. Margaret has been affiliated with JobsInDE.com since 2003, most recently as the content manager/writer/editor for the company's award-winning employment-related newsletters. To suggest articles, or if you are interested in writing for JobsInDE.com, please email her at mhansen (at) JobsInDE.com.