If you are looking to increase both donations and engagement in your cause, social media is a valuable tool that shouldn’t be overlooked. For many associations and nonprofits, print campaigns provide the bread and butter of their communication with supporters, and the majority of donations still come from direct mail channels. As such, it might not be easy to include social media as part of your campaigns. However, with statistics from The Chronicle of Philanthropy showing an impressive increase in online donations, it’s clear that connecting with supporters online is more important than ever before.
The Importance of Social Media for Nonprofits
Social media provides a versatile and immediate channel for nonprofits to connect with their target audience. A successful fundraising campaign is based around an emotional connection with supporters, engaging them in the cause and motivating them to take action. Social media can be used to spread the word about a cause and inspire action.
Social media’s immediacy is a boon for nonprofits. Social media can be used to keep supporters up to date on measurable goals, fostering a sense of involvement with a campaign. Nonprofits can also post updates on their activities, answer questions, and raise awareness through social networks.
Social Media and Print Channels in Tandem
A well-written print campaign is a must, but many print campaigns don’t link directly with social media. By including links to social media profiles in a print campaign, you are encouraging supporters to connect in a variety of different ways, especially considering the growth in online giving.
Of course, the social media profiles in question need to be well thought out and active if they are to play a role in increasing donations for a nonprofit. In addition, a smart print and social media campaign will come with a built in plan for measuring its success. Clear metrics that show which channels are most active or most profitable will mean measurable feedback, and the chance to streamline the next campaign to build on the strengths of its predecessor.
Presenting a Unified Message and Clear Call to Action
One of the keys to running a successful campaign using print and social media together is to make sure your message is unified across all channels. From the layout of a mail shot to the overall look of a Twitter profile, it’s vital that all channels present a strong, unified message. A nonprofit is a brand as surely as any for-profit company, and that should be reflected in the consistent use of visual elements such as logos and typeface, and less tangible elements such as tone of voice.
One of the strengths of a print campaign is that it usually includes a clear call to action, leaving supporters in no doubt as to what to do next. When incorporating social media, it’s important to avoid the temptation to talk around the subject with no clear call to action. The call to action can be a donation, of course, but it can also be liking or sharing a status, signing a petition, or inviting a friend. One of the strengths of social media for nonprofits is the potential range of calls to action, which can increase supporter interaction with a campaign.
While print media is likely to remain a mainstay of fund and awareness-raising for nonprofits, social media has a valuable role to play. By utilizing the strengths of both channels, nonprofits can create a well-rounded campaign that meets supporters where they are and engages them in the cause at hand.