Social Media 101: Should You Consider Social Media?

Different forms of social media have become very popular among businesses worldwide as a way to connect and engage with customers. For-profit businesses utilize different social media platforms in a variety of ways to drive website traffic, promote products, spread word of mouth recommendations, and bolster brand image.

As a nonprofit organization, you can use social media in unique and different ways to maximize your mission and reach. However, we frequently find that clients are surprised by the difficulty of launching a successful social media presence. In this three part series “Social Media 101”, we will outline 1) whether or not you should develop a social media presence, 2) what roles different platforms and websites can play, and 3) some basic tips going forward to maximize these new channels.

Should You Use Social Media for Your Nonprofit?

1. Do you have the capacity to post content regularly?

We frequently see organizations sign up for social media sites without considering the amount of work and effort it will take. To maximize the impact of social media, it’s important to have someone who can be dedicated to posting content, ideally at least once a day. Consider if you have someone who can be actively involved at that level. Although you can get by with someone monitoring your accounts less frequently, this will diminish your opportunities for engagement.

2. Does your target audience use social media?

Social media is all about engaging your core audience in your brand; although there are a variety of outcomes based on this, engagement will define your experience. Thus, consider your audience and whether or not they currently use social media. If you’re unsure of how to determine your audience’s use of social media, SOURCE can help by conducting market research. It is very important, especially for a nonprofit, that your audience be actively engaged and share your nonprofit with their friends.

3. What are the goals for these social media channels?

Do you want to engage the community? Do you want to promote a certain event, a service, or increase membership? Do you want to utilize it to receive feedback? Understanding and identifying your core goals ahead of time will help you to choose the right channels and to get the best experience possible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at source@cmc.edu. Our SOURCE Consultants are always available to help give advice on setting up social media channels.

by sara linssen