Seven Must Have Social Media Tools for Nonprofits

By April 3, 2012
OfflinePhoto of Artez Updates

Tips on how to manage your social media fundraising program from Lucia Mancuso, President of The Blog Studio.

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So you have created your charity's Facebook page and registered on Twitter, what's next? Lucia Mancuso, our recent webinar guest, shared tips about 7 must have social media tools for nonprofits. 

In the last of her 3-episode social media webinar series for nonprofits, Lucia, President of The Blog Studio, discusses seven major social network tools that fundraisers can use. She emphasizes how important it is to choose ONE strategy because fundraisers "Don't have to be on every single social media." In fact, organizations can create a better impact with one social media tool while using others for support.

In Lucia's words, fundraisers should aim to "Be awesome, amazing, and ROCK one social network".

What are Lucia's favorite tools?

1. Blogger Relations:

Building relationships with bloggers takes time and effort but it pays to find ten bloggers that are passionate about your cause. Having ten influential bloggers is much better than getting thousands of followers.

You can build relationships with bloggers by subscribing to their blog and following them on twitter. However, you should stay away from pitching them a press piece or promotional blurb because bloggers have to post information that relates to their target audiences as well.

It's important to treat bloggers like the press and approach them with the intention of sharing what they can gain from the relationship. Lucia recommends that fundraisers should exchange traffic and allow bloggers to write their blog.

She says, "Don't forget to let them know that you looked into their site. Flattery will get you everywhere."

Moving to the next most effective social network tools for non profits…

2. Facebook:

Facebook is the largest social network, and having a Facebook page for your organization is essential. You stay connected with your supporters on a more personal level by sharing pictures, videos, updates and insights.

Lucia's Facebook tip is to create a "Fan Acquisition Campaign" and to set goals for a target number of fans. Letting people know about the goal through every possible media means that everyone is aware and everyone in an organization can help to get the word out! A catchy phrase to accompany the goal goes a long way and once there is a movement around the cause, Lucia says, "Don't hesitate!" to keep it active in any way possible.

3. Twitter:

Twitter lists are really important for building databases. It allows you to segment your supporters according to your goals and needs: Volunteers, Donors etc. Giving back and acknowledging the community goes far in building awareness and leveraging donations. This Twitter tip is especially important if an organization uses Twitter as the hub  for its campaign.

4. Pinterest:

The goal of Pinterest is to connect people that share interests. People that are passionate about similar causes will find it really easy to find an organization  that interests them on Pinterest. Lucia encourages organizations to use this network like an extension of their brand.

You can do as little as sharing photos of people in your organization or supporter base or turn up the volume and pin pictures of brands, books or new technology that your organization supports.

"Pinterest is used for aspirational purposes where people share images of hope and opportunity." This is really beneficial for the nonprofit sector.

Lucia's favorite example of a Pinterest nonprofit organization is charity: water. The Original content they create is visually appealing and easy to share. For all organizations that share pictures on Pinterest, Lucia says, "Don't make it Tabloidy but artistic!"

Check out our webinar with charity:water!

5. YouTube:

"Video is the best way to share content" and gain fans, Lucia recommends. YouTube has several not-for-profit sign-ups and video pages. You should take the time to make a great video and never underestimate its power. Charities and nonprofits should always have a specific call-to-action button on their video and provide more information about the  cause under the posted video.

Moreover, a video should invoke emotions in your audience to ensure that your desired action is taken.

6. Google +:

Google+ is changing frequently but is a great tool for you to use.

Lucia says that there are dozens of nonprofit bloggers active on Google + who hold very interesting conversations.

Your organization can create circles of people and organize them to send out unique content Google Hangout is a great way of hosting online meetings and discussion panels and best of all, free for nonprofits.

7. LinkedIn:

Lucia recommends having your entire fundraising team on LinkedIn to serve as a digital address book.

Organizations can use coupon codes for advertising as well as feed in tweets and blog posts to build awareness.

Lucia loves that users can see who visited them and it creates an opportunity to connect with them. She stresses that an organization looking for audiences should always keep an open Update feed.

Overall, Lucia highly recommends taking action on ONE item and doing it well. She advises charities to build relationships and boldly ask for donations. Moreover, sticking to an original strategy and regularly asking for opinions brings refreshing perspectives on the effectiveness of the strategy.

Missed parts 1 & 2 of the social media webinar series for nonprofits with Lucia? Check them out here!

Part 1: Leverage social media channels for optimal online fundraising results

Part 2: Social Media Fundraising on a Limited Budget

Part 3: How to Manage Your Social Media Fundraising Program

Become a social fundraising expert! Download a free whitepaper  

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