Charities and not-for-profits struggling to survive despite funding cuts and the recession often feel guilty about their social media streams.
By Caroline Sutton
We all know social media is fantastic, the face of the future and free – but when are you going to have time to do it?
My work with charities to discuss their social media output, reveals many companies do not have the capacity, staff or even time to acquire the basic knowledge to set up a strategy. In reality, small organisations often don’t have the time to devote to endless Tweets or photo-rich Facebook updates, unlike some of the bigger, richer fundraisers.
So, stop feeling guilty and think practically about your social media strategy. While social media is a free way to communicate with donors, volunteers and service users, there is a cost in time. Be realistic about what your organisation can achieve in the time you have available.
Here are my top 5 tips to a simpler social media strategy.
- Who are you trying to reach? It’s hard to reach everyone from your donors, prospective donors, possible volunteers and clients all at once. Concentrate on one sector for the moment.
- What social media does your target market use? Do you want to reach young volunteers – maybe they’re on Facebook or YouTube? Or maybe you want professional trustees to join you – think about Linked-in. Do some homework before you commit by talking to people in person or by phone.
- Pick just one social media app. Become an observer, rather than a participant for two weeks. Keep an eye on the conversation, see what works and what doesn’t. Follow organisations you admire or are similar to yours to see what they do.
- Plan for a week. Keep it simple but regular. Try 15 minutes a day to post an update or a Tweet. Keep it up for a fortnight. After that, review to see if you can devote more time, what worked and what didn’t.
- Remember the golden rule. Don’t sell, sell, sell. Promote your organisation but not all the time. Be helpful not pushy. Give helpful information, share other people’s work and keep the tone light. Much easier than thinking you always have to find a daily ‘plug’ for your organisation. Social media is meant to be social.
Here’s a link to an interesting article in the Guardian with some great helpful tips.
Want to know more about Social Media marketing and PR? We can offer training, social media consultations and run low-cost courses with SM trainer Caroline Sutton as part of our services to charities and community groups.
Contact us SCIP on 01273 234049 or email [email protected]