How To: Utilize Social Media

Social media is fantastic. You can reach people who are not usually in your financial or geographic reach with little to no cost. In my opinion social media is one of the best marketing tools organizations can have.

The most important aspect about using social media is to have a constant and clear presence on all of the sites you are using. Platforms like Hoot Suite can help you stay organized and consistent. Mapping out what you want to say and when you want to post it helps outline and create the image you want to be projecting online.

Facebook, Twitter, and even Google+ allow smaller organizations to reach out across the world for new volunteers and donations, and it is also a great platform to connect with other organizations that have similar missions and goals. Networking by following and liking groups that are similar to yours can lead you to new followers and new opportunities. Engage with the people and organizations that follow or like you and who contact your organization via social media. People and groups like to feel engaged and that their comment or opinions matter.

Make sure you encourage people to share, re-blog, and retweet. It may be unlikely that your post will become viral, but a post can spread fairly far and quickly if shared through numerous circles of people.

Stay simple. A picture is worth a thousand words, so you don’t necessarily need a paragraph that goes along with it. People skim their social media, so make sure that whatever your text, picture and / or link is, that it’s appealing and catchy. Basically, think about what you click on, what catches your eye. See what other organizations are doing to maintain and expand their online presence.

It takes time to build up, but a quality social media presence is priceless. You are able to access new groups of people and learn about what your sector is doing in all parts of the world. The chance for donor expansion or collaboration is literally at your finger tips.

Happy posting, and good luck!

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