Creative and legal considerations for social media strategy

As you've likely noticed, the importance of social media is becoming a staple in online donation services, and there are two particular angles that a savvy charity must master to translate a tweet into a nonprofit payment. First, there is the creative side: In the words of nonprofit marketing blogger John Haydon, you must become a visual content ninja. Once that's under control, it's time to double-check the legal issues: copyright, registration rights, renegade volunteers and the like.

What you see is what you give
The landing page, the Facebook banner and fancy borders on high-resolution images are just some of the visual details that transform the average social media outlet into a performance-proved feeder to your online donation form. On his blog, Haydon offered a comprehensive cross-section of the best of the best for your social media arsenal.  Whether you're looking for templates (Canva), photo editing (Pic Monkey, Over) or infographics (Piktochart, Easely), there are a number potential tools out there at a variety of price points to get the job done.

Mind the red tape
With all the new toys the Internet has offered, the rather messy matters of copyright and legal threats remain to be handled in the world of social media. To paraphrase the extensive warning guide offered by The NonProfit Times, understand the fair use doctrine but know that attribution will not necessarily stop you from being sued. After the infringement hurdle, you will need to review fundraising registration requirements - working online does not mean you can break the rules. This goes for events too. Once the paperwork is sorted, be wary of who manages the social media. Volunteers, employees, "agents of the nonprofit" and partners in charity can all get your nonprofit in hot water with either infringement issues, misrepresentative views or confidential information.

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