Oct 1, 2013
This is a big question that every nonprofit organization should ask about their social media strategies. Promoting a cause on the Internet is a smart move because it will increase the number of people who fill out online donation forms. But social media requires attention and dedication, especially if nonprofits really want to spread awareness. Instead of pawning social media management off on any random employee at the organization, supervisors need to be deliberate with who they put in charge of the social activities.
Invest in trained professionals
Impatient Optimists, a nonprofit resource, offered advice from a charity marketing professional who said many organizations aren't aware of how social media works. The marketing power that each platform holds lies in the person managing it - not the site itself. Simply starting a profile and being present on Facebook or Twitter isn't going to do much for the cause. Nonprofits have to make sure they have an experienced and smart professional leading the way and trying out new advocacy initiatives. The person running it will have a lot of responsibility on his or her shoulders if the organization wants to accomplish all of its online marketing goals. Being good at social promotions means looking farther into the future so nonprofits are able to not only jump on the social media bandwagon, but keep it up as a successful way to attract new donors.
Additionally, the person in charge should be knowledgeable about how to network, create online communities and communicate with people on the Internet. Connecting with donors and prospects online is not the same as doing it in person. While it may seem easy to put the responsibilities of social activities on an intern or a volunteer, the professionals at Impatient Optimists say it's best to have a well-trained staff member act as the social voice of the organization.
Where to allocate social media responsibilities
A recent survey by The Creative Group said determining who takes over social media interaction is a recurring problem in many of today's businesses. The professional world still doesn't know how to deal with that portion of Internet activities, but it's time to step up and designate social media management roles to the right person. The survey said that the responsibilities fall into professional categories, including public relations, marketing, customer service and upper-level management. The general consensus is that social media is part of the PR category, and nonprofits can make sure their communication department has a smart approach to managing social media and other online advocacy efforts.