Social media allows organisations to promote themselves and their values, causes and services to a wide range of existing and potential members and sponsors. Facebook has over 10 million Australian users, YouTube has over 9.8 million unique Australian visitors and Twitter and LinkedIn each have over 1.8 million unique Australian visitors, providing an abundance of marketing opportunities.
Social media is a valuable marketing tool for organisations and setting up a social media profile is usually free, making it perfect for NFPs’ limited funds. However without a social media strategy in place social media use can be ineffective, resulting in unsatisfactory results and wasting time.
Creating a social media strategy and plan helps NFPs reach their members, tap into new markets and generate greater public awareness, all with minimal effort and cost. All it takes is five steps:
1. Consider your goals
Many NFPs scramble to gain more followers or fans, forgetting that this is not the most important aspect of social media. Social media is about building relationships and engaging with your audience to achieve a main goal. NFPs need to decide what they want to achieve by using social media. Your goal could be:
2. Define your audience
In order to achieve your goals you will need to know who you are targeting. The following questions will help you decide which social media is appropriate to reach your audience – Facebook is not always the best.
3. How will you engage your audience?
Once you know who your audience is you will know what content will interest them. The idea is to get your audience coming back to your profile so that they are in constant contact with your organisation and have a connection with it. What can you offer them to get them coming back to your profile?
Here are some ideas:
4. Set a specific time to focus on social media
Allocate a time to engage with social media based on your goals and audience. Knowing how frequently you use social media will help you manage your day and result in more effective social media use.
5. Integrate social media with other marketing communication
Make use of your other content to minimise the work that goes into maintaining your social media account,. For example:
By planning, implementing and adhering to these five steps your social media strategy will be purpose-driven and a valuable marketing tool for your organisation.
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