Social Media Platform Overload
In today’s world there is a social media platform for everything.
You can network on a social cause social media site called Idealist.org if you want “to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect.” There are sites to see how influential you are on social media (Kred or Klout). Not to mention Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., etc., etc!!
So… How do you decide which platforms to use, or how to utilize them effectively?
The first place to start is to understand a few things about your nonprofit, your customer, and social media. Three questions can help you decide these things- at least to a point where you can start formulating an effective social media tool belt.
- Who’s there?– there are some social media sites that will just never work for a nonprofit. Example: If you run a nonprofit pairing senior citizens with adoptable senior dogs, your efforts may be completely lost on Instagram. So, find out who uses what platform and make sure to focus on platforms that your target market is already familiar with.
- What are they doing?– So, you found out what platform your target market is using! Now we need to find out what they are doing there. Example: The seniors for adoptable seniors would require photos, text, and not much else. So having a YouTube channel would be awesome! But may also end up wasting a lot of your time if it is an unnecessary channel. Keep in mind, matching your social media platform with the content that you intend to share is key to optimizing your social media impact.
- What’s my objective?– Are you selling, sharing, networking, or learning? There are a lot of options, and most platforms offer something different, so make sure you hone in on what you REALLY want to gain from jumping in to the social media pool.
Okay, you have done the analysis and you now know who you are, who your audience is, and what social media platforms do what. Now you need to decide which platforms are right for you. The mainstream platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are great, but some lesser known sites (from Nonprofit Hub) offer great, niche-specific benefits you may want to consider. A few of these include:
- Crowdtilt- Small crowdfunding projects for your ogranization.
- Slideshare- Share your latest presentation with donors and board members
- Storify- Creates stories from social media feeds.
Be unique in your choices and you will also be more effective. Your target market wants to be reached in a way that is easy and interesting for them.
Great, but How Can You Tell if it is Working?
Well there is a checklist for kicking off your social media strategy. J Campbell’s Social Marketing is spot on with her short-sweet-and effective list. If you run through this there is a good chance you will be headed in the right direction.
There is a place for all of us on social media. What is important is finding out where our target market is already going, which platform caters to the information we are sharing, and sharing content that will be benefit all concerned parties.
Which social media platforms will YOU choose?