69 percent of the public is using social media. 7 out of every 10 Americans are tweeting, pinning, and posting to connect with others, engage with news content, share information, and entertain themselves. Social media has become an important communication channel for all, including not for profit organizations.
Top Social Sites for Not For Profits
Marketing teams favor these top three social media sites for not for profits:
- Facebook: Facebook remains the social media site of choice. It consistently ranks as the most visited site in the world with over a billion active daily users. Not for profits can use this site to share stories, webpages, blog posts, graphics, videos, and more, reaching an enormous audience who care about their cause.
- Twitter: Saying what you need to say in 140 characters or less is tough, but Twitter’s newer features, including the ability to share pictures, makes it appealing for more people. Not for profits needing to quickly share an immediate need or cause can do so via the rapid-fire delivery of the Twitter system. Twitter has 115 million daily users, far less than Facebook, but those users prefer the short, direct messages the site sends.
- YouTube: YouTube, owned by search engine giant Google, is an enormous repository of videos. Anyone can establish their own YouTube “channel” and upload videos. Not for profits who want to reach out personally to potential supporters by sharing videos of events, constituents, or the groups they serve can find no better way than through video. About one-third of the entire world’s population watches YouTube.
Not for profits are using social media daily, with posts going out at least once a day (often more frequently). The person sending messages varies according to the organizational structure. In some larger organizations, a director of communications handles the lion’s share of PR, digital communications, and social media. Other staff positions responsible for social media include executive directors and developmental directors, who may be tasked with both social media and other communications related to their programs.
Social Media Trends
If your not for profit organization doesn’t have a written social media management policy, it may be time to create one. A simple policy that spells out which sites your organization has a presence on and who has the final say about what goes on social media can help you stick to your message online.
More importantly, a specific social media policy can prevent media faux pas that can be a nightmare to clean up. One single mistake can derail a lot of good work by raising the ire of your constituents or creating negative press. Sites like Twitter create a unique, publicly accessible URL for every message you tweet. That means that even if you erase a message from your Twitter account, it may already be too late; it could be shared or indexed, making it even more difficult to remove.
Social media use and sharing policies should include instructions on who may post and who is delegated to check and respond to messages. Followers, fans, donors, and constituents may choose to communicate with you via your social media sites. Be sure to have someone tasked with monitoring and responding within 24 hours to messages on social media. The instant nature of these sites has made quick responses important. People expect fast responses, and if they don’t get them, they can feel slighted.
Permanent Value in Fund Accounting from RBP Methods
Social media started out as a trend, but it’s here to stay. At RBP Methods, we know that any trend offering lasting value is something of note. We hope this information helps your not for profit achieve its mission more effectively.
RBP Methods helps right-brained people navigate a left-brained world. We offer consulting and software that conforms to nonprofit best practices and are happy to discuss security and other needs with you. We offer software for nonprofit financial management, donor and grant management, and more to help your organization run smoothly. Contact us today or call 503-648-9051.