Social Media & Content Marketing for Non Profits

These are my presentation notes for “Social Media & Content Marketing for Non-Profits” – a talk given on September 27, 2012 for the Jefferson Community Foundation.

KEY MESSAGE: Don’t treat this as “other” – this is your core work. At the end of the day, communication is the core work of the nonprofit.

Your Job Is To Make People Believe. And Then Act.

How do you make people believe? You communicate with them. You engage with them. How do you do that? Holistically, both offline and online. Everything you do.

Social media is just one place that you communicate. Don’t separate it out – think about it in an integrated fashion along with all of the rest of your communications.

Social Media & Annual Planning

  • Make sure you have a strategic plan or at least an understanding of who you are, and where you want to be. 30K feet. Keep it focused on the outcome. Think of this as a social movement.
  • Make sure you have a clear and simple set of organizational objectives for the next 12-36 months that will help fulfill your strategic plan. 10K feet.
    • Increase total donated revenue by 10% within 12 months
    • Increase programmatic reach by 15% within 24 months
    • Lock in 2 major foundation partners within 12 months
  • Build out a marketing/development/communications plan to get you there. 1K feet.
    • Develop objective-driven strategies
    • Integrate all elements of the organization

Objective-driven Engagement

  • Your Job is to Make People Believe, and then Act.
  • Don’t needlessly separate marketing and development. The same stories that appeal to donors also can drive action…don’t wait for annual appeals to tell those stories.
  • What do you want people to believe?
    • Your movement/cause
  • What do they need to believe
    • Stories
    • Facts/Data
    • Impact to self and community
    • Social proof/testimonials
  • What do you want people to do?
    • Act to reach your objective
    • Be clear.
    • Be mindful that it takes time to build relationship and the story.

Inspiring, Actionable Content in Support of Strategic Goals

  • How do we organize/plan and create? Be a magazine.
    • Create a 12-month editorial calendar
      • Start with objectives
      • Tie into a calendar format
      • Know your audience
      • Be mindful of keywords
      • Determine your venue
        • Offline (events)
        • Online (web/email/SM, etc)
      • Assign staff
      • Identify partners
      • Review at staff meetings
      • Make sure all key staff/personnel are involved
      • Monitor

Strategic Opportunities in Selected Outposts

  • Make sure your audience is there
  • Always tie to objectives/editorial calendar
  • Facebook – stories linked with promoted posts ads
    • Make sure you reach when needed
    • Focus on particular demographics
    • Campaigns
  • Email – never forget its power to drive action
  • Use analytics to see what’s working

Organize Staff

  • Make sure all social media accounts are divorced from individual ownership
  • Make a social media policy (doubles as a good internal corporate communications guide)
  • Be as inclusive as possible
  • Make it a hiring/firing expectation
  • Start at the annual planning process
  • Play to strengths – get buy in
  • Inspire your staff
  • Avoid using volunteers for critical functions

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