The 3 Keys to Social Media Success

The 3 Keys to Social Media Success

Julia Claire Campbell Social Media, Strategy 5 Comments

The 3 Keys to Social Media SuccessNonprofits often ask me – What is the one piece of advice you can give to help us achieve social media success?

I wish it were that simple. There is no silver bullet, no magic key that will unlock thousands of new, passionate followers or online donors.

Not to mention that “social media success” looks different for every organization. The American Red Cross has very different goals than the local dog adoption agency down the street.

However, in my experience, I have found that there are three things when done well, and when done together, often result in success for organizations.

I call them the three “D’s” – and here they are:

1. Diversification

Have you heard the term “multi-channel marketing” or “diversification of channels”? These are fancy ways of saying to not put all your eggs in one online basket.

Don’t just put up a great website and expect people to find it. Don’t expect them to know what you want them to do when they get there!

Don’t have an email newsletter but no way for people to donate online.

Don’t set up a Facebook Page with no place to direct users if they want to learn more and become more engaged.

All of these channels should be working together, like a well-oiled machine, to help you further your goals.

Diversification also means thinking outside your own comfort zone. Be where your supporters and your donors are, not just where you want them to be.

Do not simply rely on the old ways – your donors are smarter and more tech-savvy than you think. Just because they enjoy getting a paper annual report does not mean that they are not active on LinkedIn or Twitter.

2. Dedication

As a nonprofit professional, you are undoubtedly being pulled in a million directions. There is a shiny new tool coming out every single day (sometimes every hour). It can get overwhelming.

Don’t rush to try out the latest new thing if what you are doing is working. Slow and steady wins the social media race.

Your followers need some time to figure you out, to build trust and affinity, to start liking your posts and your tweets.

Don’t give up on a social network because it’s not doing exactly what you want it to do immediately. Be patient.

However, if you find that your supporters are not on a particular channel or not responding at all, regroup and evaluate.

This is not brain surgery – its social media. If something is much more work than it’s worth, or if it is giving you an ulcer, take a break or try something else.

3. Dynamic content.

There is no substitute for dynamic content.

Dynamic content is so good, so funny, so informative, so invigorating, that your followers can’t help but share it.

That is the gold standard on social media, and will expose your message and your brand to a wider variety of potential supporters.

For content ideas, go and download Marketo’s free ebook Contagious Content: What People Share On Facebook and Why They Share It.

This book will give you fantastic insight into what makes things shareable – not just on Facebook, but other social channels as well.

In conclusion, I believe that even the tiniest nonprofit can use online tools to raise its profile, find new supporters, advocate for a cause or promote an event.

The possibilities are only limited by creativity.

Comments 5

  1. Michael Selissen

    Well said, Julia, especially the point about having informative and motivating content back at the website. And for consistent use of calls-to-action. Too many organizations, (for- and non-profit) jump into social media without establishing that foundation.

    One addition I’d make is to figure out how to get community members to interact among themselves – not just share what you provide, but take up the initiative. Your example of charity:water is a good one here too, because of the encouragement, guidance and tools they offer folks for starting their own campaigns.

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  2. Ian Ouziel

    Hi Julia,

    I completely agree that multichannel marketing has to be part of an in grated New Media Campaign.

    I like your 3D’s! Reminds me of my own writing where I called those D’s
    Not as eloquent as your article..
    But expresses a shared idea.

    Thanks for a great post!
    Looking forward to more.

    Ian Ouziel

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  3. Pingback: Clairity Click-it: Nonprofit Social Media, Fundraising Ideas + Learning Ops for You - Clairification

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