Why you should start a social media ambassador program at your nonprofit

Why Your Nonprofit Should Start A Social Media Ambassador Program

Julia Claire Campbell Fundraising, Marketing, Nonprofits, Social Media, Strategy Leave a Comment

People don’t trust institutions.

Edelman just released a new report showing the following dismal statistics about public trust: 

  • Just one-third of Americans trust their government “to do what is right”;
  • 42% of Americans trust the media (down from 47% a year ago);
  • Trust in nonprofits/NGOs is higher than trust in government, but it still decreased by nine percentage points from last year.

Most shockingly, the firm has been doing this same report every year for 18 years, and has never before recorded such a steep decrease in trust.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that people do still overwhelmingly trust their networks of friends, family, and colleagues.

Recommendations and referrals from trusted networks are eminently more powerful than the most exquisitely-designed and well-funded social media advertising campaign.

So how does this affect nonprofits and our social media marketing plans?

The public’s lack of trust in institutions and skepticism of advertising messages, combined with the sheer amount of information competing for our attention, mean that it’s time to consider creating a social media ambassador program at your nonprofit.

Interested in forming a Storytelling Army to spread the word about your nonprofit? Join me LIVE for a special webinar: How to Create an Army of Online Storytellers to Help Spread the Word for Your Nonprofit!

6 Main Benefits of a Nonprofit Social Media Ambassador Program

1) WOM (word-of-mouth) works.

Digital marketing expert Jay Baer found that 92% of consumers trust user-generated content and word-of-mouth suggestions more than advertising.

One e-commerce study showed that 71% of people are more willing to purchase an item based on social media referrals from friends and family.

People trust word-of-mouth marketing messages.

Building a social media ambassador program is the perfect way to give regular people the resources and tools to spread the word about your nonprofit and its work.

The Monash College Social Media Ambassador Program

2) It’s more cost effective than engaging complete strangers.

Nonprofits seem to have this view that if they shout very loudly, or post very often, somehow their message (even if poorly written or thought out) will “cut through the clutter” and reach an entirely new audience of people.

The truth is that no one wants to be interrupted online.

No one wants to see more advertising, no matter how beautifully designed.

People DO want to hear stories and consume information that is relevant to their lives, their values, and their motivations.

Leveraging your existing network of supporters, people who have raised their hand and said “Yes I am interested!” is much easier and more effective than yelling at strangers to pay attention.

3) You can’t launch from scratch.

No matter how elaborate, expensive, or sexy your social media marketing campaign is, if you don’t have an audience that is interested in seeing it, it will fail.

Small nonprofits without large lead generation budgets are at a significant disadvantage, because they often have smaller online communities to draw from.

Having a social media ambassador program at your nonprofit will allow you to build a community of raving fans the RIGHT way – holistically and organically.

Sure, you can purchase 10K worth of Facebook fans – but they aren’t real people and they will do nothing for your bottom line.

The best bet is to start small, work with a focused group of ambassadors willing to help you share your best content and your most compelling stories, and build an audience online before launching your campaign.

NTFB Social Media Ambassadors

4) They will give you honest feedback.

Social media ambassadors will be very familiar with your organization, and by description, will be some of the most passionate people involved with your cause.

These are the kinds of people that you want to attract and retain! 

The only way to get more of them is to understand what motivates them and what information they are interested in.

Use your social media ambassadors as a focus group to test new ideas, share unique stories, and try out experimental content before releasing it to the public.

Not only will the ambassadors appreciate being part of an exclusive club that gets a first look at your content, they will have a unique perspective on it and will be able to provide you with invaluable, immediate feedback.  

5) They will give you new ideas.

Beyond using the ambassadors as a focus group, cultivate their ideas and ask for their thoughts!

Ask them about trends that they are seeing.

Social media ambassadors are likely to participate on several different channels, and they can function as your eyes and ears in the field.

Have a question about the utility of Snapchat for marketing? Ask the ambassadors for their ideas!

Want to promote your next event? Solicit ideas from the ambassadors as to which channels may be most effective and what messages will resonate.

They will most likely come up with great things you hadn’t even thought of!

Austin Public Library Social Media Ambassador Program

6) Relationships will deepen and strengthen.

Who is more likely to become a loyal supporter and raving fan of your organization – the person who has raised their hand and committed to sharing information about your organization, or the complete stranger who may or may not even be remotely interested in your cause?

Rather than putting your focus on casting the widest net online possible in the hopes of catching a handful of new people that may not pan out into loyal supporters, why not focus on the people who already know you?

Creating a vibrant and dynamic social media ambassador program at your nonprofit will help you strengthen relationships with the most important people in your network – the ones who are willing to put their reputations on the line to share information about your work.

They are affirming their shared identity with you with their willingness to help you raise your visibility and bring more people into the fold.

This special group may know you, they make like you, but if you give them a great experience and make them feel valued and useful, they will love you.

Interested in forming a Storytelling Army to spread the word about your nonprofit? Join me LIVE for a special webinar: How to Create an Army of Online Storytellers to Help Spread the Word for Your Nonprofit!

How to Build Your Nonprofit Email List Using Your Website & Social Media

Your email list is essentially the communicative lifeblood of your nonprofit.

Okay, that was a little dramatic, but seriously, your nonprofit needs a robust and plentiful email list to continue engaging your community and garnering support.

But how does your nonprofit go about building this active email list, you might ask?

Via your nonprofit’s website and social media profiles of course!

J Campbell Social Marketing has partnered with Elevation to bring you this free guide to building your nonprofit email list, using the tools that you already have!

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