Nonprofits are often slow to dedicate time to social media interfaces; they recognize the potential value on a surface level but are chained to the idea that email is still the most effective form of online communication with donors. A Case Foundation survey found that 88% of nonprofits surveyed cited email and website as their most important forms of communication. While that may be true in regards to soliciting donations, the importance of online platforms in conversing with donors should not be understated.
Whether part-time or full-time, here are some reasons to have a dedicated person to manage digital strategy and presence:
- Millennials are your audience of the future- learn how to interact with them!
- It takes TIME and TRAINING to do this correctly & have consistent messaging. Posts should be strategic, not scheduled last-minute by a staff member who holds another role at your organization.
- Interacting with constituents and contributing to conversation is what social media should be used for- not just pushing events/fundraising. Inserting your organization into the conversation can gain you rapport with potential donors and cause audiences to look to you as a source of knowledge on the subject.
- You need someone who can convert your social media to measurement metrics. Don’t just use social media blindly- use analytics to find out what is working, what is not, and then adjust your content accordingly.
- There needs to be an individual responsible for appropriately navigating conversations with constituents, especially negative interactions. It is not enough to let comments (esp. negative) sit on your wall or to delete it without follow-up; a social media manager can respond directly to the individual in private or direct their message to the appropriate contact within the organization.
Social media, like every other aspect of fundraising, should be strategic. Organizations should be posting content with purpose, not just filler. It is not enough to be present on social media, your activity actually needs to mean something.
To that point, defaulting to hiring a recent college grad just because they are “familiar” with online platforms and can be paid an entry level salary is not always effective. Being a successful social media manager requires more than just general know-how about the platforms, it requires an understanding of the purpose social media serves for businesses and nonprofit specifically. In order to make social media worthwhile, you need to follow best practices, as well as track the success of profiles with analytics, and dedicate time to learning about business user updates.
We have seen small changes/additions to digital policies have large impacts for our clients in terms of dollars raised. If your organization is looking for a social media manager, training, or a la carte services, email firstname.lastname@example.org.