6 Ways for Nonprofits to Stay Relevant Thanks to Social Media

NCM Network invites guest bloggers to share their expertise on the NCM Network Blog. This post was written by Phil Gerbyshak, a LinkedIn trainer and leadership speaker (and pinball wizard too). You can listen to his podcast featuring the brightest business minds at http://conversationswithphil.com, and while Phil is based in Florida, you can connect on Twitter at @PhilGerb.


Marketing is hard work. No doubt about it. And the harder you work, the more the game seems to change. What follows are my observations from following and donating to many nonprofits across the various social media platforms.

Relevancy wins. This means you may have to repeat your message in different ways to capture multiple audiences. Men respond differently than women. Rich people differently than poor. Cities differently than rural residents. If you know what your audience is most interested in, provide that and focus only on that audience. Then pick another slice of audience and craft a different message.

Ads work. Facebook and Instagram are advertising platforms. Organic reach is dead. Celebrate this and know that a few dollars with a relevant ask can result in donations and awareness. Ask for a donation or a share (not a like).

Experiment with location with other people via Facebook Live video. You have the power of a worldwide TV station at your fingertips. Look to see how many people are online, go somewhere cool that people don’t expect, have someone interesting next to you, and go for 5 minutes. At the end, make one relevant ask, and have someone drop the link to it in the comments at the end. Even if the live audience is small, your potential reach is huge. And don’t forget to invite people to share.

Re-use video. Download the video and post it to YouTube. Cut it into smaller bits and run Facebook ads with it. Include it in email campaigns. Share it as a testimonial if a donor says something amazing. Make once, but re-use many times.

Re-target relevantly. If people click your links or watch your videos or respond to your ads, re-target them where relevant. You have more information than you’ve ever had before. Use that to your advantage. Go from information to opting-in to a call for a donation and REPEAT often. People need to see your message 5-7 (or more) times before they act. Repeat relevantly!

Start a movement. Make something greater than your organization. Think Ice Bucket Challenge or think smaller. But make it bigger than you are. Make it about your community and make it easy for them to participate and share if they can’t participate in person. Ask for both sharing and participation. We all want to be part of something greater than ourselves. It’s up to you to tell us what that is for your nonprofit.

The nonprofits who do this will succeed and achieve their goals. The ones that don’t may close their doors in the next 3-5 years.

The views and opinions of authors expressed on NCM Network’s website do not necessarily reflect those of NCM Network. It is the intention of NCM Network to provide users with information to better understand PR, communications, social media, philanthropy, and more.

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