Introduction

How Small Nonprofits Can Light Up Social Media

Let your light shineAre you a small nonprofit organization, maybe based in a single community?  Congratulations: you have natural advantages when it comes to social media.

What are your advantages?  The same strengths that social media maven Mark Schaefer sees for small businesses–only more so.

Local angle.  “I could care less about a tweet from a mega-brand,” Schaefer writes, “but I would certainly be interested to get to know a local shop owner in a personal way.”

Just like Mark, the people you serve, their families, your staff and Board, their families and friends, your city council, your school committee, and all your donors and volunteers are interested in you in real life.  They might be interested in you on Facebook or Twitter, too…but only if you show you’re interested in them.

Personal touch.  As a small nonprofit, you can know more of your supporters personally.  This one is always talking about the challenges and joys of raising a biracial child.  That one prides herself on her mouthwatering recipes.

Because you know them, you know what to say to them. When you can provide useful information on a subject they care about, your supporters will notice.

Relationships. Businesses, and large nonprofits, are tempted to look at everything in terms of ROI, Return On Investment.  They miss the intangible results that small nonprofits perceive.

If your supporters are telling you, “I loved that picture you posted,” or if they’re sharing information that you put out, or if municipal officials are treating you with more respect, you know you are building loyalty that will help you down the line.

Don’t Hide Your Light

“But I don’t know how to use social media,” you say.  “And I don’t have the time.”

You do know how to be social in real life, right?  This book will show you how to be social online and enjoy it.

  • We’ll start with your social skills–listening, paying attention, being helpful–and how you can transfer them to your interactions on the internet.
  • We’ll look at the tools you need for building and maintaining relationships, so that whether you encounter people in person or on Facebook, you both enjoy the conversation.
  • Then we’ll see how to choose the social media platforms that are right for you and your audience.
  • We’ll talk about how to produce the content your audience craves (and keep producing it, on schedule).
  • We’ll discuss the part your social media can play in fundraising.
  • Finally, we’ll take a look at what happens when you’ve started small…and grown.

 

Is social media worth it?  Using social media well means getting closer to the people who matter most to your organization.  Yes, that’s worth doing.  You are ideally positioned to do it.  Go ahead: let your light shine!

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