According to Edelman’s latest Trust Barometer, the number of people who view their friends and peers as credible sources of information about a company dropped from 45% to 25%, since 2008. Advertising Age reports that these findings strike at the foundation of many a social media marketing philosophy. One may think this only applies to the corporate world, but for nonprofits, social media needs to be part of the marketing mix—and it needs to be done the right way.
JVA Consulting sees the value of social media for nonprofits and encourages organizations to include this as a piece of their marketing strategy. Through social media, nonprofits can strengthen their brand awareness, connect with their audience and be a voice on topics related to their cause. The most important reason that nonprofits can’t ignore social media is because it can help bring in fundraising dollars.
A well-executed social media strategy can improve a nonprofit’s Web presence, and ultimately support an organization’s online fundraising. In a down economy, the importance of online fundraising can’t be understated. Online fundraising engages the individual donor, and at a time when foundation and grant dollars are being cut, a diversified base of individual donors is more important than ever.
Making social media work for you is all in the approach, and it’s all about building trust. Like you would with donors and stakeholders, you have to work hard to build trust with your social media network. Providing quality content on your social media site is a great place to start. That means no Farmville updates, and it means delicately and sparingly using your social media network to directly promote your services. Remember, people are interested in useful, meaningful information. If you only use your Facebook or Twitter profile to promote your products, the people in your network will lose interest and may lose trust.
In the old days, trust allowed business to be done on a handshake. Living in an age of quickly evolving technology doesn’t mean that still can’t happen. We just have to consider how to build trust given the new opportunities that technology presents.
Ready to take your fundraising to the next level? On February 17 and 18, JVA will offer Development Director Intensive. This two-day workshop will give you the tools to create and build a diversified, sustainable fundraising program—including how to engage Facebook friends to bring money in the door. To learn more and to register, click here.