The Importance of Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations

According to mashable.com, there are more than 400 million members on Facebook and approximately 6 million members on Twitter.

All of these people log onto social networking websites daily to do more than just keep in touch with friends and followers. A majority of people go to these websites to receive news as well.

For nonprofit organizations, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are great resources. Here is why:

Social media provides two-way communication.

Twitter and Facebook allow organizations to be a part of a real conversation, instead of just receiving feedback. Be sincere and use this feedback to better your company.

You can’t afford to ignore what people are saying about you on-line. Whether or not you are on Facebook or Twitter, people ARE talking about you. Don’t ignore it.

By being on Facebook and Twitter you are able to respond quickly. Customers and supporters appreciate quickness.

Social media allows organizations to reach and find supporters.
I know quite a few people who won’t make an effort to look for a new nonprofit organization that they would really like to support. Instead, they just stick with the really well-known nonprofits and donate their money to them.

Being on Facebook and Twitter has opened me up to a lot of really great nonprofit organizations I never would have known about before I was active on these websites.

Social media allows an organization to show their appreciation.
When a nonprofit organization follows me back on Twitter, I feel appreciated. When a nonprofit organization acknowledges something of theirs that I’ve retweeted, I feel appreciated. When a nonprofit organization gives me a special shout-out for mentioning them in my blog, I feel appreciated.

Cool. So I feel appreciated, what does that have to do with anything?

When people feel appreciated by an organization, they are more likely to return as volunteers, donors and/or supporters.

Social media allows organizations to show that they are human.
You are human. The people who run your organization are human. The volunteers who help you are human. Be human.

Humans are adaptive. Although your non-profit organization may have been successful without social media, times are changing. As more people throughout the world become more social media savvy, the more nonprofits need to develop social media plans and gain their online presence in order to keep these supporters.

To sum it up, nonprofit organizations need to utilize their social media. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter allow people to get to know an organization on a much deeper level than they would by just visiting their website. People appreciate interaction with organizations and that is what social media provides.

Photo by by TT PHOTOGRAPHY

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