Nonprofit Social Media Marketing

4-2 update available

Hello, I’m back! (I never left). I know I’ve been a bad blogger lately, and I’m sorry. But I have reasons. I know what you’re thinking, “Rule #71: No excuses. Play like a champion.” But I graduated, I moved, and then I got a new job. But I know I shouldn’t have neglected you, and I’ve missed you. So I promise to do better and keep you up to date on social media marketing! So I have my Marketing degree now, Cum Laude, baby! I live in San Diego– way better than Reno. And I’m a Social Media Consultant. But enough about me, here’s some info!

One of the most recent trends I’ve noticed in Social Media is that it keeps changing! Almost all of the platforms I use keep changing things up just a little bit here and there, and it may not seem like a big deal at the time, but these changes add up and they can make a big difference. I just went on my FB page and noticed I had a random blank note very visibly on my profile from 2010! What a waste of space; I like my profile clean. Additionally, outdated information makes you look unprofessional and untrustworthy. I happened to call a local business today to ask them about their location. Their website said they were open until 3:00 p.m., but since I had the chick on the phone, I decided to verify. She told me they opened at 3:00 and closed at 9:00!, followed by a “Oh yeah, our website is wrong”. To me, everything on their site might as well have been invalid. So I have some tips:

  • Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. are all changing. Most of the time, they’ll tell you the changes when you login. Don’t just skip ahead. Read the changes, understand them, and then go through your profile information making sure there’s nothing you should change or improve.
  • On the same note, an organization that shows it is staying up to date and changing with social media catches people’s attention. You look more professional and prove that you are hip and can adapt to survive. Imagine if you were using Myspace instead of Facebook (That’s so 5 years ago).
  • Update your followers. I know I’ve mentioned before that you shouldn’t just disappear off the face of the e-world for 3 months (yes, I know I just did that. Bad me!) But keep your followers current with what you are doing. Would you rather donors think about you once a month, or every week, or every day? Just don’t get annoying by posting too much.
  • Keep your information up to date! I don’t care how small or insignificant you think it might be, if the public can see it, it needs to be up-to-date and correct. Hours, locations, links to websites, links to other social media, calendars, contact us info, anything.  If you don’t fix it when it changes, not only are you giving our incorrect information that might lose you donations, but you might forget to do it later and not remember until months later.

This is easy to do, so go update your profiles!

Fun fact: Facebook generates more weekly traffic than Google!!!

~ Rachel


I know this is a long video, but it’s a TED Talk (so you know it will be good) and it’s right on the money about why nonprofits are at such a disadvantage compared to for-profit businesses. Watch it if you have the time and you’re interested in Marketing and Nonprofits.

Guess what? This blog is about YouTube, so it’s going to be short and sweet in that I won’t be writing much. Instead there will be a variety of videos to get my points across. Why? It’s in the spirit of YouTube! But more importantly,  it will show you that videos are much more entertaining than reading this blog and they’re a great way to spread your cause, so use them!! YouTube actually offers a variety of tools to assist nonprofit campaigns. In writing this blog, I referred to Mashable’s Nonprofit YouTube blog.

Firstly, an introduction to YouTube for Nonprofits. The preceding link takes you to the YouTube page which tells you how to become a nonprofit on YouTube and the benefits of doing such. The first step is to make a page for your organization. Then, you apply to “Google for Nonprofits”. Finally, you enroll in YouTube’s nonprofit program. The video below goes into detail what YouTube can do to assist the social marketing of your nonprofit.

This should be a convincing enough reason to include YouTube videos in your social media marketing plan. But What should your videos be about? How can you make them entertaining if you have no prior video experience? YouTube has some pointers specifically for nonprofit organizations. You can find them at  YouTube Nonprofit Tips. The site gives you 5 basic rules on what to put in your video (“Reach Out, Partner Up, Keep It Fresh, Spread Your Message, and Be Genuine”) and then goes into specifics about how to be effective! This video gives an overview of the basics. But the specifics are equally, if not more, important. They talk about Building Your YouTube Presence, Developing Compelling Content, and Network and Distribution. I don’t want to get too detailed, but YouTube will walk you through everything from designing your channel and adding banners to using endorsements, getting people to donate and subscribe, and creating a series to target demographics. Good stuff. The video below gives you a rundown of the 5 basic rules.

Now that you know how to make your video enticing, how can you create a call to action where people can donate or share the video with friends? YouTube Campaigns.There’s no video for this one because I think it’s fairly new. But this tiny tool let’s you track your views and subscribers after setting a goal. A bar appears on your video which shows how close it is to reaching its ‘view’ goal. This bar encourages people to share the video or subscribe. This link has  Instructions on How To Create A Campaign if you’re interested.

Finally, how will you know how well your YouTube videos are doing? Are they spreading the message, getting donations, being shared with others? If only there were some sort of Analytics for YouTube that could help us out. Oh wait… YouTube Analytics. Meet your new best friend you just found out existed! How did I not know about this before? Just like Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics helps you track the progress of your campaign and adjust it as necessary.   Here’s a video to sum it up:

YouTube is perhaps the greatest friend a nonprofit organization could have. Their tools are easy to learn, easy to use, and free. It’s just a matter of knowing about them (which you now do) and using them (which you should)!