Are social media results pure luck? Or strategic influence?

in Online Fundraising,Social Media

Influence donors. Engage members. Rally advocates. Nurture prospects.

While social media isn’t the “end-all to beat-all,” it clearly has its place in your nonprofit marketing and fundraising strategy.

The infographic below has five points as to why social media is a strong tool for influencing.

And although the infographic is referring to people in general and how social media influences their buying decisions . . . Please remember this: People are people.

Their behavior regarding how social media influences buying decisions (this includes decisions to donate, volunteer, join, etc.) is quite consistent between the consumer and nonprofit arenas. Things they respond to and share have a lot in common from one market sector to another. Bear this in mind as you study the infographic.

Specifically I want to draw your attention to points 3, 4 and 5:

3 – It’s habit forming.

• Be where the people are. They’re in social media. You need to be in social media.

• This is an opportunity to get them hooked on the habit of what’s happening with your mission; keeping close tabs on your news and activities; and how they’re helping to make it all happen.

40% don’t mind being interrupted for a message! Just make certain you send a message they view as worthwhile, interesting, and relevant.

4 – It influences life offline.

• Social media users are 75% more likely to spend money on music. Why not make it easy for this to include supporting your symphony, attending a concert, or buying a fundraising CD?

• Social media users are 18% more likely to work out at a gym or health club. If your mission is health related, how can you take advantage of this? Are these other businesses potential cause marketing partners? Are they places where you could advertise? Are gym and club users people to target in social media for support of your mission because they are so health conscious? I’m sure you can think of more ideas.

• Social media users are 44% more likely to give their opinion on TV programs. If you use DRTV, then take advantage. All other nonprofits can extend this to make opinion polls and surveys available in social media, email, direct mail, on your website, etc.

• Social media users are 26% more likely to give their opinion on politics and current events. Lots of associations and charities can take advantage of this via opinion polls and surveys in social media, email, direct mail, on your website, etc.

5 – It helps businesses.

• Your organization is also a business – just a nonprofit business model.

• If 65% of small business owners stay engaged with their customers via small business … why not you? And how can you leverage a partnership with a business to reach their customers via their social media network?

Social media can nurture prospects and convert them into supporters. After all, 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users are more likely to buy the brands they follow online!

• Trying to expand your supporters and members to the under 35 crowd? Use social media to reach them, engage with them, and encourage them to share their love of your mission – and how good they feel about supporting it – with their network. 50% under the age of 35 follow their online friends’ product and service recommendations. This can extend to your nonprofit.

One more important point: I believe the small and medium nonprofits have the advantage when it comes to social media. I believe it’s easier for you to have more personal (i.e., real and genuine) conversations via social media with your supporters.

Studies have shown this to be true with small businesses as compared to the major, household brands. This is often because fewer people are involved; the organizations are local and regional and can combine online with face-to-face engagements; and so on.

What are your experiences with influencing supporters of your nonprofit via social media? Are you leaving it to luck or are you being strategic?

Oh, and since a grand holiday is only four days away I want to wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Related posts:

Maximize Facebook ROI for Nonprofits

How to write donor-centric Tweets (includes examples)

Tis always the season for social media

Visual storytelling and social media

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Infographic found on InfographicsArchive.com

Photo credit: “MeepFriends” via PhotoPin.com