I have a lot of pride in working for a leading digital marketing agency. It’s a great feeling to be part of a place with an impressive client roster, award-winning design portfolio and a staff full of industry thought leaders. The best feeling though is knowing that r2i is not all business, all the time. We pride ourselves on our ongoing efforts to give back and support our community.
In the past year we’ve done volunteer or fundraising work with non-profit organizations (NPOs) around the country and even won a “Do-Gooder of the Year” award in Seattle. Go team! Am I writing this post to brag about my team? Yes, in part. The other part is to reflect on the growing trend in online charitable giving.
Take a look at these year-over-year percentage changes in online giving from Blackbaud. These percentages show the difference in online charitable giving from July 2011 to July 2012. Small and medium-sized NPOs experienced an increase in online giving while large NPOs saw a decrease.
At the explosive rate in which people are engaging in online social communities, the uptick in charitable giving for small and medium size businesses is no surprise. Non-profit organizations now, more than ever, have the opportunity to contend – from a marketing perspective – with the big guys. Social media has leveled the playing field, allowing for the broadcast of mission-focused content to eager and attainable audiences.
At the 2012 AMA Non-Profit Marketing Conference, r2i’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Samantha DeVita, spoke about the importance of social interaction and community building for NPOs, in her keynote address.
In the continued spirit of helping the NPO community, I will re-share key takeaways from Samantha’s presentation:
- Get your house in order
- Do Social Audit – Get the Basics Covered
- Develop Your Strategy
- Define Resource Requirements & Digital Asset Production
- Develop Your Social Story
- Up-Skill Your Internal Social Team/Resources
- Set Realistic KPIs for Social Platforms
- Publish audience-centric content that is valuable, sharable & supports your mission
- Use social media to reach an already existing community:
- Build true relationships with community members, evangelists, stake holders & influencers
Are You Just Talking to Yourself? The Importance of Social Media Analytics
For those non-profits already dabbling in social media, optimization is the next step. And the best way to do this is through social analytics strategies. Consider these points when beginning your analysis of your social profiles:
- A social audit allows you to see who is engaging with your community & who isn’t
- Evangelists & stakeholders are promptly identified & rewarded
- Engagement process becomes more efficient & effective on owned & un-owned properties
- Analytics help identify content that is working & where it is successful
- Create more compelling shareable content
- Reach & relevance are highly targeted
- Community engagement be comes organic on both sides
- Community begins to do the work for you
- Brand engagement becomes more strategic
NPOs of all sizes: It’s time to reinvent relationships with supporters and donors! Times have clearly changed, as the overall increase in online charitable giving indicates. Implementing a smart social strategy is not a choice. It’s a necessity.