6 Common Misconceptions About Social Media And Nonprofits


Image courtesy of River Rock Films Image courtesy of River Rock Films

You’ve had blogs yelling at you for years, urging you to take advantage of social media to help promote your nonprofit. It seemed like a good idea, they’re free to sign up for, you’ve been told you can connect with millions of constituents instantly. What’s not to love?

While it’s true social media’s an important component of a successful content marketing strategy, we’re here today to clear up a few misconceptions about the various social networks, and the impact they have on your nonprofit.

    1. You have to have it

      Part true, part false. Yes, it’s true your nonprofit should have some form of a social component, it certainly does not need all of them. There are so many social media platforms available to us now, it is not necessary to have active accounts on all of them. Understand what your goals are for the account, what audience you’re trying to engage, and how that account will help you accomplish that goal. If the audience you’re trying to engage is not typically active on that social media platform, why spend the time, effort, and make the investment?


    1. It’s completely free

      Yes, you can sign up for an account, get all the bells and whistles for free. But implementing a robust and effective content marketing strategy that utilizes these social feeds is going to take an investment. Whether an current employee’s time, or you hire an agency to handle the work for your nonprofit, implementing an effective strategy will take time, effort, and ultimately, some kind of investment.


    1. All platforms are the same

      Each platform has a unique audience, a different set of dedicated users, and has different types of content go viral. Whether you’re posting your nonprofit’s content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or Instagram, each platform will require a unique posting style and voice.


    1. I should promote my nonprofit M-F only

      Being active daily is essential to an effective nonprofit content strategy. Social media feeds are about creating meaningful conversation and connections with people. We have short attention spans, so unless you’re engaging with your audiences daily there’s a good chance you’re missing out on a lot of potential engagement.


    1. Social media only helps engage younger audiences

      While every social platform has different audience demographics, the most common misconception is that everyone on social media is very young. According to a recent Pew report the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is individuals 40-55 years of age. While many of the youngest generation is flocking to Instagram and Vine, Facebook and Twitter both harbor well rounded demographics.


    1. Direct mail is enough

      Social media is more than just a way for your nonprofit to communicate with potential volunteers, donors and other constituents. It helps to create a coherent and thorough digital footprint for your nonprofit. A successful social media strategy enhances your nonprofit’s SEO, fundraising efforts, communication, transparency, and other important aspects of your nonprofit. While direct mail is a great way to drum up interest in a specific event, or initiative, an effective social media content marketing strategy keeps the community interested and engaged throughout the year.


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