Industry News, Internet Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy

How Non-Profits Can Use Social Media

Bottom Shape


Oct 21 2011

Recently I came across an interesting infographic made by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, on how the most proactive and tech-savvy non-profits use social media.  The main idea was to discover how their net income influenced the effectiveness of their social media strategy.  Do non-profits get better results by having a bigger budget for their online interaction?  The study had a lot of different numbers, characteristics and metrics to compare and analyze and the result was quite interesting.  The research showed that 92 % of the top 50 nonprofits have at least 1 social media button on their homepage and the most popular ones are Facebook (92%), Twitter (90%) and YouTube (70%).  The American Red Cross was the first early adopter on the list to create a Twitter account and now has  534 006 followers.  PBS has the most followers on Twitter – 840,653, but is in the bottom quarter bracket on the list of net income.

So, the main outcome of this survey is that the income and time period of a social media presence don’t appear to be the main reason for non-profits success on social media.  The most engaging social media channels do not necessary belong to the non-profit organizations that have more money to spend.  As Craig Newmark says: “The deal is, it’s not about money, it’s about getting people to talk with each other to make people’s lives better”.

It’s definitely very inspiring research for charity organizations and non-profits who have less funding, but want to spread their message and get more followers by using social media.  The question is how do non-profits successfully reach and engage their audience in order to build an internet community around their main purpose?  Here are 4 key ideas on how non-profits can use social media to achieve their social goals.

1. Use a blog as the main diary of your organization.  Focus on telling a dynamic and positive story about the work that you do, how it brings value to the society and how it’s important to be a part of your group.

2. Share your story through multiple social media channels.

3. Connect with active bloggers and twitter users in your area.  Extend your outreach by building a relationship with your community.

4. Post pictures and video.  Adding videos and pictures about the activists of your organization and the work that they do is a great way to create an emotional connection with your audience.  Don’t forget to tag people on your videos and pictures on Facebook.

Remember, you don’ t have to have the biggest budget to have the greatest impact for your organization through social media.

What are you social media success stories done on a small budget?



Mariya Newman

Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!

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