A Primer on Social Media for Nonprofits
The National Wildlife Federation regularly submits content from the its Web properties to Digg and StumbleUpon.
What it takes
Submitting content is easy; you just need to create an account (i.e., a user profile), after which adding Web pages to the site only takes a few seconds. What takes longer is developing the profile itself by spending some time each day participating in the social-bookmarking community. You need to submit great, quality items, but moreover, you need to rank other submissions, leave comments and add friends to your network.
The reason for this might not be clear until you notice two things:
- Social bookmarking sites are "smart": They suggest content for you based on what people with similar profiles have liked. This matching engine will ultimately help your content reach many new people — but not until your profile has some usage data in it.
- There is some social reciprocity at work (it is a social-bookmarking site after all). Some people will read an article you found interesting simply because you read an article they submitted.
Using social bookmarking, like many social-media techniques, is "free" but does require an investment of time.
Number of page views: Compare the amount of time you put into social bookmarking to the amount of money you would pay for an equivalent amount of online advertising.
Social bookmarking is a low-risk activity. Only submit the best content you have (as opposed to submitting everything), submit related high-quality content and occasionally participate in the community by giving other submissions a "thumbs up." Following those simple guidelines will keep your profile in good standing.
Connect with new supporters: Build a Facebook Fan Page
A Facebook page is your organization's website on Facebook. Its functionality is more limited, but it is much easier to manage, directly targets 200 million well-connected Internet users, and is structured in a way that directly helps you build your list of supporters. Additionally, your Facebook page is a form of market research because it can provide you with demographic information about your supporters.