Social Media & Relationship Building May Not Mean Immediate Money — and That's OK!
There's a lot of pressure on social media these days. We all want something from these channels. Fundraisers want donors and donations. Brand marketers want to create awareness and drive great impressions of the organization. Program and mission managers want to increase the understanding of needs and communicate the progress being made. And let's not forget our C-suites that really want to have significant increases in revenue from anything to do with the Internet.
The great news is there is significant progress being made in the world of social channels. There's been a lot of reporting on this topic, and the data out there is all pointing to positive trends. Perhaps the best example of how well 2012 ended is summed up by this infographic from MDG Advertising. MDG reports that giving through social media has doubled in the last five years. Blackbaud and Common Knowledge (now part of Merkle) cite that social media use by nonprofits has seen significant growth, especially in their Facebook and Twitter communities. Average Facebook and Twitter communities grew by 30 percent and 81 percent, respectively.
But, if we're all being honest — we were pretty nervous in the beginning, right? And, we still answer questions every day about why we can't raise more money through these channels. What we have to realize is that these social-media channels are the ultimate engagement opportunities. They are not, by nature, like our "direct" channels and cannot be measured by episodic "direct" response. These channels are about starting and continuing a conversation with constituents of all types.
I know that none of you will be surprised when I mention integrated marketing in this blog. But guess what? For this blog post, I'm going to concentrate on what can be independent opportunities and things to remember when using these channels for maximum advantage. Don't get me wrong, the integration of these ideas across your strategies is very important to ensure constituents have familiar brand experiences from one channel to another. (Sorry, just had to say it!!!)
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.