By Garrett Stanczak
Lately, my posts in this blog have largely mentioned how social media can benefit business. And while I do believe that it is impossible to overstate the opportunities that social media can provide organizations, the truth is that interactive media has so much more to offer. Especially in regards to charities and NPOs.
Last week I mentioned social media can help advertising by allowing its users to target messages directly to their audiences. NPOs can perform a similar feat using the same methods. Most charities will claim that they don’t care where the money comes from, and while that’s most likely true, social media enables an NPO to see who is most receptive. In an article on Sprout Social, Alicia Johnston wrote that it is a good idea for charities to “develop audience personas, which are representations of your ideal supporters based on a combination of demographic data and information about individual members of your target audience” (2015). An example of some demographic data is below:
That is one of the tools charities can use to improve their cause, so how are they using it? One charity, called Oxford House, is a sober home in Edmonton for men and women recovering from addictions. It knows how many potential donators are on social media, and it takes full advantage of twitter.
This tweet is geared towards advertising a charity concert. Perhaps Oxford House used special tools to discover that a lot of its followers enjoyed music. It also links to the organizations facebook account to ensure the message is spread on multiple media.
This tweet is more overt, showing the visually striking image of a woman who looks down on her luck to ask people to donate so they can improve her life.
The final tweet we’ll be looking at is a more uplifting one. Instead of asking for money, this tweet is geared towards the idea of the Oxford House offering its services to those in need. To that end it uses a happy, uplifting picture to illustrate what kind of environment it offers.
In summary, social media allows NPOs to recognize their audiences and easily deliver effective messages to them in ways they could not before. With that in mind, it’s comforting to know that it isn’t just businesses that can benefit from the social media juggernaut.
A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits by Alicia Johnston, 2015