Will Using Social Media Make Charities More Successful?

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Every single charity campaigns; they campaign to engage with their audience and they campaign to increase their supporters. These efforts have been going on for as long as we can remember, so naturally in this digital age, these efforts have now moved online. And why shouldn’t they? It makes sense that Social Media is a natural platform for charities to utilise, but will this ensure that they have more success with these efforts?

It’s not such a simple question when you think about it, as it’s not good enough just to set up twitter and Facebook accounts and to then leave them ‘do their job,’ while on the other hand, you could be posting everyday and getting no response. With this being said, when you do an online campaign right you can get a massive response and engagement from it. I’m sure we’ve all seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or the No Make Up Selfie at some point over the last couple of years!

As this isn’t a simple yes or no question, we perhaps should be looking at should charities be using social media and will this contribute to their success?

The Benefits of Using Social Media

Obviously, charities can benefit greatly from using social media, but it is all down to the strategy that you use and if you’re putting it into action correctly. If you have an effective social media marketing strategy in place, then charities can benefit from:

    • A Wider Reach – social media is great to expand your reach as every like, share or comment, spreads your message on your supporters’ feeds so that they reach their connections too.
  • A More Targeted Reach – although you can reach a wider audience, what’s even more beneficial is that you can target specific audiences. On all social media platforms, you can analyse your analytics and this will show you what types of audiences engage most, what time they engage most, your complete audience demographic and so much more. This is a great feature of marketing online as your target audience might be completely different to the one you think, but you won’t know until you’ve reached them!
  • An Increase in Interaction and Engagement – if you share valuable information and create fun campaigns, you will see a big increase in engagement from your secondary audience (connections of your supporters) as well as your target audience! Think about all the campaigns that have gone viral.
  • An Increase in Donations – this obviously depends highly on if you are marketing effectively, but if you are, then this is the benefit that you are ultimately aiming for. With donating online being so easy, if you have a good quality website that creates an effortless user experience, then people will be more likely to donate!
  • Cost-effective – while offline campaigns can be a fortune and the running of social media isn’t free, overall, costs are lower to run online campaigns. With online analytics, you can monitor and analyse and redesign campaigns that work, and this ultimately helps you plan better budgets and allocation of money. Don’t forget that when a campaign really works, going viral is free!
  • Consistent Exposure – when you run offline campaigns, you are relying highly on targeted people at the right time for them to want to donate. With social media, you can stay in front of people all the time until they are ready to donate!

Going Forward…

“One thing is for certain: a successful social media campaign can make a real difference.”

Put simply, social media is becoming a very fundamental part of every charity’s marketing strategy and is proving to be a very effective way of encouraging people to get involved and raise awareness of their campaigns. Of course, it is also the perfect tool for market research! It has never been easier to see what your competitors are doing and to see what campaigns are working and what is not.

So, should charities be on social media? The answer has to be a big yes! Social media will easily connect your charity with thousands of supporters across the world, it is just down to you to utilise these platforms and make them successful. After all, that is the key: getting the right idea in front of the right audience!

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