In our ongoing look at social media tips for nonprofit fundraising I thought it would be interesting to look ahead to 2014 and create a checklist of social media marketing ideas for the new year. One of the most exciting things about social media is that it continues to evolve very rapidly which means that the opportunity to build your brand and connect with your donors keeps expanding. 2013 has been another high-water mark for social media with new trends, better integration and an ever-growing audience of users.
2013 may well go down as the year of photo and video sharing apps with Snapchat and Vine adding to the deep impact already created via Pinterest and others. The continued growth in popularity of Pinterest and Instagram have especially impressed observers in the industry and demonstrated that there is more to social media than just the tried and tested methods.
'Facebook Insights' - one of 5 methods to kickstart your nonprofit fundraising social media campaign in 2014 (click to enlarge)
Let’s take a look at five opportunities for nonprofits to explore further in 2014.
1. Get More From Facebook
Facebook remains the leader in social media marketing and it’s remarkable that many people aren’t making the most out of the analytics (Facebook Insights ) provided by the Facebook technical team. Totally reworked in 2013, Insights now provides layered statistics that allow you to dissect the best time of day to post, what content works best, how your content is shared and a host of other information about the demographics of your readers. That’s just the tip of the iceberg and we’ll look at that in more depth soon.
2. Diversify Your Social Media Presence
It has become comfortable and for most part accurate to rely on Facebook and Twitter to pull the weight of your social media campaign and while these two still stand tallest in the social media skyline the shared impact of other networks grew significantly this year and that trend looks set to continue in 2014. Pinterest has seen remarkable growth and has become a key driver for website and particularly blog traffic over the last eighteen months and the wave has yet to break. In fact it appears that strides made by Instagram and Vine show that mobile video and photo sharing are not only here to stay but set to grow as well. Make sure you also enhance your user profiles to their fullest ability to share your message and pinpoint your audience.
3. Content Marketing Remains Key
Video and photo sharing have created a buzz that has helped but content marketing will remain the foundation for your nonprofit that audiences remember, engage with and respond to. I’ve seen sites that have placed an over-reliance of video and photos and ultimately it creates a site with little lasting depth, fast food as opposed to a gourmet meal in a five-star restaurant. Search engines and your audience know the difference too, which is why you should never sacrifice building deep and strong content. Blogging remains at the pinnacle of that approach and studies show that businesses with a blog generate 67% more leads than those without. Engaging content that has value to your readers should be at the heart of all you do.
4. Local and Mobile Advertising
Mobile use and mobile advertising has gone through the ceiling in 2013 and shows no signs of slowing down. It’s an area that we all need to learn more about as like others I’d continued to focus on more traditional social media outlets. The way people use the web is migrating so rapidly toward mobile and your audience want to engage in real-time via mobile devices. For a primer perform a search for ‘Location Based Advertising’ or read this interesting piece about the concept on Forbes.com. Definitely worth exploring in the new year if you haven’t already.
5. Monitor Results and React
I like numbers, perhaps a little too much, but one of the joys in social media is that via a free service such as Google Analytics you can study your traffic and engagement both historically or in real-time and create useful reports from the broadest down to the very specific. The beauty of analytics is that it removes guesswork, changes that you make to your social media strategy and your website/blog can be assessed the next day or week allowing you to make informed decisions about what is best helping you connect with your audience. Above all else be prepared to experiment but then also invest time in learning about the results that you can study via Google Analytics along with the various metrics provided by Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest and YouTube.
I hope that some of these social media ideas prove to be helpful for you in 2014 and feel free to add your own and if you have any questions please comment below.