3 Tips for Using Social Media to Engage Supporters and Optimize Nonprofit Fundraising | Miratel Solutions

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3 Tips for Using Social Media to Engage Supporters and Optimize Nonprofit Fundraising

The impact of social media on nonprofits is extensive as it not only increases the nonprofit’s reach and opportunities for engagement but it also is very accessible regardless of size or budget of the nonprofit. Of course, the ultimate goal is to improve nonprofit fundraising and this goal can benefit by maintaining a professional presence on key social media platforms. According to recent research by Zendesk and compiled via infographic titled Social Media and the Future of Customer Support, 23% of online users spend their time on the top 5 social network platforms: Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, and site blogs. However, how these platforms are used by each nonprofit needs careful consideration and planning to avoid the benefit becoming a double-edge sword.3-tips-nonprofit-fundraising-social-media-

Increasing visitors to your site is definitely beneficial but you are also giving these visitors a forum to voice views, concerns and complaints that could be disparaging to the organization if not monitored and diffused in a timely manner. This is where the double-edge sword can come into play. In the Zendesk research previously mentioned, aside from email, 62% of consumers have taken to social media to seek support from a company and at times this was done unintentionally.

I can draw on my own experience with this as I recently arrived home to find I had a leak in a room in my apartment that had spread to other rooms. I reported it to my property management office and scheduled an appointment with them to assess the situation. They failed to show up for this appointment and did not answer any of my calls that followed. I then expressed my concern on a Facebook wall that was not even theirs. I received a call from the CEO’s office the very next business day and plans were made to rectify the situation and the plans were kept. They were definitely interested in putting out this potential online ‘fire’. That was the power of social media and it’s effect on customer service in action.

Social media is clearly emerging as a customer support channel and nonprofits need to be prepared on how to manage and deal with this relatively new medium in terms of donor relations. What can nonprofits do? As a starting point, the following 3 tips will help ensure nonprofits provide efficient donor care and support through social media channels:

  1. Dedicated Resources.Due to the growth of social media, nonprofits would be best served by assigning dedicated resources to maintain, engage and respond to (potential) donors who choose to use these alternate online channels as an access point to their organization. Be sure to only venture into channels that you have the resources/time to invest. By dedicating consistent resources, nonprofits can efficiently provide…
  2. Timely Responses.Unlike other channels, like telephone and email support, social media is real-time and VERY public. What others are saying about the nonprofit can significantly cause damage to the legitimacy and reputation of the organization. It’s critical that the dedicated resources are providing timely responses to address and defuse situations that can quickly escalate and mushroom out of control.
  3. Brand Monitoring. There are many free social media platform tools such as HootSuite and TweetDeck (to name a few) that allow nonprofits to monitor its brand by keyword (usually your organizations name and variations of). You can be alerted any time your brand is mentioned on social platforms and anywhere on the web.

This social media growth trend will undoubtedly continue to grow and evolve and although we can’t control where it goes from here we can (and should) make every effort to control how our brands are represented both directly and indirectly to the public.
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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