Chances are, your non-profit doesn’t come close to having the same goals and resources as a corporate behemoth, but when it comes to online marketing strategies sometimes a little cross-pollination is a good thing. Both non-profits and corporations strive to build a community that supports their product or mission, and integrate their work into the digital lives of their audience. So although the two sectors differ greatly, non-profits can benefit from employing some corporate digital marketing strategies.
The 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Social Media Benchmark Study recommends that “businesses need to understand how their consumers use social media and then develop a strategy that addresses their usage patterns.” Ernan Roman, President of Ernan Roman Direct Marketing wrote in Huffington Post Business about how Hewlett Packard has embraced this tactic and offers five key takeaways from their online program that non-profits can also embrace to bolster their online efforts.
1. Give Customers a Platform for Product Feedback
Let’s make a slight change to “Give Advocates a Platform for Product Feedback.” Through opening the channels of communication with your advocates, non-profits can gain valuable qualitative feedback about their efforts. Especially when launching a campaign or message, soliciting community feedback can provide your organization with the community’s opinion of your new direction while also fostering a sense of ownership within your community.
2. Encourage Community Engagement.
No change needed here. Non-profits should have staff who are able to provide community engagement. Your online community wants to hear from the organization, and engage with your brand and issues. Providing opportunities to do so adds value to membership, encourages higher levels of engagement, and will increase the visibility of your organization.
3. Designate Community Ambassadors
Encourage your advocates to become ambassadors of your organization by making direct asks to share content and advocacy campaigns. The great thing about online advocacy is that it doesn’t take too much for anyone to become an ambassador for your cause.
4. Create Channel Integration.
Non-profits can benefit greatly from integrating their social media communities with their email and advocacy platforms. By merging the data of all advocates in one platform, organizations will understand where their advocates are engaging with the organization, and build an informed strategy to move advocates to higher quality actions.
5. Set Policies and Train Social Staff.
Every organization with an online presence should design social media policies and style guides. All staff operating the social media channels should be properly trained so that the organizational voice is consistent. In the same vein, organizations should be sure to share their posting policies on their about page for transparent and consistent community management.