Can we imagine faith and technology go hand in hand? Adoption of technology by traditional organizations like churches, nonprofits is a huge issue. In this article, we illustrate with the help of data how technology can give faith-based charities the much-needed tools to propel their mission and why you can no longer ignore the power of this massive virtual community.
Social media in recent years have emerged as the new marketplace, these virtual communities are being used as an outlet where people create and share ideas. With billions of active users today, faith-based charities have the opportunity to connect and communicate with the like-minded target audience and use this medium to raise funds for the good causes they believe in.
As per the data of 2017, 77% of the population of US had a social media account. If we look at that percentage, it turns out that 209 million social media users were there in the US in the year 2017. It is anticipated that this figure will rise to 221 million in the year 2022. This growing trend shows that more and more people are using social media. Thus social media plays a very important factor in approaching people for any kind of profit businesses and that holds true for nonprofits alike.
But why should a faith-based charity be concerned about this trend?
Since 77% of the population of US had a social media account in 2017, and by looking at the below data that shows that 80% of US citizens have faith in God, that these people must also be using a social media network is a high probability. Your charities should be approaching these prospect donors in all possible ways including social media.
The idea is to be present where your donors are on a medium of their choice. If more and more of your users are moving online, it makes sense for an organization to focus their communication strategy to suit their users. Not only is the resource management easier, but it is also cost effective. These saved funds can be used to promote your mission.
Let us illustrate a few facts along with data that will help you gain and build supporters through social media platforms.
Don’t shoot in the dark
First things first – do thorough research. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube must be the giants of social media. But that’s not all. Today, there are a plethora of social networking sites – Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and the list goes on. Does that mean you need to target each and every social media channel? Or maybe you are under the impression that targeting a couple of them will do the magic. Were you about to launch your campaign only on facebook?
Look at the above graph. You must think that a Facebook campaign would suffice to reach your audience. Now take a look at the second graph and see the social networking sites being used by the age group 18-29. Think, if your goal was to approach the millennials with a Facebook campaign, then you would have ended up missing other platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, through which you could have approached them as these platforms also have a huge share of people using it.
Now, what if you wanted to approach people who are 50+ and you guessed that they might be more active on Twitter? You can clearly derive from the graph that approaching them on Twitter would have been in vain as the percentage of people active on that platform is too low.
Now that you have done research on which social media platforms your potential supporters are using, you also need to research on the time when they are the most active on these sites. People will probably miss out on posts if you are posting things at a time when they are least active.
Get set with social media marketing goals
While you establish a full-fledged plan for your social media campaigns, it is equally important that you align your social media marketing goals with the mission and objective of your charity.
Think about your objectives, what your charity has to achieve in short term basis and also in the long run. Draw out a social media marketing plan by which you can achieve these short term and long term goals and thus take you a step further towards achieving your overall objectives.
There are certain factors that you must keep in mind while you frame your social media marketing goals such as the goals must be specific and relevant. This is very important that you define your goals and that it should not be ambiguous and should not stand out to be irrelevant otherwise you will end up your valuable time, money and efforts in vain.
A report card is a must
The goals that you set should be measurable so that you can clearly see the progress of your campaign. By doing so you ensure that the contours of your goals are delineated rather than those ending up vaguely and it will also ensure that these goals are accomplished in a timely manner. You can do so by keeping a track of metrics on social media such as the likes on your Facebook page, number of views on your posts and page, the retweets on Twitter and so on.
A well-optimized account results in a well-engaged account
May it be your existing social media account or one that you are about to create, in whichever case your account should be well optimized. What we mean by a well-optimized account is that you must not leave any profile field blank. Fields such as your website link or the hours you are open gets displayed on your business page. Write about the vision of your nonprofit organization in the description field. Leaving such fields unfilled will send out a negative impression to your audiences. Let your page stand out and for the reason, you must give attention to each and every minute details of the account.
Be consistent with your efforts
You think that creating a Facebook page, posting a couple of images on Instagram or tweeting a few tweets on Twitter will be sufficient. Well, that is not how social media campaigns work. You need to be consistent with your efforts by posting articles, blogs, images on a regular basis. To grab the attention of your supporters towards your brand and cause, you need to post regularly.
Now that you have gone through the blog, you must have understood the importance of social media for your faith-based charity and also, must have got an idea of how to carry out a social media campaign. It is not very simple but isn’t that complicated either. Just begin researching and start with creating a social media account while keeping in mind the points we have discussed!