Marketing Tips for Nonprofits

Marketing your campaign is the critical factor between success and failure.

Tips for marketing

Focus your efforts on social media, as well as community outreach.

As a nonprofit organization you are planning a special event to create awareness in your community about the work you do. You, the staff and volunteers have spent countless hours planning an amazing event that will show the entire city what you do. How much would you be showing if no one showed up? How heartbreaking would that be?

With the rising popularity of various social media platforms, you can actually market your special event on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media can actually assist you before, during and after with various tools to ensure that your special event is very successful.

Before your campaign

Post your event on Twitter. Create an event page on Facebook and LinkedIn and invite followers. Set it up so that others can invite as well, since this will help boost attendance. Once one of your followers RSVP’s, it shows up on their page and extends the marketing for you. It is fairly easy at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to set up accounts so that you can continue to use these platforms to market your organization. Word of mouth is an amazing tool, once you have learned how to use it.

Many nonprofit organizations have blogs these days to corner their own little space on the Internet that seems more personal and friendly than the corporate website. Blogs can be a great place to market your event and even post pictures of the planning process. Any tool that you can use to market should be used. These are all tools in your toolbox, how much you use them is up to you.

During your campaign

More and more people these days “Check In” on Facebook and Foursquare. It costs you nothing to set up an event on these two pages. Many people link all of their accounts so that they only have to post once. When people check in using Facebook or Foursquare, it shows up on multiple accounts. It shows up on the feed of everyone else who follows or is friends with the person checking in. That is powerful. If your nonprofit has a Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare account, you should check in at your own event. That continues to get the word out- even during your event.

Many people carry smart phones and are always taking pictures and posting them immediately to Facebook and Twitter. Encourage that, If they haven’t tagged your Facebook or Twitter page in the post, you can! This doesn’t replace the organizational photos that your staff will take and post but remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. If you do have an organizational blog, do some live blogging. Or live tweeting from the event. Let people feel the excitement and fun that is going on so that they want to be there. Many organizations live tweet press conferences, community events, and public meetings to keep their followers engaged in their activities.

After your campaign

Gather the photos and videos after the event. Put short video clips on your Facebook and Twitter pages. nonprofits are even setting up their own YouTube accounts these days and posting videos to YouTube. Post your event photos to the event page you created at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. This lets those who attended see themselves and lets those that did not attend see what all they missed.

Flickr is a photo sharing site that many nonprofits are using now because this lets you post your pictures from various events in a historical context. You can create a visual history of the various events your organization has participated in.

After the campaign, your organization can solicit feedback from those that attended via your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can use the information provided to help you create your next event. This information is vital in the organizations efforts to continue to provide quality services to the community.