Social Media & NonProfits: Make it Easy for Your Fans to Help You
The internet encourages people to pass on music and other stuff they are passionate about.
Causes are a perfect fit!
Here are just a few things Nonprofits and their Fans can do to encourage their message to spread:
— Nonprofits: What can you do? —
- Make it cool.
“Nothing but Nets” succeeded, in part, because it simplified a big issue: buy a child a $10 net, help prevent the spread of malaria. An easy message to absorb and pass on. And $10 is an amount most everyone can give. Awesome.. (See New York Times, “A $10 Mosquito Net Is Making Charity Cool“)
- Fun it up.
Games can go a long way to educating people in an interactive way. (e.g. Games for Change, World Without Oil)
- Tell a story.
Numbers are dull and impersonal. People relate to stories. Who is affected? What is happening? (See “Social networking sites help nonprofit tell stories, raise awareness“)
- Don’t be cruel.
Don’t play “find the donate button” with potential donors.
Your request for donations, if important to your cause, should be clear, prominent and distinctive. (See “I Can’t Even Give It Away (Or “A Brief Review of Donate Buttons on Non-Profit Websites”)
- Blog, Blog and Blog Again.
Talking and listening is critical in the Web 2.0 sphere. Begin the conversation and encourage interaction. (See “5 Tips to Start a Nonprofit Blog”)
- Tag – We’re All It.
Encourage people to use tags. Basically, “think of a tag as a simple category name. People can categorize their posts, photos and videos with any tag that makes sense.” Using the same tag means related information can be found with ease – on del.icio.us, Flickr, Youtube etc . – as well as aggregated into feeds. (See “Make your nonprofit more effective with RSS aggregation”)
—Supporters: What Can You Do?—
- Have Camera, Will Shoot.
Shoot pictures that tell your story (you can even use your cell phone). Put them on Flickr.
Shoot a video – say what’s on your mind, interview others, create a short documentary about your cause or give tips on how others can help. (Youtube gives you pointers at “Broadcast Your Cause – YouTube Nonprofit Program”. Example of interesting videos: “Let’s Make a Change 2008”, “Lindsay Coulter – Suzuki’s Queen of Green” offers some tips and “Adam is Cycling From Vancouver to Mexico”.)
- Get Organized.
Plan a protest, a meeting etc.
Arrange a happening in the real world using Meetup.com and Facebook – or raise real awareness by creating a virtual event (e.g. EarthHour on Facebook).
- Plant the Seed.
Ask for donations to your charity at key dates. (E.g. “My birthday” – tip from Beth Kanter on Slideshare – or a special occasion like a “bar mitzvah”).
- Chirp, Rattle and Tweet.
Mention what you are doing (raising money, volunteering etc. – on Facebook status, Twitter etc.) or raise money.
Post articles your feel are important to the cause (on Facebook, and/or bookmark them on del.icio.us.
Raise awareness with a Facebook group (e.g. “Wear a Pink T-shirt on February 27th and Take a Stand Against Bullying”). Bonus points if it encourages people to change/take new profile photos – and even load them to your page – which will then appear on NewsFeeds (another example: Raise Your Hand if You Think the Media Was Too Soft on Bush.)
(Oh & take a look at some of the tips given to nonprofits above. They apply to you as well.)
Make use of social media to help you mobilize, inform and educate and get your message around.
YOU have the message and the tools.
Now go spread the word.
Bibliography and Further Resources:
Oh & if the video below doesn’t demonstrate a great way a message can be conveyed – I don’t know what does.
Presenting…. Internet Celebrities in a music video supporting Net Neutrality:
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