The Nonprofit Advantage

The Nonprofit Advantage

heartstrings

Pulling the Heart Strings

By Deborah York Geiger, APR

They don’t call them “heart strings” for nothing, and when it comes to Social Media, nonprofits have a significant advantage and I will tell you why.

Social Media is a tricky medium. It doesn’t always generate immediate actions that result in sales. The promotions that are successful take investment not only in Facebook advertising, but a significant investment in time, creativity and budget to create an artfully designed campaign. Some things never change. Just as in the past, the promotions that work, take forethought and planning.

Many businesses have become disappointed in their social media results. The big success stories have led them to believe that all they had to do was post and sales would come! People are finicky, though, when it comes to their social time, we have to make it interesting to have an impact. They will not seek out a company that is just pushing out ad messages, they simply won’t. We have to pull at the heart strings or elicit a powerful emotion to get their attention.

One of the best articles I have read on this topic is by Eric Jaffe. He sums it up like this:

“Recent research suggests that emotions hold the secret to viral web content. Articles, posts, or videos that evoke positive emotions have greater viral potential than something that evokes negative feelings, but both do a better job recruiting clicks than neutral content.”

This where nonprofits have a significant advantage! My advice to nonprofits is to take your powerful stories, past and present, and package them in a digital manner. Make a powerful presentation with your quotes, success stories and images using free services like http://animoto.com/ or http://prezi.com/ . Build a photo collage or an infographic using free tools: http://www.fotor.com/ or http://piktochart.com/.

Once you have the fresh content developed, announce it at a board meeting or your next public gathering. Provide it to your volunteers, staff and board members via e-mail or your social networks. Encourage everyone to tune in for the latest “sharable content.” Give them something ready to share with their own friends and followers. This strategy works best when repeated often!

Need help? I have a softspot in my heart for nonprofits, having spent eight years of my career working the heart strings. I would be happy to provide a free consultation.