Recently Facebook reported that 81% of all adults using the Internet visited their social media platform on a regular basis. Facebook is only one of the many important social media platforms that businesses and non-profits are using to reach out to new customers, donors, volunteers, etc.
So what is social media and why do you need it? Just like being "social" in real life, people tend to like to have a conversation, make comments, rate businesses, volunteer, etc. online via social media. In fact, someone is most like to frequent a business or use a service if it comes recommended by one of their social media friends/associates.
If you're looking for volunteers, many national non-profits have found that LinkedIn produced more volunteers then others. This was in part due to the type of individuals that have LinkedIn accounts. They tend to be better educated, work-oriented, and a keen desire to help contribute to their communities. Originally established to help foster business connections, LinkedIn has been found to be a very useful social media platform for volunteers and other communication.
If you own a business, reaching out to the community via social media allows you to connect with new and existing customers in a "non-in-your-face-selling" way. It is important that you recognize that you shouldn't be doing social media if you don't have the skills to do it right (that's a reason to hire a professional company) or ensure that it will help your bottom line or achieve other marketing goals. Your social media should lead people to your website where you can really sell them and educate them on your products, services, or programs.
Make sure that your social media efforts are all part of a consistent branding effort. We hear people say all the time, "I can do that! I don't need to hire someone to help." Generally we find that they didn't recognize the difference in setting up professional accounts versus the personal accounts they may have set-up as a hobby or just for fun.
The types of post, pictures or other items you put on social media platforms should be very professional and business oriented. Correct titles of your posts and especially the content are critical for best results.
Recognize that social media is a key online marketing effort to grow your business or organization. It can be fun when done correctly and truly have an impact on your growth. Good luck!
to learn how to increase your social media presence!