In 2012, SocialIRL hosted half a dozen full-day conferences on using “Social Media for Nonprofits” and I’ve had the pleasure of being among the line-up, talking about really integrating — not just adding — social media.

Ben Smith who puts on the conferences, truly believes – as do we at emfluence! – that social media is a great outlet for nonprofits.  It’s easy (as in, it doesn’t take a degree to learn) and fast to create an account. Each post and interaction is trackable. Using social media is cost-effective, though definitely NOT free. Most importantly, it focuses on connecting with your communities.

But social media isn’t a magic pill. It doesn’t stand on its own and replace all your other marketing. The best way to really get the most out of social media is to let social media help you get the most out of your other marketing, communications and customer service tactics. Use social media – a unique “owned then earned medium – boost your traditional and digital marketing campaigns. Use each social medium for what it’s best at. If your product or cause doesn’t fit with a Pinterest crowd, don’t create an account, just because it’s the cool new kid on the block. If you can tell a great story through short, share-worthy videos, YouTube may be a priority for you.

Most importantly: have a plan. Take out your marketing calendar and map out your big campaigns: monthly email newsletter, annual food drive, etc. Add the social media content you already know you’ll want to post around those same topics & dates. Then fill in the blanks with great curated content and you’ve got a great start to your social media plan of attack. All of these posts are movable of course. Authentic social media happens quickly! But at least you have a plan to start with.

Flip through the slides from my presentation “Integrating – Not Just Adding – Social Media.” Still have questions? Look me up on Twitter @emfluence or send an email to my email address on the last slide of the presentation.

Thanks to Ben and the SocialIRL team for another great event!

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