Guest Author - Kristal Johnson
Social Networking Craze
Social networking is one of the easiest ways to promote your fundraiser. You can share pictures and stories from past events. Joining a social network is free so there's no reason not to give it a try. These sites bridge the gap across the miles better than email campaigns.
Using sites like these, you can create a page that tells all about you and your foundation. Look for people who are already connected to your cause so you can keep up with what is going on in their businesses as well.
How to Use Them Effectively
Let's look at a site like Facebook. It is highly popular and can be beneficial for both business and personal use. On the business side, you can post links to your website when fundraisers are occurring, or newsletters that are published.
If you blog, post links to your newest blog posts (or to guest blog posts you're doing elsewhere around the blogosphere). Highlight stories, foundation news and other events that you are a part of. What about an online radio show? You can invite connections to listen to live podcasts to learn more about your business.
On a site like YouTube, you can post videos and add the links to your Facebook profile, Twitter stream, etc. Invite people to view and leave comments.
The best part about social sites such as these is that friends and business contacts can pass your links on to others who might be interested in the topics as well. Quite possibly viral marketing at its best!
The one thing to remember about promoting your charity on social networking sites is not to do so just for that purpose. Relax and get to know the people you are trying to reach out to. They say that social networking can be addictive. While it can be a double edged sword if you're not careful, setting boundaries will make it addictive in a good way by bringing awareness to your nonprofit.
Just like so many other marketing tools, the name of the game is relationships. You can build meaningful ones with your target audience and business associates on all the social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook of course, and others.
If you aren't currently using any social networking platform, now is a great time to start. Each business contact you meet, invite them to be your friend or follower. Who knows? You could be connecting with donors or find your next business connection to help you take your agency to the next level.