Social networking
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May 5, 2015; Entrepreneur

In the nonprofit sector, there is a constant need to stand out in order to secure new, young, and diverse donors. As technology continues to be a focal point in society, nonprofits are turning to social media to get missions and campaigns in front of the masses.

Twitter and Facebook have long been the most popular social media outlets. However, in April 2014, the use of Snapchat by the World Wildlife Fund for its #LastSelfie campaign proved to be a wake-up call for organizations that limit their social media presence. Snapchat’s audience is mostly young women in their teens and early 20s—one of the hardest audiences to reach.

In addition to Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram are also reaching millennials when it comes to marketing efforts. So, how could these work for your organization?

  • Snapchat: The trickiest part of this platform is that a video or picture message will permanently delete itself after one to ten seconds (this is sender-controlled). Don’t look at this as a negative, however. Even with only a few seconds of “air time,” organizations should be able to capitalize on the impact. Remember Amsterdam’s stripping billboard from 2011? Think of Snapchat in the same way—each “snap” is your own personal billboard, which viewers will only take in for a few seconds but can lead to a bigger story.
  • Tumblr: This platform has the advantage of an unlimited character count per post and placing visual content front and center. Start out with a graphic or photo that jumps out at the Tumblr audience. Then, once interest has been grabbed, use text to elaborate on the purpose and calls to action.
  •  Instagram: The beauty of Instagram is just that—the beauty. Each post on this platform is specific and can be transformed into a perfectly cropped, uniquely shaded photograph. The purpose should be intimate, where the audience feels personally connected to services or to the organization itself. Instagram is a great way to show the stylish, idealized version of nonprofit work.

Looking at the culture of the organization, the gaps in demographic reach, and the resources at hand will help guide the use of social media in each individual nonprofit.—Erin Lamb