Figuring out your content marketing strategy is, like many things, a bit of a dance: You make choreographed choices, pause, look backward, figure, and then move forward with a new set of designed steps, all in the spirit of wowing your audience and reaching the right people. This is certainly the case in figuring if and how social media will find its place in the future marketing strategies of organizations, across most industries. Deciding to ditch or dedicate your time to social media channels depends largely on assessing the successes and failures of its use in the past (and following suit with a similar or wildly different strategy, depending on your research findings). It also depends on your key objectives, goals, and measurable targets. Toronto’s Furniture Bank, a charity and social enterprise bringing gently-used furniture into the homes of people coming out of poverty, sees a hopeful future for social media in its overall marketing scheme in future. With goals to build brand awareness, strengthen relationships with partners over the social sphere, and market its charitable and industry events, the future is bright for social media in the context of this social enterprise. (Below: A personal story distributed on social channels on the impact of Furniture Bank’s work.)
Private and corporate business models have not ignored the wave of the future of marketing: social media. In theory, it is an ideal, magical marketing tool best used for garnering interest, building followers and customers, and monitoring the successes and failures of digital campaigns via an alarming amount of data. These functions continue to make social media central to the contemporary corporate marketing team. But what about the small business, the entrepreneur, or the industry of community services, charity, or social enterprise, where a multi-person marketing team is not in the cards? How might social media as a marketing tool aid a non-profit organization in reaching goals, building donors, and creating buzz with (sometimes) less resources? For the marketing team at Toronto’s Furniture Bank, social media is a key, cost-efficient, and effective tool in the promotion of the organization and meeting its ongoing goals of building brand awareness, growing donors, and strengthening relationships with its sponsors. (Below: A video giving a glimpse into Furniture Bank‘s daily operations, with a personal touch. The organization has used visual platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram in recent years to up its online content game, and give a more defined face to the brand, and how the Furniture Bank “machine” works.)
It’s the season of giving. And with more than 85,000 registered charities in Canada, the competition for your discretionary dollar is heating up. For traditional non-profits like the United Way, dealing with dwindling donation dollars is compounded by the rise of online, crowd-sourced and increasinlgy niche charitable initiatives. How does one of Canada’s largest and oldest charities break through the clutter, especially during the prime giving season, to successfully engage local, distracted and digitally savvy donors? While bricks-and-motar organizations like the United Way certainly have their work cut out, the increasing use of social media and the resulting metrics are helping organizations focus their marketing efforts to maximize awareness, engagement and, ultimately, donations.
When William Booth founded The Salvation Army back in 1882, he based much of its mission on the concept of “adapting to attract.” Employees of the Ontario Central East Division of The Salvation Army have recognized that utilizing the social media communication methods of today is in keeping with that concept, which is one of the reasons they are looking to Facebook Groups to help employees plan their 2016 Christmas Kettle Campaign.
Show of hands: how many of you have poured a bucket of ice water over your head? Had I asked this question two years ago, most of you probably would have thought it was a rather bizarre thing to ask. But, I’m guessing that most of you reading this have, in fact, poured a bucket of ice water on your head or, at the very least, know someone who has. In the summer of 2014, the phenomenon known as The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge swept across social media. It was hard to go even a few hours without seeing someone on Facebook or Twitter posting a video, bucket in hand. While it might have seemed like an odd phenomenon, the beauty of this challenge, and the reason why it was so successful, was that it was for a good cause: ALS awareness and research.
Organization name: Facebook Website: https://www.facebook.com/ Industry: Social Media. Advertise Your Cause, Attract Supporters, Accrue Donations, and Align Graphics to Show Goal Progression. In 2013, the developers at Facebook began testing tools for non-profits and charities to raise funds on their platform and allow for easy sharing of content. The popularity of social media for both business and consumers is no… Read more »
Organization name: Family & Children’s Services of Waterloo Region Foundation Industry: Non-profit (registered charity) Name of contact: Valerie Beyer, Donor Relations Coordinator Web references: The Globe and Mail: Canada’s Top 100 Non-Profit Organizations (Registered Charities) Bufferapp: Social Media for Non-Profits: High-Impact Tips and the Best Free Tools HubSpot: The “Three A’s” of Nonprofit Social Media Engagement SlideShare: Online Fundraising with Social Media… Read more »
Organization Name: ALS Association Name of Contacts: The ALS Association: @alsassociation Industry: Non-Profit Charity Organization Web references: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge What is the ALS Association: Founded in 1985, the ALS Association is a non-profit organization established to fight the Lou Gehrig’s disease. Through their Transitional Research Advancing Therapies for ALS, also known as the TREAT ALS program, the ALS… Read more »
https://soundcloud.com/gangbusters504/gangbusters-rain-down-in Organization Name: World Vision Canada Industry: Charity Name of Contact: Paola Philip How does charity get done locally, regionally, nationally or internationally? Local charity is simpler to facilitate – many churches have feeding & clothing programs etc. What about large scale global issues, humanitarian crisis, Ebola outbreaks and the like? How do charities arrive within the crisis area within 24-48 hours? Deployment with… Read more »
“Social media metrics refers to the kinds of measurements that can take place on the social Web. Beyond traditional metrics like traffic and return visits to your website, social media metrics take into account this simple fact: Most people are talking about your brands in all sorts of venues — social networks, blogs, forums, YouTube — well beyond your organization’s… Read more »
On Wednesday June 5th Tim Hortons and the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation teamed up to launch a nationwide effort to raise money to send kids to camps across Canada. The fundraising effort is based out of Tim Hortons stores. Social media was utilized heavily in 2012 with some great results and again is being used in 2013 to build up… Read more »