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Viken Mikaelian CEO

Viken Mikaelian CEO

Majorgifts.com LLC

Social Media Is a Full-time Job

The key to effective marketing is getting your message in front of your audience. The key to smart marketing is finding a cost-effective way to reach your audience where they spend the most time. Unless you’re a massive nonprofit, you probably lack the budget for an effective prime-time TV commercial. What about online, though? Americans are spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes a day on social media. What’s more, study after study shows that advertising on social media is far more cost-effective than any other outlet.

But there’s a catch: It takes effort.

And effort = work.

And most people do not like work.

While a Facebook ad is cheap (you can spend about $7 and get an ad in front of a targeted audience of 1,000 people) you also need to consider the cost of maintaining a consistent social media presence.

That’s right: a consistent presence. Because prospects and donors will very likely lose faith in your ability to carry out your mission if you can’t keep your page up to date. Plus, you need to monitor your social media — to engage readers, answer messages, and, sometimes, run damage control. Don’t forget that you also need to curate original content, as well as keep up with “likes” and “shares.” Oh, and those ads won’t create themselves, either.

The rewards of a well run social-media program can be great (just like a good planned giving program). But with all the other things you do at your nonprofit, are you willing to add more work?

My advice: Find yourself a good specialist and put systems in place so that you are consistently marketing. A little bit of this and a little bit of that will not only be distracting but have adverse effects on your organization. Just as in direct mail (postcards, newsletters, etc.) consistency, longevity, and likeable content is key.

Just remember…social media, if it is to be done right, is truly a full-time job. Do it right or don’t do it at all.

By the Numbers

Consider the recruitment opportunities for your organization that these stats indicate:

  • About 63 million Americans (25% of the adult population) volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.
  • These people spend an average of 52 hours/year volunteering.
  • 72% of volunteers are involved with only one organization, while 18.3% are involved with two.

Random interesting stats presented monthly from various sources.