One of the best things about social media is its ability to be exciting. Platforms and tools are constantly being created and improved. People are finding new ways to use established forms of social media every day.
Similarly, non-profits and associations must also grow, evolve and change with the times and the people they serve. By utilizing social media tools, both the young-gun ones and those of the old guard, organizations can continue to connect with the most integral part of their business: people.
Keeping up with the latest trends and platforms on social media is crucial to reaching a broad audience and serving that audience best, while achieving your organization’s goals. Here is a list of a few of social media platforms to keep an eye on in 2014 and why they could game-changers for your non-profit or association.
It’s time for organizations to start embracing Google+ with the zeal and zest Twitter and Facebook programs have received over the past couple years. Google+ offers a complete platform for non-profits and associations looking to boost awareness, education and engagement. With features like Google Hangouts (which could revolutionize webinar education sessions), the ability to share updates, links, etc., and the ease with which to connect with others, Google+ can be a one-stop shop for organizations looking to boost their reach and impact on social media.
There are other benefits to setting up a profile on the platform of the biggest search engine in the world. The main advantage is the SEO boost you could receive from getting attention on Google+. Better SEO means your organization will turn up higher on search lists when someone types in a query on Google, like “Canadian Trade Associations” or “Volunteer positions, Non-profits, Toronto”.
Google+ plus is trending upward and if you want your organization to do likewise, this platform would be a great investment.
A much deserved round of kudos goes to this article by Jennifer James that mentions Spotify as a growing platform for brands and organizations to increase exposure and awareness. Indeed, there are over 24 million active users on Spotify in over 50 markets worldwide.
That got us thinking, how could non-profits and associations use Spotify to draw engagement?
Imagine creating a playlist for a conference, a playlist of songs volunteers can listen to while helping out or even a list of your members’ songs if your association represented the music industry.
With a bit of creativity and work, the possibilities are endless when you combine the universal love of music, an on-the-rise social platform and your organization. It’s fun, it’s different and it leaves the hard-sell out of the equation.
Vine exploded onto the scene in 2013 and it looks like it’s here to stay in 2014.
You wouldn’t think that a video service that only allows six-second videos can be versatile, but that’s exactly what Vine is. By breaking free from the usual constraints of filming, editing and uploading longer videos, Vine allows users to share quick, visual updates to their connections.
Non-profits and associations can capitalize on this feature by providing great updates during events (“Wait, I missed that at the conference!? Well, I’m definitely going next year!”) and to donors (“It’s great to see the impact of my support”). It keeps from bogging down busy sponsors, members, volunteers, etc. with long and heavy videos. Besides, Vine lends itself to more creative applications, like contests or humorous clips.
Twitter and Blogs
Twitters and blogs are the old faithfuls of social media, which is saying something about how fast a platform can age in a relatively young area of marketing.
When put together, Twitter and blogs can be a dynamic duo for your organization. Great content is important to building an audience that recognizes your organization as expert and interesting. Leveraging blogs and the myriad of options they bring, is a great way to do this.
Twitter is the vehicle to get your blog out there. Passing on great content and generating discussion from your posts will boost engagement, build lasting relationships and increase awareness.
Social media has changed the way non-profits and associations serve their members and the community. These platforms will no doubt evolve, grow and emerge in 2014. Utilizing these platforms will help your organization thrive with hard work, creativity and consistency.
Which social media platforms do you think will have a major impact in 2014? Let us know in the comments.