Clients often ask us why we need to use social media. More often than that, we get asked which social network is better for them to use.
As more organisations are using Twitter and Facebook and they are the most used social networks, I thought it would be useful to think about Facebook or Twitter which one do you need?
Many people use social networking for connecting to friends and family. Many businesses, charities and organisations have cottoned on to the idea that social networking can help them and enhance their public profile.
For a charity, their public profile is fundamental in driving their cause and raising donations. Social networking pages on Twitter or Facebook can help in marketing their messages.
A little detour…What is Social Networking?
“The use of a dedicated Web site to communicate informally with other members of the site, by posting messages, photographs, etc.”
Social networking implies that we can be friendly with our audience and why not? Good customer service is known to return loyal customers.
This principle also applies to charities. Having a good social networking strategy and increasing the number of follower’s means you have potentially increased your income via donors and the amount of people to spread the word about your charity and increase your popularity.
So back to Facebook or Twitter which one do you need?
- Compared to Twitter you have more space for content. You have room to explain more about your charity, your cause and generate a more detailed conversation
- You can set up the Facebook business page for a wider public profile
- You can breakdown your contacts into key groups i.e. press, donors, key contacts, sponsors etc.
- You can gather feedback
- You can set up event pages for fundraising campaigns
- Facebook is an online tool for sharing and connecting, with photos, video, chat and email
- You can stay in touch with a specific group of people
- You can use apps to promote your charity – here is a list of Facebook’s top 10 charity apps
- Twitter is quick marketing and great for fundraising campaigns
- You have a 140 characters to post your message
- Twitter is a much more open arena to befriend and follow people you do not know or organisations you are interested in
- You are exposed to more than just your network of friends
- Twitter is a good starting point for social networking and creating your public profile especially if you are new to social networking
- Twitter can be a great easy tool for promoting things
- Twitter can be similar to your 30 seconds in an elevator pitch – It lets you be quick and get to the point
- With the abitlity to tweet you can get an immediate response from your audience
Overall Benefits of both
- Both can be used for enhancing your charity’s public profile
- You can connect with your donors, clients, sponsors etc
- You can gather feedback or testimonials
- You can instigate discussion
- They both help to recruit donors/followers
- Facebook and Twitter helps you reach a global audience
- They drive traffic to your main website
- You can use Facebook and Twitter to learn more about your audience
- Both social networks let you create a community for your charity
- They enhanc a loyal followership
- They allow you to have personalised pages to represent your brand and identity
I think the answer here is that you need to use a social network option that works for you and your charity. It has to be a viable networking solution that ties in with your overall marketing strategy.
Both Facebook and Twitter are great options to promote your charity and your cause. One thing to remember and many organisations fall short on this, is that it is worth investing time and people into managing the social networking pages.
If people are commenting and posting on your pages, it’s worth staying on top of the pages and responding accordingly which also encourages trust and reinforces your commitment, not only to your to your social network pages but also your audience.
We have become quite an impatient society and the growth of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have highlighted this. Facebook and Twitter enable your charity to get your messages out quickly and provide the opportunity for intantaneous responses.
As many people’s first point of search is Google, we also look for Facebook and Twitter pages for organisations we want to know about and stay in contact with.