I write and edit copy for direct mail, email, websites and social media. Each has its own rythm and technique.
Your website has to tell visitors who you are, what you do, where you do it, why you do it, how long you've done it, why they should want to work with you and how can they start working with you...or at least it should.
Websites are fairly static. And MOST non-profits (I know there are exceptions) keep the same content on the site and update infrequently.
But social media is different. You have to post frequently, so people know you are a viable and active organization. Social Media let's the visitor peak under the hood. They can see what you did last night, or even this morning.
What professional conference did you attend last month? Or which one are you speaking at today?
Visitors to your social media channels go there to get to know your organization. They want to get a feel for who they are going to do business with, or send a donation to.
So you have to let them in a little bit. You still want to give them a good impression of you, your employees and your organization, but you can show some them some unscripted moments, like pictures of the people you are trying to help.
And you can have some fun to: Did Bob in Accounting bring his dog in again? Did his dog eat the donuts you supply on Friday's again? "Oh, Bob" 'Aww shucks, Bob's dog."
Good clean family fun - that let's people know there are human beings behind that impenetrable facade of the homepage? That's OK on social media.
What's not OK?
- Being "off-message".
If you are talking about the need for money to help veterans you might not want to show the entire staff at a lavish retreat, complete with your CEO rappelling down a wall.
(Writers note - I am not passing judgement on Steven Nardizzi or WWP. I believe that much of what was reported stems from a lack of understanding about fundraising. I am passing judgment on the dangers of appearing "off-message" on social media.)
- Another no-no - Don't post personal or political opinions on your social media channels, especially if you have a high paying job you could lose, UNLESS they directly futher and support your non-profits mission...and probably still not then.
- And finally don't try to be funny. First of all it's hard to do and secondly you never know who you might offend.
So keep in mind that it is OK to show the personality of your organization, your prospective donors will research you there, just make sure they'll like what they find.
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