Small businesses and nonprofits face a different set of circumstances when it comes to social media marketing than their larger for-profit counterparts, namely: smaller budgets, fewer employees and a greater priority on traditional forms of marketing.
For those charged with marketing, the biggest first step toward making social media an integral component of the plan may be convincing your organization. Despite widespread use of social networks for personal connections, the leadership of smaller organizations often questions its effectiveness as a marketing tool and whether they’ll see a return on their investment.
I’ve developed and implemented social media strategies for a variety of organizations — for-profits, nonprofits, and individuals. For all of them, I’ve discovered, when it comes to social media, it’s important to remember the 5 P’s:
Identify what you hope to accomplish and create a strategy to take you there. Too many nonprofits and small businesses dive into social media because they “have” to and don’t consider a plan of action before they do so. Make a list of what you want to accomplish. Is it to gain more donors? Get a higher attendance at your annual fundraiser? Increase sales?
Make it a priority to identify goals so you can create the social media strategies for meeting them.
Nothing happens overnight. It takes time to develop relationships and establish credibility with your brand and your target audience. Over time, events and a steady pace will win out. Rushing leads to mistakes.
The type of patience I’m referring to is a long-term mindset. When day-to-day activities seem arduous and, at times, unfulfilling, know that each day builds to the greater goal. March on.
You must be stubbornly committed to your goals and your strategy. Keep plugging away and give your plan a fair amount of time and analysis before you pull the plug. If you know the plan is a good one, it’s not a good idea to panic and change course simply because you’re not seeing results as quickly as you’d like.