In a world where using social media to communicate with target audiences can easily dominate the conversation, email communications are commanding less attention. Rarely do I hear friends and peers raving about the amazing e-newsletter they received from their nonprofit of choice. Instead, I hear about motivational YouTube videos, inspiring Pinterest boards, heartbreaking/heartwarming Facebook photos and captivating tweets.
While social media has proven an effective communication tool for many nonprofits, it is important to remember that not all audiences are engaging with your organization through social communication channels. Most nonprofits still have constituents who prefer a hardcopy newsletter be mailed to them.
As organizations devote additional resources to building a robust and engaging social media presence, it is important to find ways to leverage social media content – and community input – to enhance other nonprofit communications. For example, the e-newsletter. Here are four ways to make your nonprofit’s e-newsletter more social:
Add a section for social snippets
Just because your organization already shared a compelling statistic on Twitter, doesn’t mean it can’t have a place in the e-newsletter. Aggregate a small grouping of social media content that is appropriate to share through this additional communication channel. Dedicate a section of the e-newsletter to this content and let readers know how they can engage with the content – and your organization – through social media.
Include pre-formatted tweets and Facebook posts
Time is a scarce commodity for many. Make it easy for readers to share your content by including a couple of pre-formatted social media updates that can be shared across their networks. Be sure to include either your organization’s Twitter handle or a link to its Facebook page so that you can both track and thank individuals who share your information.
Ask e-newsletter subscribers to share content
An e-newsletter can also provide an opportunity to ask community members for third-party content. Encourage supporters – be they donors or volunteers – to share their story on your Facebook page and or blog. To grow your nonprofit’s audience, ask third-party contributors to cross-promote the content on their own social networks.
When reading your nonprofit’s e-newsletter, is it clear to donors, volunteers, strategic partners, staff and other constituents how to connect with your organization online? A carefully-placed widget can help to grow your nonprofit’s social communities.
Making e-communications social media-friendly is key to growing a nonprofit’s online communities and helping to spread information to new audiences. The next time you draft your nonprofit’s e-newsletter or a timely e-blast, consider how you can increase its reach by making the content social media-ready.
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