Websites and Social Media tips for non-profit organisations and small businesses

I am involved in several groups and non-profit organisations and because of my involvement in the I.T. Industry, I’m often asked key questions about what are the right online tools to benefit non-profit organisations and small businesses. So here’s some insight and advice I'm passing on which I hope will be of some benefit to your group.

It’s certainly a challenge for small organisations to find the time to choose the the right online tools from the large selection available, and sometimes a bigger challenge to find the right motivated and dedicated people to manage them!

The right promotional tool for business and non-profits usually comes down to – What is the easiest solution? What is the most popular? Whatever you decide my most valuable advice is this - have a website. A website offers you control of your content, assurance of no hidden costs or changing rules, and a reliable place for members and the public alike to find you. Your website should be something that is straightforward and easy to edit, to avoid further costs for any small changes and updates as required.

With so many social media options available, it’s hard to know where to start, so here’s an introduction into what online tools would benefit non-profit organisations and small businesses, and how to tie them all together to make online social media easier…

youtube_craftvidYouTube

YouTube can be a great tool for non-profit organisations, as video is such a powerful tool for sharing and teaching skills and crafts in a huge range of topics; from woodworking to knitting, jewellery making to book-binding and more.

You can make YouTube work for you by showing what you do, and from there directing people back to you website to contact you, and/or view more information about what you can offer, including membership opportunities.

Emailing

All groups and individuals need to be aware that large amounts of emails being sent from one email address can raise warning flags. This may result in your email address being marked as a spam source and becoming blacklisted.

Emailing all your members is fine, and it can work well but - it can also backfire. Be aware of the danger of sending bulk emails to large list of contacts, especially as your member list is constantly increasing. Sending bulk emails can be risky.

twitter_cookiesTwitter

Twitter is an online networking service that enables individuals to send and read short messages of only 140 characters max. Using Twitter (or 'tweeting') is commonly known as “microblogging”.

For small groups this is a good way to get known, invite new members, as keep up with what’s going on in similar organisations. Ask us about having your tweets run through your website, or linking your Facebook posts to your Twitter account.

Newsletter Systems

I recommend to many groups to look at using a Newsletter System instead of bulk emailing. Rather than emailing all of your members, look at the option of using a newsletter system like ActiveMail. There are some really good, simple-to-use email systems available, that can complement your group identity and brand with a custom email template design. Click here for ActiveMail newsletter pricing.

For more information on sending beautifully designed email newsletters to your non-profit group members or small business customers, take a look at the ActiveMail Email Marketing System. This is a very easy to use and straightforward system with a variety of helpful tools available, including real-time statistics on who has viewed your email, what links they have clicked on, what interests them, and more.

facebook_pillowFacebook

I’m often asked; “It okay that I only have a Facebook page for my organisation?” Let’s just say, it’s not ideal.

Having a Facebook page can certainly be a good thing; it’s a great way for other Facebook users to find you and to send you messages, but it's not a reliable home-base.

The challenge with Facebook is that the rules are constantly changing. Where once you could post to all your follows, now it’s just not the case as Facebook continues to move away from supporting groups and businesses and focuses more on user-pays. My advice, use your posts to simply keep referring people to your website.

Blog

A blog is a great tool for sending updates, but how do you get it out to members? Usually people email it, and run across the same issues as above, with Blacklisting and email ending up in spam folders. At Activate Design we integrate blogs into our websites so that members can simply check your website for updates and view all of your recent and historical blog posts.

These days a website is simply a must, and if you don't have one you're missing out on wider audience and the ease of connecting to group member or new customers.

Contact us today to discuss how you can have a clean, modern and professional website for your business or organisation, and what social media and additional functionality would benefit your unique group.

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