In this ever connected world of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and everything else, there’s one key piece of social media that non-profits often ignore: blogs. That’s right, blogs. From upper level media to smaller, more personally-oriented blogs, there is a great opportunity for non-profits to expand their online presence. Engaging bloggers and encouraging them to write about a non-profit’s mission, activities and events is not only a good promotional tool, but can also lead to greater search effectiveness, greater media awareness and an increase in unique visitors to your website, potentially leading to greater conversations (and hopefully, donations). Proper blogger engagement takes an investment of time, thought and effort, but can often lead to exceptional results. Here are some good principles and “best practices” to keep in mind when engaging bloggers: Create a Contact Database - Keep an Excel spreadsheet that contains a blogger’s name, blog title, URL, email address and key social media channels. Think of It as Fostering Relationships - Liz Strauss wrote a must-read article focusing specifically on this topic. Figure Out the Best Way to Contact - Although many bloggers have email, some are highly active on social media. Knowing the best way to reach out can often increase response time. Be Mindful of Disclosure Rules - Although this pertains specifically for merchandise, sometimes non-profits provide free/reduced admission for key events. WOMMA and CMP.LY provide great guidance about blogger disclosure. Be Willing to Be Mutual - If your non-profit is on social media, be sure that you’re not only forwarding your blogger’s posts pertaining to you, but integrating and sharing their content as well. All bloggers write for the sake of being read; sharing their content is a great way to foster good relations. Monitor, Monitor, Monitor - Setting up Google Alerts around your non-profit’s name, as well as any related topic, keeps you “in the know” about the latest news and information. Share the Links - Besides recording the links for your marketing/public relations efforts, share any blog mentions on your website, Twitter feed, Facebook, Google Plus, etc. This not only helps you get more attention, it gives bloggers something they are always seeking: new readers. And those new readers, in turn, can easily become advocates for your cause. At a time when communication via social media is short and sweet, blogs can potentially provide a more full-blooded look at your non-profit and its mission. Bloggers can be one of your most powerful, and consistent, advocates, helping you and your agency develop a stronger, more robust online profile. Blogger engagement should be one of the cornerstones of any non-profit social media strategy. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Gordon Dymowski has over ten years' experience in non-profit advocacy and marketing, with a professional focus on online and offline engagement around cause-related issues for organizations like the Salvation Army, the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse – St. Louis Area, and Greater Southwest Development Corporation. Specializing in community mobilization and engagement via both grassroots and more formal marketing/public relations strategies, Gordon has a broad range of experience in consumer package goods, business to business marketing, and cause-related issues. In his non-professional life, Gordon organizes Chicago Net Tuesday, which enables social benefit organizations to leverage the tools of the social web, and writes for a variety of online outlets on tech, non-profits, comics and popular culture.