It’s no secret that there are many ways to showcase your brand online. But even more importantly, other people are also online talking about your nonprofit through blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more. Just as you are conscious of how you present your nonprofit’s brand, you should remember your brand is also being communicated by other people.
How your brand is expressed through social media not just about you having a blog or updating your social media profiles regularly. It's also about other people portraying and reflecting your brand in what they do online. While you want to be consistent about what you put out there, you really can't control everything that's out there. Others will mention you, your services or your cause and it will reflect your brand in different ways.
If you do a really great job with branding, hopefully, your core values will come out in those conversations online. You do have to let go of a little bit of control of your brand, but take heart -- the truly successful brands applaud that lack of control, embrace it and give their 'brand champions' – those people out there talking about you in a positive way, the ones who love you -- the tools to spread the word about them online.
Social media gives us a whole new way to get our brand out there, and access to new messengers to project our brand efficiently. So, how do you do that? Think about everything you do and how you can make it portable. How can you take what you do and put it in the hands of your supporters, so they can reflect your brand wherever they are online? It’s really a great opportunity to get your cause seen by more people than you would otherwise be able to access. It's up to you to offer the inspiration and tools that will empower your supporters to distribute your message and share their emotional connection with your organization.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Offer a fundraising widget that allows supporters to share a way to donate on their blogs or Facebook pages.
- Create a badge that donors can use as their social media avatars or post to their social streams.
- Ask supporters to share photos from your events or photos that represent your cause.
- Offer a Facebook cover photo or Twitter background image that represents your brand and signifies their support.
- Create downloadable posters or flyers that supporters can print and distribute.
- Encourage donors to spread the word about your latest fundraising campaign through social media sharing and send-to-a-friend features.
Adapted from the webinar presentation “Tips for Managing your Nonprofit's Brand” with Katya Andresen.