What Every Nonprofit Needs to Know About Blogging

Do you remember back in the early 2000s when MySpace was all the rage?

Quite a number of nonprofits paved the MySpace way, some to great benefit.

But the social network has been troubled since 2008.

Facebook’s popular takeover, the sale to J. Timberlake, plus many redesigns have made it a very unstable platform.

When they rolled out their design in 2013, you couldn’t even link your old profile to your new one.

All that social media effort, gone in a heartbeat. What a waste!

This is just one example of why you shouldn’t make social media the cornerstone of your online strategy.

It may be tempting to use a Facebook or Google+ page as your main homepage, but think long-term: social media sites go through cycles of popularity, have particular uses for differences audiences, and can even wholly disappear like a drifting ship in the night.

One day, Google+ and Google Authorship are very important for SEO purposes; the next day, Google pulls the plug, and Google+ is pretty much considered dead.

This “digital sharecropping” is dangerous, because you’re renting someone else’s space.

A blog of relevant content on your own site is much safer, as it will always be there no matter what happens out on the rough social seas.

Other points to consider about social media:

Twitter: You never know when people see your feed. It’s very sporadic. If you’re only posting retweets or short snippets, then you won’t have much content to engage people with.

Facebook: Your posts are only viewed by a certain percentage of the people who like your page.

Pinterest, Instagram: Diehard fans may notice you, but these aren’t the most interactive platforms.

YouTube: Great for producing videos, but unless you create videos that people are going to search for in high volume (cat videos, dancing babies), you probably won’t get much traction, unless you promote on other social media channels. Or come up with the next ALS bucket challenge.

When you have a blog as your homebase, then you can of course link to the content on Twitter and Facebook, upload any photos to Pinterest and Instagram, and hey, why not even create some video content at the same time?

But think of social media as “content distribute channels” and not ground zero for your marketing.

To be clear, you don’t have to abandon social media. My advice is just to focus on your long-form content first, and then break it up into bits that can be consumed on other.

The main benefits of nonprofit blogging:

  • You can to connect with people on your own turf
  • You can tell stories and highlight experiences with detail
  • People can get an up-close-and-personal look at your nonprofit
  • You can use it not just for donors but for the people who use your services
  • You can provide in-depth expertise, which increases your authority

For more arguments about why you should invest in a blog, read this post I wrote for MarketingProfs. You can also check out my slideshare presentation: How a blog can drive your mission.

 

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