Nonprofit organizations are using the power and reach of social media to create awareness, promote causes, recruit volunteers and solicit donations. After all, social media is all about building a community – something charities have always done. As a result, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have proven to be very effective platforms for nonprofits.
But there’s a new kid on the block. A recent study by Global Web Index found that Google+ had 343 million users worldwide in December 2012, representing about 25% of Internet users. That earned the social network the second-place spot behind Facebook (50%), and placed it ahead of Twitter and YouTube.
Clearly, Google+ is gaining acceptance, reflecting the might of its parent search engine. That’s why Google+ can’t be ignored by savvy social media users. And if you’re in charge of marketing or outreach for a nonprofit organization, Google+ is a tool you need to have at your disposal.
5 Ways Google+ Can Help Nonprofits
Take a look at how you can incorporate Google+ to improve performance in five key areas:
- Building Trust: Google is a trusted network of data and content. Utilizing all that Google+ offers gives you opportunities to share your nonprofit’s goals, mission and voice on a massive platform.
- Improving Outreach: You may be turning off some of your supporters or donors if you’re sending them messages on a wide variety of topics, including issues of little or no interest to them. Instead, target your message directly by creating Google+ circles for corporate partners, volunteers, donors and peers. Then, share content that pertains just to them.
- Fundraising: Your Google+ page can include links to your organization’s website, blog, and Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as fundraising sites. Google will add each site to its search engine results, raising visibility and steering people to your fundraiser.
- Engaging Your Audience: Tap into Google+ hangouts to engage supporters, staff and volunteers. Have a speaker discuss a topic of interest, or host a hangout to introduce volunteers, staff and donors to each other. Additionally, use a hangout as part of your volunteer kick-off to inspire and motivate people to help.
- Promoting Your Events: Social media is an effective way to promote volunteer events, fundraisers, presentations or seminars. And with Google+, you can reach more of your best supporters, as well as members of the wider community with whom you haven’t yet connected. Plus, you can create an event and send invitations to everyone in your circles, while also reminding supporters to donate online.
If you’re looking to ramp up your nonprofit organization’s engagement and effectiveness, Google+ is an increasingly powerful social media ally that offers more than just one plus.
Erin Palmer is a writer and editor for Bisk Education, a worldwide leader in online education. She has written extensively about human resources and career development for a variety of blogs and professional websites. Erin also writes about the online human resources programs from Villanova University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing from the University of Tampa. Erin can be reached on Twitter @Erin_E_Palmer.