Oops!: Social Media Mistakes by Nonprofits

Social media is an incredibly beneficial tool for nonprofits…when used correctly. With an incredible amount of channels available at your fingertips, it is important to understand how to properly use them in order to retain the highest level of ROI for your organization. As an intern for several nonprofits, I have seen organizations struggle with their social media due to several blunders and mistakes. The Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog outlines 10 common mistakes made by nonprofits using social media…how does your organization measure up?


1. Using a horizontal logo for your avatar

Your nonprofit’s avatar is your visual identity on social-networking sites, and with the exception of LinkedIn Groups, all social-networking sites require a square avatar. Unfortunately, many nonprofits upload horizontal logos to serve as their avatars, resulting in the obvious cropping of the images. Would your nonprofit ever put a cropped, completely wrecked logo in print materials or on its website? Absolutely not! Yet tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of nonprofits every day send messages to their communities on social-networking sites with completely wrecked logos.

2. Posting more than one status update a day on Facebook

Everyone seemingly has a different and passionate opinion on this, but in my research and experience posting more than one status update a day on average on Facebook has a negative effect. People either start ignoring your updates because you’re always in their news feed, or they “hide” you altogether. I am a big believer that less is more on Facebook.

5. Not creating Flickr slideshows to tell your nonprofit’s story

Quite often your nonprofit’s story can be much better told through images. On the Web where people are inundated all day long with lengthy text and messages, a visually compelling slideshow can be a welcome respite from information overload.

9. Posting only (boring) marketing content

Make a donation! Come to our annual gala! Sign our online petition! Make a donation! Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Oh yeah, PLEASE make a donation! Blah, blah, blah. Sorry, but it’s the truth. If all your nonprofit does on social-networking sites is marketing, then I guarantee no one is listening and your ROI is next to nil.

10. Not blogging

Blogging is the glue that holds your social-media strategy together. The social Web is driven by fresh content, and if your nonprofit doesn’t regularly publish new content to the Web, you’ll struggle with getting “shared” and “retweeted.” Nonprofits that don’t get shared or retweeted will not do well on the Social Web.

To check out the other five mistakes, read the rest of the blog post here.

What mistakes is your organization guilty of making? What other mistakes should nonprofits avoid?


One thought on “Oops!: Social Media Mistakes by Nonprofits

  1. These are some great and very common mistakes. Some of them may seem insignificant to people, but they can make a big difference. I think showing your personality as an organization is a huge mistake people make. It's what can separate your non-profit from the big corporation with the seo firm running their internet marketing. Social media allows you to offer more than just a store front. Be personable and people will tend to relate and trust you more.

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