Many nonprofits are using social media well to build their reputation, but many of these same nonprofits are also missing an opportunity to capitalize on that social-media based reputation. Building a strong twitter following, for example, by sharing links to articles of interest to your audience is a great and easy way to plant the seed that you are a thought leader in your topic area. The same is true for links shared on your Facebook or LinkedIn pages, as well.
The traffic you are generating is wasted, however, if it flows through your social media account directly out to the article’s original website. You’re basically giving away that traffic to that other site, who may be a partner or competitor. Either way, that traffic should be captured and routed through your own site to boost your own analytics.
This can easily be done by using a practice called curated posting. This when you offer a post that links to an article on another site, but that also offers 100 or 200 words of analysis explaining why the linked article should be of interest to your users. In this instance, the Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn link would lead to the post on your own site first, rather than linking directly to the article of interest. More than simply offering a blind link perhaps with the title of the article, this practice provides value to your users and can offer an opportunity to position your organization as an influencer in the overall workings of your issue area.
In addition, the practice of curated posting captures that previously lost traffic by routing it through your organization’s website, which can be beneficial in several ways:
- It will strengthen your reputation as a thought leader in your field. In the time of the Roman Empire, all roads led to Rome because it was the center of the entire empire. The roads converged on Rome like the spokes of a wheel. Links on the Internet can be viewed in a similar manner. The more links that lead a user back to your particular website, the more they will be convinced that your organization is at the center of that issue.
- It provides users an opportunity to learn more about your organization. While the users are visiting your site, they may discover topics of interest that they didn’t know you addressed, or that they didn’t even know existed! This is especially true if your site employs the core model and forward paths into its architecture. In any case, your enticing link on social media could help users become more familiar with your overall scope of work, or be an entré into your entire world for someone who is not yet familiar with your organization at all.
- It will make your organization more attractive to potential institutional funders. Partners and funders are always looking to reach concentrated markets of people who think or behave in a similar manner — in fact, that’s the very essence of marketing. If you can demonstrate that you have a large body of users who believe in your particular cause, this can be an attractive incentive for advertisers, sponsors, and commercial or foundation funders. A large volume of web traffic can give you more leverage in negotiations and ultimately make your organization more attractive to these potential partners.
An active social media presence is becoming commonplace for nonprofit organization, but many are still missing out on some of the simple opportunities that a strong social media reputation can offer. Using curated posts is just one of those opportunities. Let’s hear some noise on this and share some love: post a comment below with your favorite social media practices so we can all learn more about this ever-changing topic.