When they were originally created, most social media sites simply served as a means for college friends to talk to one another. Today, however, they have become a world-wide platform for communication among people and organizations of all types. Companies now routinely use all different social media sites, including Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Google Plus, to reach more people than they ever could have done before. We are seeing more examples everyday of how social media can be a particularly important tool to help nonprofits communicate their message.
With shorter attention spans, gone are the days when you can expect someone to read long passages of text that explains the purpose of your organization. It is very important, then, that you keep your message simple when promoting your nonprofit on these sites. A visual graphic or image can be a simple, yet powerful way to share an important point about your nonprofit, its goals or the things it has accomplished – and hopes still to accomplish – in a particular community.
Sharing the story of your nonprofit through images can quickly impact your audience’s emotions, helping building a connection to your organization stronger than any you could create with written words alone. This does not have to be a difficult or complicated process; for example, by using the cameras on their smartphones, employees can immediately share online pictures of what is happening at a particular event. List a few details about when, where and how people can get involved, and you have created a simple, effective tool to share your organization’s message.
The expectation of posed professional photos has given way to candid, “in the moment” photos that capture the emotion of the time. Think about how you can use images to help tell your story. Your visual aids need not only be pictures of company activities. For example, you can post pictures containing inspiring quotes relevant to your mission. You can also communicate data or statistics through a picture-based infographic. Creating call to action pictures, such as by donating money for each “like” or “share,” can help spread information about your organization very quickly.
It is important that you include a logo or identifying text on all visual aids you use to ensure that your company is always at the forefront of the audience’s mind when viewing the image. With a little creativity, social media can allow you to expose your organization’s message to a broader audience than you might have dreamed possible.
What has your experience been with using incorporating visuals in your social media channels? Let us know!