Something Really Smells (Or Doesn’t)

November 22, 2016       The NonProfit Times      

Nonprofits don’t have a choice — they have to use social media. Their only choice is how well they’ll do it.

This sentiment was shared with participants attending the National Catholic Development Conference event, held recently in National Harbor, Md., by presenter Amelia Burke-Garcia, senior director of digital media for the Maryland statistical survey research corporation Westat.

That social media comment was the theme of the presentation by Amelia Burke-Garcia, senior director of digital media for the Maryland statistical survey research corporation Westat. She said that three out of four Americans use social technology (Forrester.) She attributed the quote to Erik Qualman.

One word-of-mouth conversation has the impact of 200 television ads, she said, quoting Buzzagent, and two-thirds of the global Internet population visits social networks, she noted, quoting the Nielson Corporation.

Some 85 percent of moms visit social networks, Burke-Garcia said, and minorities use the same social media platforms as nonminority groups. She cited 53 percent of Millennials, said they’d rather lose their sense of smell than their technology, a figure Burke-Garcia quoted from Socialnomics.

Using social media to reach potential supporters is a low-cost option that provides insight into consumer opinion, a research executive recently told participants in a nonprofit conference.

Fundraisers can have more direct conversations with consumers through social media and can work more effectively toward brand advocacy, according to Burke-Garcia

Social media platforms allow consumers to access the people and issues they care most about, Burke-Garcia said. They allow consumers to very easily learn about popular opinion, she said, and allow them to share details about themselves while giving them control over their own online experience.

Some places this valuable access is located, she said, include:

  • Social networks
  • Corporate and personal blogs
  • Microblogs
  • Photo sharing sites
  • Message boards
  • Virtual reality sites
  • Social gaming sites
  • Podcasts