Nonprofits, You’re Now in the TV Business

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Unless you have the budget for a Super Bowl ad, trying to advertise to the masses is probably not in the cards for your organization. But there is an important lesson to take from TV: its content balance.

Sure, you complain about the amount of commercials on TV, but if the networks treated its viewers like some brands or nonprofits treat its Facebook followers, they would show nothing but commercials.

“Special two for one sale this Saturday! Tell your friends and receive an extra 15 percent off,” goes the generic sales post.

What This Means

Use social outlets like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest to inspire your members, donors and followers. Your content strategy should emphasize and highlight current activities and the good work your organization is accomplishing. Access to this type of content (like TV programs themselves) is why people choose to follow you. Your commercials, such as giving opportunities (i.e. highlighting a charitable gift annuity due to changes in tax law) are the commercials you “air.”

Your Next Steps

Are your social media pages more like ESPN, Bravo, HGTV or Food Network? What kind of shows (i.e. posts) are you providing for your audience?

Identify what content your organization can provide to your followers and determine who in your organization can act as a social media community manager throughout the week with posts that reflect their role and perspective in the organization.

If you want a guide, watch how the Food Network shuffles its personalities and perspectives all around a single topic: food. Visiting the Food Network’s Facebook page can give you a sense of how its personalities, like Bobby Flay, has a unique identity in the social space, yet are central to the overall cause of the Food Network.


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