Use Of Social Media Marketing Tools By Non Profit Organizations

3830 words - 15 pages

Social media marketing is a simple option to add to the current promotional tactics being used by an organization. It is no longer optional; social media is mandatory for nonprofit organizations (Stengel). Studies have shown that many people think social media techniques complement traditional media; even more believe that blogs and social media influence the news coverage in traditional media tactics (Wright and Hinson 2008). There are a number of professionals that believe embracing social media is the only way for public relations to continue in the digital age. For example, Robert J. Key explains, “Public relations in the digital age requires understanding how your key constituents are gathering and sharing information and then influencing them at key points; doing so requires strategies that embrace the digital age” (Wright and Hinson 2008). Larry Weber, a renowned professional in implementing global public relations campaigns, also agrees that the communications world is moving in a drastically digital direction and in order to communicate effectively, one must understand this transformation (Wright and Hinson 2008).
Social media strategies have not replaced the traditions tactics; however, of the 17 communication tactics considered “mandatory,” ten were computer-mediated (Lovejoy and Saxton 2012). The spread of these new media tactics has significantly increased nonprofits’ ability to communicate with clients, volunteers, media outlets, and other stakeholders. Instead of the traditional one-way communication tactics, social media has opened up a two-way dialog that provides an interactive outlet of communication between an organization and those stakeholders (Stengel) while reducing the turn-around rate of communication (Wright and Hinson 2008). These new tactics also allow for audiences to find an organization that they share interests with instead of the traditional media tactics that organizations use to force attention upon themselves (Stengel).
One of the issues surrounding new media tactics more so than traditional communication tactics is the lack of accuracy and accountability found within these methods. Dick Costolo embraced this issue by stating, “The Internet destroyed most of the barriers to publication. The cost of being a publisher dropped to almost zero with two interesting immediate results: anybody can publish, and more importantly, you can publish whatever you want” (Govinder 2013). Due to the availability for anyone and everyone to be their own publisher, there have been multiple issues in the efficacy of an organization through online tactics. In continuance with this trend, the Wright and Hinson study results stated that traditional news media receive higher scores than social media in terms of accuracy, credibility, truth telling, and ethical news telling. Other findings, in the same study, show 75 percent expect traditional news media to be honest and ethical, while only 44 percent hold these same expectations...

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