Three Myths Nonprofits Believe About Social Media

Over the past decade, social media has become a major driving force in our culture. It has tremendous power to create community and motivate individuals to action. However, due to its constantly changing nature, it can be a bit challenging to navigate, especially for churches and non-profits who don’t have a full-time social media staff.

Many of the mistakes we see made on social are due to a misunderstanding of how social media works. Here are three myths many nonprofits believe that will steer you down the wrong path.

1) Social media is free marketing.

Nothing about social media is free. Even barebones social media campaigns require time. In fact, most social media marketers estimate they spend a minimum of six hours per week on each account they manage. In addition to time, your team will need to create social media assets, such as graphics and videos, in order to engage your audience. This requires more time or maybe even hiring an outside vendor.

And, while you can rely on organic, or non-paid, posts to reach your audience, social media algorithms have made it increasingly difficult for businesses, including nonprofits, to make an impact without forking over some marketing dollars. The good news is that social media advertising tends to be extremely cost effective when compared to traditional advertising options.

2) Social media isn’t that important.

Some nonprofits and churches feel more or less bullied into using social media, and they are resistant to the idea of investing their precious resources into building their presence. However, with 81 percent of Americans on at least one social media platform, it has become the best way to reach your audience and build community.

Social media provides the opportunity for stakeholders to interact with and share about their favorite non-profit, building loyalty for the organization. Additionally, social media can be an effective fundraising tool. One study showed a total of 21 percent of peer-to-peer fundraising dollars raised are the result of a direct click-through on social media.

3) You should be active on every platform.

There are dozens of social media platforms available, and it can be very overwhelming to maintain them all. The good news is, you don’t have to, and actually, you shouldn’t. Take a long look at your key audiences and choose two or three platforms that are the best fit for your organization. By investing in the right platform, you save yourself precious resources while maximizing the benefit for your nonprofit.

Social media is an amazing and effective tool for reaching new audiences, and because it’s more cost effective than other marketing avenues, it can be a great option for nonprofits. Social media takes time and careful planning, but should be incorporated into your overall marketing and public relations plan. It will be well worth the effort!

ALRC offers social media services, including strategy, daily monitoring and maintenance and advertising. We would love to help you take your social media presence to the next level! For more information about our services, contact us at