Essential Online Marketing Tools for Nonprofits

Many marketing tools and tactics work well for both nonprofits and for-profits. However, there are certain tools that are particularly useful for nonprofits, helping them spread their message to target audiences and allowing them to build valuable relationships.

Social Media Management

Hootsuite - One of the leading social media management dashboards, Hootsuite allows you to schedule your social media updates (Tweets, Facebook shares, etc.) and monitor your social media profiles. This tool is a great way to make sure your social media updates go out at a time when they're most likely to be engaged with. You can sign-up for a free account, or pay $9.99/month for a Pro account, which integrates. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.

Active Listening

Google alerts - Google's free alerts allow you to monitor the web for content on the subjects that mean something to your organization (your company's name, the specific product you offer, etc.). Simply sign-up and choose a keyword you'd like to monitor. Google will collate its results and email them to you (how ever often you'd like).

Social Mention - This is a free social media search engine that allows you to search and view all the conversations being had on social media about any given search term. You can also set up alerts for different keywords and have them emailed to your inbox.

Email Newsletters

Mailchimp - This web-based email marketing provider allows you to create and send email newsletters to your subscribers. You can choose from a range of pre-made templates or create your own. If you have less than 2,000 subscribers, he service is free to use. Otherwise, monthly plans start from around $10 per month and increase depending on the number of subscribers you have.

Constant Contact - Constant Contact is also a web-based email marketing service. Like Mailchimp, it also allows you to choose from pre-made templates and upload you own images to each newsletter. However, it offers a special discounted pricing plan for nonprofits. Depending on the number of email addresses in your subscriber list, it could work out as the cheaper option.

Campaign Promotion

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Twibbon - A Twibbon is a small button (i.e. a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness) that sits in the corner of a person's profile photo. Raise awareness of your campaign by encouraging your Twitter and Facebook followers to add your campaign's 'Twibbon' to their profile photo. Creating a Twibbon campaign is free and also comes with analytics tools that let you track how many people add your Twibbon.

Hashtags - Since hashtags are such a routine part of the social media experience (particularly on Twitter) their power as a marketing tool is easy to overlook. However, when effectively promoted, hashtags are a great way to generate a conversation with your followers. Hashtags work best under a specific, relatively short-term time frame - such as over the course of a live event or in during a month-long awareness campaign. When creating leaflets, posters, webpages or advertisements for an event, remember to include a hashtag.

What online marketing tools do you find useful? Let me know in the comments section!