The Power of Harnessing Social Media for Your Blood Center

If you haven’t been living underneath a rock in the last seven years, no doubt you have seen how social media has changed the game of being able to effectively reach out to your audience.

Many nonprofit organizations have become hip and made efforts to assimilate social media into their efforts to engage their patrons. With Facebook tipping the scales at one billion users and counting, and with the Twittersphere buzzing with over 400 million tweets per day at this point, if your nonprofit organization hasn’t jumped on the social media bandwagon, what do you have to lose?

From an organizational standpoint, you really have to look at social media not just as a way to communicate with your demographic (or even a way to engage with your desired audience), but also as a means of creating and building upon your already existing image. Dealing with the blood bank industry, specifically, something as simple as having a Facebook page and Twitter account can help you raise awareness of needs of specific blood types or shortages, recognize and show appreciation for specific lifetime donors, inform people of where they can donate in terms of mobile drives, and so much more.

The possibilities to build your organizational image as one that is professional, personal, and informative among your donor base is endless. Let’s take a look at some specific ideas that your blood center can use to help your recruitment efforts!

Easy ways to build engagement and increase results for your blood center with social media:

  • Video content. We live in the YouTube age where the internet isn’t just a source of information, but also entertainment. At the beginning of 2012, YouTube had over 4 billion views per day! When it comes to a blood center looking to make video content the focus should really be on an underlying message that you want your audience to take away from the content. Is this video meant to promote an upcoming blood drive? Maybe it is meant to inform people how easy it is to do a red cell donation. It could also serve as a general message of “Thank You” to your donor base. It is always best to keep it short and to the point, but that doesn’t meant it can’t be creative and fun!
  • Post daily to build an online presence. Running a social media account such as a Facebook page or a Twitter account can be compared to the likes of tending a garden. If you take care of it and engage with it daily, you will reap the benefits. This is important because there is, in fact, a happy medium to how much you really should be posting, which makes it essential to have some type of idea why the content your posting is being created. That being said, people don’t like spam or logging on to Facebook to see their whole feed engulfed by one organization, so an easy way to maximize engagement is to simply manage your accounts with some type of third-party software that gives you a command-center style view of what is going where and when, as well as who is engaging directly with a given piece of content. Incept prefers to use HootSuite. A strategy of posting throughout the day to maintain visibility on your donor’s feeds is a great idea. Post about blood drives, donor loyalty promotions, and recognition in a strategic way, and you’ll start to see your online presence grow in a positive way.
  • Social media can help your organization be the expert in its industry. More often than not, people want to take away something from the content they are interacting with. There is a difference between posting to post and creating a content marketing strategy. With content marketing, you as an organization can provide vital information, such as what blood components are used for, what is involved in making an apheresis style donation, and so much more. The key to content marketing is to be a source of relevant information. Keep in mind that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative!

When it comes to social media, it is more than just an generational and cultural fad. It has literally become a new avenue to interact. So keep in mind that your organization should literally look at interacting with your donors online as if it were an open conversation. Social media doesn’t seem to be dying out either, but rather growing and continuing to revolutionize our personal and professional lives. Does you blood center need help creating a stronger image or even a new avenue to recruit donors? Don’t be afraid to embrace the digital age!

If your blood center needs assistance in managing a Facebook page or Twitter account, talk to us at Incept!