Since the rise of both social media and content strategy over the last few years, there have been many myths that have grown along with them that people believe to the day. Some of these myths come from firm beliefs, others from simple misunderstandings. Today I am here to present 3 of the most pertinent misconceptions as a guide to a better understanding and hopefully optimize your presence online.

1. Having a mediocre web design will suffice

First off, when it comes to the way your nonprofit presents itself online, having a good and intriguingly designed website is a must. It seems that more often than not, organizations don’t want to make their web pages ‘too fancy’ for the fear of making it seem like they don’t need the help. Just because and organization is in need, doesn’t mean that they have to make it seem like they are the ‘neediest’. Having a website, and a good one at that, is the initial presence of a nonprofit organization online. You want to make sure it leaves an impact.You want to appeal to your donors so they can do just that--donate.

Having a strong website, with good graphic design allows your donors to be apart of the experience. It shows them that they can actually make a difference. It gives them that reasoning that they need to donate. It needs to appeal to the audience that you are aiming for. If it doesn’t appeal, then, of course, they are less likely to donate. You want to make sure that you have a strong mission statement with clear intentions so donors can have a stronger understanding of what your purpose is and what goals you are focused on reaching. A good design is essential for both large non profits and the smallest ones, because the website opens the doors to the donors getting involved and staying involved.

2. Having a Social Media Presence will work out on its own

Hate to say this, but this is definitely not the case. Just having a social media presence doesn’t cut it. Just like having a mediocre web design won’t work, neither will just having a social media presence. If you have a mediocre web design to seem like you are in more need, then surely a clear mission statement isn’t present either. If you aren’t clear on your website about what your purpose is, moving it to social media platforms without clarification can do more harm than good.
When moving forward with the decision to make a presence on social media, you want to make sure you keep up with it, but you also want to make sure that you don’t over do it. It’s not necessary to have a presence on every social media platform that exists. Think about who your audience is. What social media platforms are the most frequented? Focus on those being your main platforms and from there, build strategies that will lead to the most beneficial optimization of said platforms. Shape and mold your strategies to the wants and needs of your audience, just like you would do with your web design.

3.Content Strategy and Social Media don’t go hand in hand

Of course, I had to save the best myth for last. This one stood out to me the most. How can content and social media NOT go hand in hand? Without content, there would be nothing to share on social media. Social media platforms serve as a tool to distribute content in a meaningful way. You can tailor content to fit the context of each social media platform. This is content strategy. Then you can promote this content with these platforms, and in turn, it can be shared with others that are in the same interest group or related ones therefore yielding a larger audience. Yes, content strategy and social media are separate entities, but they almost always work together.

Your nonprofit organization’s online presence is vital for its success. With strong mission statements that present a clear purpose, updated web designs that appeal to donors, and making sure to keep your content on social media platforms updated and relevant to each platform, you can guarantee that your efforts will be rewarded with positive results.

With these myths broken down for further understanding, this will help in strengthening your organization's presence online! What other myths have you come across? Let us know in the comments below!