Mike is the founder of Velocity Digital, a social media, content, and digital marketing consultancy based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He also started The Social Penguin Blog in 2009 and regularly speaks at digital marketing conferences and events. You can read more about Mike on his LinkedIn profile.

Charities have their work cut out for them when they struggle to be heard over and above their peers. Social media has been a revolution for charities as it offers the chance to reach out to, and communicate with their supporters and potential supporters.

To be truly effective in social media, organizations need to be creating regular and relevant content that will engage with their audiences on a deeper level than tweets or Facebook updates. A blog is great route to achieving this. Why? Let’s go point by point.

1. A Blog Allows You to Add a Human Touch

The most important people at charities are the people themselves — those who are passionate about the cause and work so hard, often for very little in return. By allowing your team to blog, you are creating an insight into the people at the heart of everything you strive to achieve. This can be as simple as regular staff profiles progressing into individual pieces, and those initial staff profiles are a great way to introduce team members. Take the time to plan this content out; this will save you time in the future and ensure momentum is maintained.

2. A Blog Allows You to Show the Effect of Your Work

All of the hard work that the people within your organization carry out is committed with one aim: helping others. Your blog should have a strong focus on those that benefit. Regularly feature individual cases and focus on the people, their stories, and how your work has changed their lives. Use imagery and video where possible to really bring things to life.

3. A Blog Allows You to Act Quickly

By creating a blog on your site, you are ensuring you can act quickly to create news and appeals. By using a CMS such as WordPress, you can very easily create and publish relevant content. This is particularly relevant if an event takes place that affects those who your charity cares for. Rapid publishing means you can keep your supporters in the loop.

4. A Blog Can Drive Donations

It goes without saying that donations are the lifeblood of any charity. Your blog represents an opportunity to attract donations from its readers. This doesn’t have to be via the hard sell — adding regular calls to action to each blog post can be an effective way of gathering donations. This can be as simple as: “If you would like to support Charity X, please visit our donations page.” This offers the reader an easy route to backing your charity, while not ramming the message down his or her throat!

5. A Blog Adds Value to Your Social Media Activities

It can be difficult to make the most of social media and its platforms; a regular blog gives your activities on Facebook, Twitter, and so on a focus and creates discussion points across your networks. For many blogs, Facebook and Twitter drive as much or more traffic than search engines. Your blog should be the hub of your social media activity, with your networks regularly leading back to your blog posts and site.

[Image credit: FMSC]