How to Get Social with Inbound Marketing in Nonprofit Associations

Inbound Marketing is tailored made for nonprofits and associations

Nonprofit and for profit organizations should consider implementing a strategy for Inbound marketing on social media.


By going with social media for your inbound marketing, you will have the option of reaching a lot more people. This is a great way to increase the number of followers you have and reach those you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. So how do you get social with Inbound marketing? Take a look a few quick tips!

Interact with Donors, Members, and Vendors 

One of the most important things you must do when using social media for inbound marketing is to interact with your members, donors, vendors. We live in a digital world where we connect with people more on-line than most face to face interactions. So, being “snooty”, crass, or even being rude will get you nowhere. When your donors, members, & followers talk to you, talk back. When you see them post stuff, comment on it. The power of “Thank You” is far underrated. You must interact with them to make it on social media.

Have a Call-to-Action Post Every So Often

In order to be successful with inbound marketing on social media, you have to give. Which means you will need to do a call-to-action post ever so often. An example of this would be to offer an incentive (Gamification) to those who share your post. Another example would be to hold a drawing for all of those who shared your post. This is a great way to get out there in the social media world because people love free things and incentives.

Keep Your Social Media Pages Updated

This third tip cannot be stressed enough. It is dire that you keep your social media pages updated. This is for your followers and the new followers you may gain. Your followers want to see new content on the page often. They want to know what is going on with your organization. Potential followers will turn away if they see that you don’t care about the content of your social media pages. If you haven’t updated your page in three months, why would they want to follow you? So provide fresh content and valuable information on your social pages often.

Get some help through Software

Whether you are a small nonprofit association or a large one, it’s always useful to find software tools to help automate social media for your organization. Many Marketing Automation platforms have just what you need to help in this area. Today, some of the common features available are scheduled posting of content, keeping track of specific members on social media, tracking dialog between members and donors, custom templates for responses, and storing/reviewing “search terms” relevant to your organization. And, more good news! There is a fit for every budget.

Caution: You can’t do one thing! 

As with most marketing activities, unfortunately, there is no “silver bullet”. And, Inbound marketing is not the only tool which should be used in your tool box. Inbound marketing should be instituted soon (if not already) because it is a great way to reach out and gain new followers. Don’t be afraid to use every valuable option that is available to you.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss Inbound Marketing or other marketing automation options for your association or nonprofit today. Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

Top Reasons Inbound Marketing is a fit for your Association

Inbound Marketing LifeCycle
Provided by HubSpot

Inbound Marketing

In this article, I am going to focus on 5 top reasons associations should consider a focused Inbound Marketing strategy to attract future members, convert them to members, and continually engage them.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategy that utilizes many forms of pull marketing – content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more – to create brand awareness and attract new business. At its core, it’s about delivering the right content and the right time, thus creating an experience end users desire and need. Instead of interrupting phone calls, ads, Inbound Marketing attracts people to your nonprofit website when they are interested in finding a solution to their problems. 

Why is this different from traditional marketing?

In contrast to outbound marketing, where marketers attempt to find customers, inbound marketing earns the attention of customers and can make your association easier to be found. 

Below you will find the Top 5 Reasons Inbound should be top of mind in your marketing efforts at your Association and Nonprofit:

  1. Inbound Marketing is Less Expensive: Organizations that focus on inbound marketing experience a 61% lower cost per lead than organizations that predominantly leverage outbound marketing. This is huge for a nonprofit association right? We are all looking for ways to do more with less, from a mere budget perspective, Inbound Marketing would be a better way to bring in a new member, gain more attendees at your conference, or land a new sponsor.
  2. Inbound Marketing Will Build Thought Leadership: Associations should be driven by being the leader in their community for innovative ideas and industry expertise. Associations can establish themselves a thought leader by sharing your perspectives and perspectives of members on a whole host of mediums which you all already use today such as your AMS web site, email news, blog posts, case studies, and even white papers on your profession. Thought Leadership is paramount to be relevant and grow in mind share with future advocates.
  3. Inbound Marketing is more effective: Based on results provided by over 3,300 executives, the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing reveals that inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound approaches. If that is not enough, 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into. And, 44% of direct mail is never opened. Wow!
  4. Inbound Marketing can be measured: The beauty of a digital footprint is that it’s very trackable. And, that’s SMART. Therefore, we are able to measure all the activity on the website to see what are members are interested in and how to feed them the information which is relevant to them at that particular time and in the future. The association can measure the performance of every piece of content from social media posts to whitepapers and landing pages. It’s awesome!
  5. Inbound Marketing is the Gift that keeps on Giving: The more content you have on your associations website, the easier you are going to be found for conferences, training programs which are offered, and new members not familiar with your organization. You must have that content optimized for keywords, but since you spent so much on that last Association Management platform, what’s a few extra tags?


As more and more are introduced to inbound marketing, we believe this is going to be a hot topic for many association executives in years to come. Associations are challenged with building their brand in new, innovative, and effective ways that allow them to carry on a two-way discussion with members and potential members/vendors/sponsors. Finding ways to encourage members to discover your organization instead of paying your way into their homes, mailboxes, and internet browsers is key to delighting your audience.

Inbound is an evolution of smarter, more strategic marketing that gets results.Blogging (Content Marketing), Social Media, Email Campaigns, and great strategic content to reach people of like-minded interests you desire is available today.

This is the new world of marketing, one where members will find you because you can meet their needs and you can answer their questions. However, In order to be successful with Inbound Marketing, you need a good marketing plan, people, and the right tool. And, oh by the way, we can help with all those so give us a call to discuss.

Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.