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messaging appsWith Facebook reporting nearly 2 billion active users and Twitter not far behind with 328 million users, it is safe to say that social media is no longer considered an up and coming marketing channel. Many nonprofits embraced social media as a simple and affordable way to communicate with their constituents. Even the most conservative organizations have some sort of social media presence.

Yes, just when you felt like your organization had a handle on social media there is a change coming. While social media isn’t in danger of going the way of the fax machine any time soon, there is yet another channel opening up.

This new channel has the potential to disrupt all your carefully planned social media campaigns. The new kid in town is messaging apps.

Messaging apps are slowly overtaking social media networks as a key communication tool. According to a report in Business Insider, the number of monthly active users is on messaging apps have surpassed that of social media networks.

Why the switch? Well, it seems the “social” aspect of social media is starting to turn some users off. Users are starting to crave private interaction, but this interaction still needs have a sense of interconnection and be fairly quick.

This is possible with messaging apps. You can communicate with a larger group of people, but that is closed off to only those that you have invited.

It also means that your donors are no longer checking their activity feeds as much. So no matter how well crafted your post is, or even if you’ve paid to boost it, your donor might not see it.

This doesn’t mean that social media platforms won’t still be a valuable tool for your organization, there is still a lot of potential there. It just means that you may have to consider how to introduce messaging apps into your marketing plan.

Right now messaging apps, such as Facebook’s Messenger don’t allow ads, but that could change in the near future.

Aside from the advertising feature, how would a nonprofit use a messaging app? Well, many organizations find that messaging apps allow users (or donors) to quickly and privately communicate with an organization.

Instead of posting a question to an organization’s Facebook page, or Tweeting them users can use the messaging app to immediately communicate with the organization. Not only does this allow the user to get an immediate answer to their questions, but in the event that the message is contentious other users won’t know about it. That level of privacy is beneficial to both the users and the organizations they are communicating with.

Messaging apps could be used by nonprofits during for things like live events, the messaging app could help attendees handle registration, and allow guests to get answers questions about events quickly and efficiently. Even with mobile responsive websites many smartphone users still don’t like to hunt around on a webpage looking for answer to their question. With a messaging app they just open it up and ask their question.

In the future messaging apps could be used by nonprofits for giving campaigns, that instance donors could be able to give directly in the app.

Coordinating volunteers will also be something your organization could use a messaging app for, in fact, just like social media the possibilities are almost endless. It most likely will take a bit of trial and error for you to find the best way to utilize messaging apps for your organization, but before you know it you will have conquered that too.
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