Marketing on a shoestring through social media

One nonprofit spreads the word using staffers, Facebook and LinkedIn.

One nonprofit spreads the word using staffers, Facebook and LinkedIn

Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re in a nonprofit or a small company with a few nickels in the bank for marketing. You want to spread the message about your cause or services, but you simply haven’t got the resources. What do you do?

The answer: You harness cheap social media tools and then recruit office employees as your evangelists.

This is exactly the formula used by one teacher-certification group—and many other nonprofits and small businesses today.

And while the results can be modest at first, the potential for brand building is enormous.

Take the case of the American Board for Certification of Teaching Excellence. Its mission? To persuade mid-career professionals from other walks of life to consider a career in teaching.

Founded in 2001 through a grant from the Department of Education, the board must stretch its budget as far as possible, says Mike Holden, director of public relations.

Enter social networking tools like Facebook and LinkedIn. The idea was simple: Dispatch the board’s employees and their friends to the two sites and begin spreading the message about becoming a teacher.

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