Whether you’re an avid user of Facebook or have zero interest in social media, the fact remains: a social media
presence is crucial for nonprofits. If you want to raise your public profile, drive donor acquisition and publicize your cause, social media can boost your efforts. But with 374,222 tweets and 4,166,667 Facebook likes generated every minute, you need to make sure that your content stands out.
These seven tips will help you do just that:
1. Embrace more than one channel
Facebook is not the be-all-and-end-all of social media. Far from it, in fact. While a Facebook page is a great start, you need to amplify your reach and make use of the other channels your target market is using. Depending on their demographics, these could include LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and the like.
2. Share a variety of content
The efficacy of social media for nonprofits is largely dependent on the quality of content posted. Don’t post the same thing across channels – all this will do is turn potentially interested parties off. Instead, tailor your content to the platform in question. If you’re unsure of what to post where, do some research to see how the brands you admire approach their social media campaigns. As a rule of thumb, use relevant images with a few choice lines of copy. Content should be ‘skimmable’, informative, and entertaining.
3. Update frequently, but avoid spamming
Brands who post too frequently soon become white noise, while brands who post once in a blue moon are soon forgotten. Aim for two posts per week per platform – this will keep your nonprofit top of mind, while avoiding inundating your audience. Using some form of social media content calendar can help you to plan out your posts ahead of time so that you don’t have to take several hours out of your week to compile compelling content. That said, it’s advisable to intersperse pre-planned posts with topical posts that relate to current events as and when they occur.
4. Don’t toot your own horn too often
Your audience doesn’t want to hear you wax lyrical about your nonprofit 24/7. There’s a time and place for product-specific posts, but these should be the exception. Instead, post topical, relevant content that your target market is genuinely interested in. Bear in mind that often this type of content will only loosely tie back to your nonprofit, but if it’s interesting to the reader, it’ll be enough to pique their interest in the brand behind the post (that’s you!).
5. Engage with your audience
Successfully using social media for nonprofits requires engagement with your target market. Always acknowledge retweets and mentions, and reply to comments (whether positive or negative) as soon as you can. Letting a grievance or query linger unanswered can be incredibly damaging to your reputation, so make sure all social media notifications are turned on and checked regularly. In addition, give a shout out to the individuals and businesses who’re existing donors – this is an effective way to demonstrate that their donations are recognised and valued, and boosts your reach simultaneously.
6. Use a free scheduling tool
Free scheduling tools are a lifesaver – especially if you don’t have a dedicated social media management team. Instead of having to interrupt your day to post updates, you can schedule them all out in advance. We advise that you schedule a week’s worth of social media content ahead of time – this will enable you to plan ahead, but give you enough leeway to supplement your scheduled posts with timely, newsworthy content as and when needed.
7. Have an end goal in sight
This may sound obvious, yet far too many brands post content on social media for the sake of it. Your goal might be to increase donor acquisition, or to spread awareness about your cause, so make sure that whatever content you’re posting is in line with these objectives. Always link back to your own website, and unless absolutely necessary, avoiding directing people to external sites that aren’t affiliated with your nonprofit. Lastly, remember that every post needs to work in unison with each other to create a coherent brand message.
By following these seven tips, you’ll be well on your way to harnessing the power of social media for your nonprofit.
To learn more about online marketing for nonprofits, download our eBook, 10 Questions to Ask Your Marketing Team About Donor Acquisition Strategies.
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