Obviously, these aren’t the only social media channels to choose from. What about LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, WeChat WhatsApp … ? You get the picture.
Today, we’re here to illustrate that when it comes to social media marketing for nonprofits, it’s not about being everywhere, it’s about being strategic. By following some basic principles, your org can use social media to grow—with less wheel-spinning than you’d get from taking a blind approach.
Here are some tips we recommend if you want to use social media to grow your supporter base, attract donors, boost your brand and promote your organization’s overall success.
Commit to the long haul
Our first piece of advice? Be prepared for a marathon, not a sprint. Research consistently shows that social media can yield significant benefits for nonprofits, but these rewards don’t come overnight. It requires a commitment to the long haul and the drive to strive for improvement.
Success isn’t about one viral post that earns a thousand likes. While such moments are welcome, they’re not the end goal. Instead, social media success lies in gradually building a loyal follower base. With consistently high-quality content, you can foster a connection with your followers that extends beyond the confines of social media, encouraging them to engage more deeply with your organization.
Focus on two or three platforms
In the vast ocean of social media, it’s easy to feel the pressure to make a splash everywhere. But we advise against spreading your efforts too thin. Instead, focus on two or three platforms that align best with your target audience and organizational goals. By concentrating your energy, you can delve deeper into the platform’s unique features and trends, allowing you to tailor your content for maximum impact. This approach makes your social media management more manageable and more effective.
Experiment with paid media
The next tip is to not shy away from paid media. The social media landscape has become so crowded that relying solely on organic reach may limit your impact. The good news is that even a small investment in boosted posts or paid ads can often generate a substantial return. Start with a small budget, analyze the impact and adjust your strategy based on the insights you gain.
Use the available tools
Our fourth piece of advice is to make full use of the tools at your disposal. Platforms like Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, offer a suite of free or affordable features specifically designed to make nonprofit social media management easier. These tools can help you manage events, solicit donations and even enable peer-to-peer fundraising.
But it’s not just about fundraising. Meta’s Ads Manager, for instance, allows you to deep-dive into your audience segments, enabling you to launch incredibly tailored campaigns with built-in calls to action. These tools let you decide how much you’re willing to invest to ensure your message is seen by viewers in your specified area over a certain amount of time. Furthermore, all of these platforms offer a powerful array of video and photo editing tools. These tools allow you to create beautiful, compelling content with little more than a smartphone camera, making it easier than ever to engage your audience visually.
Go beyond your comfort zone
Finally, don’t be afraid to push beyond your comfort zone. For instance, did you know that videos earn 12 times more shares than text and images combined? Furthermore, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to just 10% when reading it in text. While venturing into video content creation may seem daunting, it’s a powerful tool that’s impossible to ignore in today’s digital age. Start experimenting with video using the built-in features of various platforms, and before you know it, you’ll be creating compelling video content that resonates with your audience.
Reach your supporters where they live
In addition to these five tips, it’s crucial to remember to reach your audience where they are. For many nonprofits, Facebook is the go-to platform as it’s popular among Baby Boomers and Gen X. However, don’t neglect the younger audiences who represent future donors. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are increasingly popular among younger generations who often use social media to advocate for causes they believe in. Understanding the demographics and preferences of your target audience can help tailor your social media strategy for maximum impact.
Focus on engaging content
Lastly, remember that quality trumps quantity when it comes to content. Rather than churning out posts to meet a quota, prioritize creating content that contains value for your audience. This approach will engage people on a deeper level and foster a stronger connection with your organization.
Furthermore, don’t forget to engage with your audience often. For every hour you spend posting, spend at least 20 minutes liking, sharing or commenting on other people’s content, responding to messages and comments, or participating in group discussions. Think of social media as being about building reciprocal relationships—not just releasing one-sided content.
To wrap it up, making the most of social media for your nonprofit isn’t about racing to the finish line, it’s more like a marathon. Pick your favorite platforms, experiment with paid media and don’t be shy about trying new things, like video. Make the most of the tools offered by each platform, and remember, it’s all about quality, engaging content. Stay connected with your audience and meet them on their turf. With a bit of grit and creativity, you’ll see your nonprofit’s reach and overall success shoot up.
Ready to learn more? Join us for our monthly Social Media 101 webinar, where we cover the basics of social media usage for the nonprofit world.