How to Strengthen Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Strategy
Don’t keep your donors, board members, and volunteers in the dark. A strong social media strategy can amplify your message and help your campaigns gain traction.
1. Showcase New and Exciting Projects. Your followers love to see what you’re up to and see how your organization is making an impact. Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post photos and videos of projects, as well as text-posts when you’re on-site for a project. Keeping your donors, potential donors, and volunteers, as well as passive followers, in the loop about projects can lead to action from those who otherwise may not even know about your current projects in the first place.
Social media is also a great platform to showcase your past projects. Keep tabs of milestones or anniversaries of projects, and post about them. Show your newer followers what past projects they might’ve missed, and remind your loyal followers of where you began.
2. Be a Useful Resource. Your followers aren’t typically browsing their social media to find information about where they can donate money. They’re looking at posts from friends and family, checking out trending content, and finding useful articles. Rather than constantly asking for money, strive to post things people actually want to read: trending topics in the industry, ways to make an impact without donating money, exciting reports and trends, and other information they’ll want to read.
Dress for Success, a national nonprofit that empowers women to achieve economic independence, does a great job of sharing relevant and interesting articles. Their followers will most likely want to read the Forbes article linked above, as it is relevant to the nonprofit’s cause and their followers’ interests.
3. Utilize Your “About” Sections. Many pages have non-existent or weak descriptions of who they are on their social media pages. Facebook, for example, has two sections for organizations to discuss who they are—”about” and “story.” These sections should be full of information on how you’re changing the world! This is a great place to post rich information because it is often the first place internet users go on the Facebook page when trying to figure out who you are as an organization. Rather than looking at your posts, users will come to these sections.
If you do have everything filled out, look over it again and think about how you can rebrand the sections to reflect your organization and your organization’s goals even more.
4. Be Consistent. Don’t only post when you have an upcoming event or when you’re running a campaign, post all year round! This builds your followers and engagement, and helps your story reach many more people. Plus, it builds tryst from your followers as they know they won’t only hear from you on social when you need something from them.
5. Tell Your Story. Who DO you impact and HOW? Show your followers how your organization is changing the world. Make it easy to share and engage with your story, no matter the format. Link current progress and project updates to new ones, have your mission statement available and easy to find on every platform and site your organization is featured on. If people know your story, and can tell it in their own words, they’re much more likely to share it.
Below, nonprofit Grid Alternatives shares their story through photos. Not only do they show their volunteers and staff, but they also showcase how and who (The Gonzalez Family) they are helping!
6. Be Visual. Tell visual stories as much as possible, utilizing videos, images, graphics, and anything else you can think of. If your organization doesn’t have the capability to make videos, or not many visually-appealing images are available, try creating eye-catching graphics or interesting infographics for your followers. According to a study from Hubspot, images aren’t only important for engagement, but also in terms of your followers actually remembering the information you’re sharing:
“When people hear information, they’re likely to remember 10% of that information 3 days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that information, people retain 65% of the same information 3 days later.”
You want your followers to remember what you’re telling them, and there’s no better way to stay relevant and help them retain that information than pairing an image with your content.
7. Make it a Conversation. Ask your followers questions, engage with the content they’re sharing, and become a part of the larger social media conversation. Nonprofit Guru, John Haydon, has experimented with this himself, and found that posts that end with a question mark generate twice as many likes, comments, and shares versus posts that end with periods.
8. Participate in Hashtagging. This is one of the tactics you should be using to make social media a conversation. Participating in trending or popular hashtags can put your organization in front of new followers and show your current followers how trendy and involved you are. Participating in industry-specific hashtags will not only help you gain more relevant and interested followers, but also help you find new accounts to follow and conversations to consistently be a part of.
9. Highlight Your People. Nonprofits have something many organizations don’t: people who are truly passionate about the work they do and the impact they make. Your people are motivated by your cause and what you’re doing to impact the world: share their personal stories and motivations! Tell your followers about the fierce work your employees are doing to make a difference, don’t keep them in the dark—your people are your best asset.
10. Experiment and Test New Ideas Constantly. If you don’t constantly try and test new ideas on your social media, you’ll plateau. Try following new hashtags, uploading different types of content, or reaching out to a different kind of audience. Experiment with uploading and sharing old projects versus new updates and see which your followers respond more to. Experimenting on social doesn’t have to mean coming up with a completely new strategy