Social media is an ever-changing landscape that may be difficult to keep up with, especially if your organization does not have a team member dedicated to overseeing the frequent cultural, policy, and technological updates that various platforms undergo on a regular basis. While businesses have entire departments focused on leveraging social media for their company’s success, nonprofits may not have the same resources.
That said, we believe you can still tap into the rewards of a robust social media presence. These rewards include:
more widespread awareness about your mission
public name recognition
connecting with prospective supporters
getting noticed by the media
To help you, we have tailored a list of top social media tips and tricks, specifically for nonprofits.
Invest in Social Media Advertising
Because organic reach (that is, getting followers through word-of-mouth, etc.) is on a steep decline, organizations must invest in social media advertising in order to become more discoverable, reach a wider audience, and catch the attention of the people most likely to support them.
Experts strongly recommend spending a minimum of $100 per month on each platform in order to get desirable results (exposure) from advertising. This advice goes for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other channel. The more people that see your posts, the more engagement you will receive, and the more shareable your content will be across the web. This will also help grow your followers.
To get started, we suggest choosing your best post on each platform and paying for greater exposure over the course of a month. For more tips on social media advertising, check out this helpful guide.
Join Relevant Facebook or LinkedIn Groups
A group is a community of like-minded individuals discussing a predetermined topic. If you are an organization whose mission is to empower immigrant women in New York City, you can join groups that relate to immigrant culture, women empowerment, New York City, and likely, any combination of the three.
Whether on Facebook or LinkedIn, each group has its own set of rules and conduct, which you should look out for — usually at the top of each group page — and abide by. Many of them discourage self-promotion. So, in order to engage with others, it’s best to discuss the topic at hand by asking questions, posting relevant articles, and sharing stories.
Note that LinkedIn is a particularly strong platform for your organization to catch the attention of companies with corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
More helpful tips on how to leverage Groups to promote your content can be found here (while the article is Facebook-focused, the same principles can be used for LinkedIn).
Use Facebook & Instagram Stories
The fifteen-second video or still images that disappear after 24 hours are a great way to capture your followers’ attention because they show up at the top of each person’s feed. This means that if you post regularly, your followers will be more likely to see your content through Stories than through a regular post. In fact, on Instagram, you can now Share your regular posts in your Stories. This way, if it catches an audience member’s attention, they can long-press on the image and be linked straight to the original post, in order to further engage with your content.
Here are some great tips for creative Stories content, which you can use on both Facebook and Instagram.
Leverage Facebook & Instagram Charitable Giving Tools
Facebook has long made it easy for users to donate to causes, and just this year, Instagram has followed suit with the release of the Donation sticker in Stories.
First, in order to qualify for Facebook’s fundraising tools, a nonprofit has to enroll their organization as well as submit certain requirements. This step is essential to get both Facebook and Instagram donations flowing. Here’s how to do it.
Once you’ve qualified to receive donations, you, your team, your followers, and anyone with an Instagram account can add a Donation sticker to their Stories. To add it, upload your picture or video, then select “Donation” from the menu. Users who do this will be directed to a charity menu that lets them pick from a list of, or search for, qualified charities.
Work with Ambassadors
While many people recommend working with social media influencers to gain an audience, it turns out that you don’t need to pay accounts who have millions or hundreds of thousands of followers to spread awareness about your organization. In fact, if you build a reliable network of Ambassadors (supporters of your mission who are willing to talk about you on their platform), those with 5,000 to 30,000 followers have been proven to be more effective.
The reason for this is because Ambassadors who truly support a mission without having to be paid for it will spread awareness more willingly and frequently. Moreover, their word will be more credible to their audience, unlike the sponsored ads of more popular influencers.
Keep in mind, the partnership with Ambassadors is not one-way. Your organization will be expected to promote their content or otherwise incentivize them with experiences or materials for their work. Here are more tips on how to build an Ambassador program.
Gain Social Media Followers through Email
Believe it or not, email continues to reign as the number 1 way for nonprofits to fundraise online — with no expected change any time soon.
Some quick statistics:
There are 3.8 billion email accounts worldwide, and this number is expected to grow to 4.2 billion by 2022. This means that more than half the world’s population uses email
According to Nonprofit Tech for Good, email accounted for 23% of all online revenue in 2018
About 281 billion emails are sent each day, with that number growing to 333 billion by 2022
Your organization can get the most out of this high-traffic tool by shepherding your email contacts towards social media, simply by including your social links in your emails. Whether you place them in a signature, in a call-to-action at the bottom of your newsletter, or in your mailing list sign-up form, there are many ways to remind your contacts to connect with you on social media as well. You can find more tips here.
For a more in-depth look into trends in influencer marketing, join Visit.org‘s first session in the nonprofit-focused Grow Your Impact series. It will be held in NYC on July 17, 2019. Click here to RSVP.
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