Nonprofit organizations have critically important missions to communicate, that typically don’t match their small budgets. Social media is a great way for these organizations to communicate their story, engage with supporters and get results - that’s why it’s important for nonprofits to make the most of the social media efforts.
Here’s 6 tips and tricks to amp up your nonprofit social media marketing strategy:
1. Tell A Story.
Nonprofits have a huge advantage on social media as they have a great story to tell. Social media gives organizations a chance to touch the lives of those served, and future sponsors. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Sharing a real, human story can be the difference that people need to understand and get behind an organization’s mission.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Many businesses identity their target audience as “the general public”. However typically, in terms of social media marketing, if organizations think their talking to everyone, they’re probably talking to nobody. By clearly defining personas from the get-go, nonprofit’s can ensure their organization is communicating the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.
Personas are semi-fictional representation of an organization's ideal audience based on research and real data about your existing audience. While identifying personas, consider your audience's demographics, motivation, goals and behaviors. By developing detailed personas, nonprofit’s can better determine where to focus their efforts and allow for alignment across all marketing efforts.
3. Developing a Posting Strategy.
Developing a posting strategy for your social media marketing efforts is crucial in order to ensure your organization remains timely, relevant and consistent. As many nonprofits organizations don’t have the budget to hire a full-time marketing specialist, creating a posting strategy will help keep create consistency and ensure social media marketing doesn’t fall through the cracks.
A posting strategy will also help organizations make sure they are posting the right content to reach their audiences. Steven Shattuck at Hubspot suggests, “A balanced approach to the three A's and the rule of thirds can set your nonprofit organization up for social media success.”
He proposes a three-part system for non-profits, the “Three A’s”:
- Appreciation: 1/3 of social updates should recognize your donors, supporters, volunteers, and employees.
- Advocacy: 1/3 should engage and share with the content of other groups or nonprofits who are relevant to your organization’s area.
- Appeals: 1/3 should solicit donations or help.
Shattuck’s “Three A’s” are a great place for organizations to get started.
4. Engage With Your Supporters.
Engaging with your supporters can be as simple as asking a question. Social media specialist John Haydon reports, “posts that end with a question mark vs. a period generate twice as many likes, comments and shares - especially those that start with ‘should’ or ‘would’.”
Make sure to give your supporters a lot of “social love”. Applaud donors for their contributions and encourage them to be a part of the conversation. Many nonprofits look to social as a money-first channel, however this is typically the most ineffective strategy. When organizations focus on being a resource, useful or entertaining to their audiences, the donations will come naturally.
5. Get Visual.
There's no doubt that we are moving toward a more visual marketing world. Audiences prefer to engage with images and videos more than any other type of post. Facebook’s layout and design promotes visual content, which sets the stage for a storytelling opportunity. Content such as video or interactive infographics, can really help your organization stand out among all the clutter.
When it comes to sharing videos, Facebook has become more popular than YouTube, with a recorded 3 billion video views a day. Creating rich, compelling videos is a critical component of social media for nonprofits by combining sight, sound and motion. Video allows nonprofit organizations to create an experience that is memorable, moving and inspiring.
6. Encourage Donations.
Social media for nonprofits offers an easy funnel to capture donations. As discussed earlier in the article, these networks shouldn’t be treated as a “money-first channel”, however they present a huge opportunity to collect contributions with ease. In 2015, Facebook introduced a new “Donate Now” call-to-action on both link ads and Pages “making it easier than ever for nonprofits to connect with people who care about their causes and encourage them to contribute through the website of their choice. Social fundraising tools such as Charitweet allow for quick donations via Twitter and helps “empower your social network as a force for social good”.