The name says it all. Nonprofit organizations work with slim budgets to do good works. Because of this, many nonprofits have embraced social media marketing. Its entry is inexpensive and results can be fantastic, but managing your nonprofit’s social media can be tedious and time-consuming. Today, we’ll explore nonprofit social media strategies that will help you reach your organization’s targeted audience without having to defer to ad buys.
Nonprofit Social Media Strategies
Social media sites allow you to tell the story of your non-profit. It lets you share your vision and goals with both supporters and potential donors. But it takes a smart marketer to get results in this day of algorithm and scandals. Let’s discuss a few nonprofit social media strategies to help you get the most reach and conversions from your social media efforts.
Make Sure Your Social Media & Traditional Marketing Efforts Are Intertwined
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make (not just in philanthropic areas) is treating social media marketing as a completely separate animal. Social media marketing for non-profits needs to work alongside all other marketing efforts. They need to work off each other. Particularly, social media marketing should be used to build engagement and interest in other marketing efforts and all work together towards one goal – helping you achieve your goals and mission. When creating social media strategy and posts, make sure that you keep in mind what is being created for your website, blog, email marketing, events and ad campaigns.
Define Clear, Achievable & Measurable Goals
Sure, you know you want to help your non-profit achieve its mission, but that is way too broad of a goal. Your goals need to be simple, reachable and measurable. Sit down and really define what you can achieve on Social Media. For example, your goals could be:
To educate the community about the problem you are trying to fix
Recruit 15% more volunteers year over year
Increase fundraising results by 30%
Once you have defined those goals, you need to define how you will measure those. For example, for the fundraising increase, you could track clicks to the website from social and use Google analytics to track those clicks towards their conversion.
Define Your Audience
Your non-profit organization has a specific audience. Sure, everyone is concerned about breast cancer, but breast cancer organizations would be smart to target a population that cares deeply about this disease – people who have been affected by the disease and their family members. If you aim for a more general audience, it will be much harder to get people to convert.
Your audience persona needs to be based on the people who currently engage and help out your non-profit organization. They need to be in similar locations and have similar attributes. To find out who your audience is made up of, go to Analytics. Start off with Google analytics, then check social media analytics. Compare and contrast to build that audience persona so you can cater your content to them. Keep in mind that you may have multiple personas, for example:
You will need to decide what social network is best for each type of persona and cater your social media content on each network to match their voice.
How to Choose the Right Networks For Each Persona
Different types of people frequent different social networks. You need to analyze each social network’s demographics in order to figure out where your time will be best spent. While we are on this, you don’t need to be active on all social networks. Make sure to claim your handle on all networks to make sure nobody can squat on it, but if you are working on a tight budget or have little resources, keep your efforts focused to where your audience is active.
Come Up with Your Strategy
Before you even think of crafting a post, go through your social media analytics. Look at the posts that performed best. Figure out why they did so well. Was it because they touched people’s hearts? Or maybe because the post was really funny? Is video performing better than regular images? Did someone share the post allowing it to go viral? The above post from The Banyard Sanctuary did so well because it is light, fun and matches their audience. It is not preachy or boring – a perfect match for those who frequent Instagram. Once you understand the performance for both the top and bottom posts for your non-profit, you will better understand what your audience responds to.
What Kind of Content Should You Create?
Visuals are key, especially when it comes to causes. Begin to test out various types of image posts: static images, gif, videos. If you are worried that you don’t have the tools or budget for video, get ready to smile. Because you are working for a non-profit, it’s totally cool to have that home-made feel. They can give a more authentic vibe. The key here is being creative. Case in point, the above video from Furkids Animal rescue feels homemade but received so much love on social. It’s all about creativity and warmth.
- Yearly Plans 50%
- Monthly Plans 25%
How Often Should You Post?
It really depends on your audience, so look at analytics and test to see what works best for your audience. Once you have determined a social media schedule, you can begin to work on a social media content calendar. That will keep you organized. If you work with a team, you can split up the work and schedule ahead of time so you give yourself plenty of time to engage your audience. Here are suggestions on how often you should post per network so that you can begin to test from there:
- Facebook – daily
- Twitter – at least 3 times per day
- Instagram – daily
- LinkedIn – daily
- Pinterest – multiple times per day
Social media is not a soapbox. It’s an engagement platform. The key here is to engage, so when you work on content – ask yourself – does this content encourage engagement? If people ask questions, answer. If they leave comments, reply. And…when you can – get out there and say hello to people. This works incredibly well on Twitter and Instagram, so don’t be shy.
Get Your Team Involved
Principals, volunteers, and donors can be strong social media advocates for your non-profit organization. Let them know that you welcome their social media shares and make it easy for them. Send out a newsletter with ideas, suggestions, and simple to follow guidelines so that they too can help to educate the public.
For those who are a part of the organization, you can use a social media scheduling tool like Socialdraft that allows you to set up team members with different permissions. It’s quite powerful when you get everyone involved.
Use Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are powerful. They aren’t affected by the algorithm in the same way that pages are and really allow you to talk with your audience.
Measure and Analyze
Begin tracking your current performance and compare it to your future performance. This way you can keep an eye on growth, adjust when needed, and be prepared for possibilities that may come. Social media platforms like Socialdraft offer easy to pull reporting that is easy to understand and share. When you want to go deeper, check out each social network’s social media analytics.
We hope that you enjoy this guide to social media nonprofit strategies. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask us. Just leave a comment. We’d also love to invite you to join our Facebook social media manager’s group. It’s a great place to share ideas and get support when needed.