According to research published in the Global Web Index report for 2015, the average person has five social media accounts and spends more than an hour and a half browsing them each day.
And while most smart and savvy marketers and business people have already begun to take advantage of everything that social media has to offer, nonprofit organizations are just now really starting to understand how potent a channel of communication this can be to help them improve their reach.
If you are looking to learn how nonprofits can use social media, or want to put together an effective social media nonprofit guide, hopefully the inside information we are able to share with you will be beneficial!
1) Outline your social media goals in advance
It will be absolutely impossible for you to make the most of social media for your nonprofit without first understanding EXACTLY what you hope to achieve on this social media platform to begin with.
Most nonprofits utilize social media to:
- Share news about the nonprofit
- Educate individuals about the cause and mission of nonprofits
- Leverage the reach of social media to improve fundraising
- Take advantage of tools for smarter employee recruitment
When you learn how nonprofits can use social media to do each and every one of those (and so much more) you’ll really be able to improve the reach that your nonprofit organization enjoys. But you have to be crystal-clear before you dive right in.
2) Laser target your ideal audience
Secondly, you need to be 100% certain that you really understand your ideal audience and that you choose to communicate with them – and ONLY with them – when you post to social media.
How do you do this? Check Google analytics. Find out about the people who are currently visiting your website. This needs to be your starting point to see who is coming to the website and is already interested in your cause. Google Analytics will give you age, gender, lifestyle interests, as well as what they consider themselves to be. Then, if you have the resources, get out there and do some surveys so you can get more in depth information on your perfect demographic.
Use this information to form the tone of your posts so that they resonate specifically with that audience. The beautiful thing about social media is that it feels like a personal one-on-one conversation, when really you’re able to disseminate your message to hundreds of millions of people all over the world. Personalize your posts and make sure that they are targeted to your ideal audience, and you’ll be able to write your own social media nonprofit guide!
3) Take advantage of the right social media platform for your specific needs
Finally, you want to be smart about utilizing the right social media platform for your specific message.
Facebook is a bit of a “catchall” social media platform, whereas LinkedIn is more specific towards businesses and those looking to build their professional network. Twitter is ideal for sharing news instantly, whereas Instagram really allows you to visually show the work that your nonprofit is able to do around the world.
While the best case scenario is to be active in all social media networks, it is best for you not to spread your already thin resources too thin. If you are active on multiple platforms, use a tool like Socialdraft that lets you schedule to multiple networks all at once.
Use the right social media platform for your message and you will dramatically improve your results!
4) Create your content
Think about the voice you will use with your audience. This should be determined by your research on Google Analytics. You need to have a consistent voice on your posts throughout the various social networks, and said voice should match that of your website and other marketing channels. Consistency is key here.
Once you’ve figured out your voice, you need to come up with a posting schedule. The frequency varies by network…and you should test out the best frequency and posting times, but the following guide is a good starting point for the most well known social networks:
Facebook: Once a day
Facebook Groups: 1-2 times daily & tons of interactions
Twitter: Minimum 3 times per day (optimal 8 times per day)
Instagram: 1-3 per day (start with 1 and test out what happens once you increase frequency)
LinkedIn: Once per day to the Non-profit company page, multiple interactions in relevant groups
Pinterest: 3-5 times per day.
Again, save time by using a tool like Socialdraft to schedule your posts.
5) Measure Your Results
Once you’ve started posting, check out how each post performs. Does it get engagement, does it get likes? Are people sharing this content? Analyze the unsuccessful ones too. Figure out what makes a post a failure, and what makes a post a success. Adjust your strategy to replicate those posts that performed best.
6) Focus on Engagement
It’s important to focus on engaging your audience by answering questions, replying to comments and joining in on conversations. Don’t use social media as a one-way platform to broadcast your content. Asking questions in your social media posts will encourage interaction and lead to more responses.
7) Start a Wikipedia page
Creating a Wikipedia page can be a fantastic way to bolster your position on search engine result pages (SEO). You can create a page by going to the entry creation page at Wikipedia.
8) Request a social media profile
In order to add possible donors to your donor database, add an extra field in your signup form and then add the social media info in your donor database.
9) Check your social media accounts often
Check your social media accounts at least three times a day in order to be aware of any recent developments. Be sure to reply to questions and comments and join in on conversations.
10) Share your content more than once
When you take the time to create quality content, you can increase the chance that more of your fans will view your content by posting it a second or third time at different times of the day and weekends. Just vary the content by adding an image and/or fresh hashtags.