3 Steps to Achieve Social Media Success For Nonprofits
For nonprofit organizations with limited resources, a strong social media marketing plan can help guide effective content creation. Nonprofits are generally run by small teams and volunteers with limited marketing budgets. Fortunately, many social media channels have built-in tools to help support nonprofits, making every effort count.
Step 1 For Social Media Success: Outline a Strategy
Even if your organization has established social media channels, it’s never too late to create a strategy, or re-evaluate the current strategy. Begin by clearly defining the goals of your nonprofit. Here are some broad examples of nonprofit goals:
- Build awareness of your organization
- Recruit volunteers
- Donor outreach
- Communicate internally with existing donors or volunteers
- Reputation management
After choosing your goals, create a list of ways in which social media can address them. For example, building awareness is guaranteed by engaging with social media. More eyes on your organization may mean more volunteers and additional donor opportunities.
Most people interact with social media daily, so communicating with existing donors and volunteers through your channels could be an effective way to spread information. A positive reputation is a key to ensuring donor funding and support from the community and can be developed with the right social media content.
The last step to developing a strategy should be to define the type of person you want to reach. Create a target audience or multiple audiences for each of the goals you hope to achieve with social media. For example, your strategy may differ between donors and volunteers, government organizations, and the general community.
Step 2 For Social Media Success: Choose Your Social Channels
Once you know your goals and the audience you hope to reach, it’s time to pick the channels that will be the most effective at reaching them. It’s not unheard of to clone social media content across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest, but with limited time and staffing, it may not be realistic for your organization. By limiting the scope of the channels your organization puts focus on, you can optimize your strategy and ensure your content is reaching who it needs to reach.
Choosing Facebook as the main channel has many benefits for nonprofit organizations. A built-in advertising platform allows for the easy creation of ads with useful metric reporting after a campaign has finished. Build awareness for specific happenings of your organization by creating a Facebook Event. Facebook Events also allow for outreach to volunteers and donors. Create a Facebook Group for your organization’s volunteers to easily spread information about upcoming opportunities and to keep them engaged with the brand.
Instagram and Facebook are both run by the same parent company, Meta, which makes advertising integration between the two platforms a breeze. Though Events and Groups are exclusive benefits of Facebook, Instagram holds the social media floor for live event success. Nonprofits can use Instagram Live events to share fundraising events, increase awareness, and allow people to actively donate during the event.
The 4 types of Instagram posts can each serve different purposes. Those types are static posts (the evergreen ones that live on your profile page’s grid), Reels (short videos similar in format to TikTok that are likely to show up on people’s feed even if they aren’t following your account), IGTV (long-form videos that can be used for education purposes or to store past Live events), and Stories (short highlights that disappear from your page after 24 hours unless they are pinned at the top of your feed).
LinkedIn can be an important channel for nonprofit organizations to use for outreach to professionals already involved in philanthropy or with the potential to be involved. Many corporations have incorporated donation and nonprofit partnerships into their strategy and may have people on staff specifically in charge of responding to outreach pertaining to this. Networking and spreading awareness on LinkedIn can be a useful way for nonprofits to reach new donors and volunteers.
YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users, and many brands and organizations use YouTube content to build awareness. A downside of video content is it does require a higher amount of resources (both time and money) to create than written content or images, but it does have the highest engagement rates across channels.
If your organization does choose to prioritize YouTube content in its social media strategy, keep in mind that these videos can also be embedded into your website and shared on other social media channels.
The key to successful Pinterest content is strong visuals that truly showcase your organization. Pinterest tends to be more niche than some of the other larger social media networks but can lead to increases in website traffic in particular. The best-performing content on Pinterest is organized and informative infographics.
Step 3 For Social Media Success: Take Advantage of Special Nonprofit Resources
Each platform has its own benefits and resources for nonprofit organizations. To ensure your organization is eligible, check the account settings to confirm you are enrolled as a nonprofit.
These are platform-specific links for nonprofits:
- See if you’re eligible for Facebook fundraising
- Sign up for Facebook’s Charitable Giving Tools
- Apply as a charitable organization Facebook Payments
- Sign up to accept donations from personal fundraisers
- Check to see if you’re eligible for YouTube’s Nonprofits Program
- Enroll your channel for the Nonprofits Program
- Look into TikTok For Good options, including promoted hashtags
Frequently Asked Questions
How do nonprofits increase social media engagement?
Boosting social media engagement organically involves posting regular updates, tagging or mentioning certain partners, and encouraging your followers to use hashtags for your nonprofit. Nonprofit social media engagement is about sharing quality human interest stories.
How often should nonprofits post on social media?
Nonprofit organizations should post on social media a minimum of 2-4 times per week, depending on your location and goals.
How many nonprofits use social media?
On Facebook alone there are approximately 90,000 registered nonprofits. Facebook also has many great advertising options especially since it owns Instagram as well.