social media for nonprofits

Social media is an important part of the overall marketing strategy for most nonprofits today. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to reach out to a targeted audience and educate them about your cause. 

Why is social media for nonprofits a great tool to use? It can help you: 

  1. Drive traffic to your website
  2. Generate brand awareness 
  3. Recruit volunteers or employees 
  4. Raise funds 
  5. Increase brand mentions 
  6. Build a community 
  7. Share news and events 
  8. Build email lists for your newsletter

Nonprofits can achieve these goals organically or by running paid campaigns with little budget.  

So, which social media platform(s) should your nonprofit use?

You’ve likely heard of or used some of the most popular ones like Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. 

When choosing which platforms to use, I recommend taking the following into consideration:

  1. Who is your target audience and which social media platforms do they use? 
  2. How much time do you have to manage social media platforms? 
  3. What’s your monthly budget to run social media campaigns (organic or paid)? 

When considering your budget, don’t forget to consider the cost for creating content, hiring social media experts (if not done in house), using paid social media scheduling or management tools, running ad campaigns, and utilizing tools to make videos and graphics.  

Just remember: Since most nonprofits work with a limited budget and staff, it’s not feasible for them to use every platform out there. So don’t put that pressure on yourself! 

I recommend starting with using two social media platforms, specifically Facebook and Twitter (unless you have a reason to go with another platform). 

In terms of posting content, follow the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent should be curated content which is interesting and relevant to nonprofits or the people you serve. Twenty percent should be promotional or branded content. 

To drive engagement on social media platforms, you need to be creative and produce awesome pieces of content on a regular basis. 

How and when should you post on social media?

Here are just a few ideas of things you can create and share on your social media platforms.

  • Quotes 
  • Stories (your nonprofit’s story, success stories, etc.) 
  • Stats & facts (via Infographics) [Eg. Employment Statistics of UK’s Disabled People]
  • Explainers or tips 
  • Thank you video from your nonprofit’s founder or staff 
  • Recurring themes related to your work (e.g. throwback Thursday) 
  • Posts about events 
  • Audience Q&As, quizzes, and polls
  • A behind-the-scenes look at your work
  • Contests and giveaways 
  • Volunteer spotlights

When is the best day to post on social media? 

Keep an eye on your analytics and see when your posts are receiving the most engagement. To start, try out these days: 

  • Facebook: Tuesday to Friday 
  • Instagram: Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday 
  • Twitter: Wednesday to Friday 
  • LinkedIn: Wednesday, Thursday 

When is the best time to post on social media? 

The answer is when most of your fans or followers are online. As mentioned above, you need to look into each platform’s analytics/insights section and see when your audience is engaging with your posts. Alternatively, take reference for the best time for nonprofits to post on social media by reading this interesting article from Sprout Social. 

Finally here are ten social media tips and best practices. 

  1. Most social media platforms offer some special features only for nonprofits. For example, Facebook offers features like a donate button, page fundraisers, live video donate, and fundraiser stickers. Make sure you take advantage of the features that will help you accomplish your marketing goals. 
  2. Share content regularly to gain more exposure. 
  3. Build your own social media calendar to plan out and schedule content well in advance, ideally 1-2 weeks prior to posting. 
  4. Make use of visuals like short videos, GIFs, emoticons, engaging pictures, Facebook 360 pictures, and infographics. 
  5. Try to keep your posts short. To get the most traction, include appropriate hashtags to increase your reach and post interactive content like surveys, polls, Q&A sessions, and more. 
  6. Ensure that you check all your social media platforms once per day. Respond to messages as soon as you can. Appreciate their feedback and encourage them to share your content with others. 
  7. Check that the donation button and links to your donation pages are functional and easy for someone to find and that they can complete the donation process in 2-3 clicks. 
  8. Stay on top of new social media trends and features by reading about updates and taking trainings offered by the platforms or consultants.  
  9. Reuse your best content by converting into a new format. For example, you can convert your blog post into a presentation or podcast. Then repost your popular content at regular intervals to keep it in front of your audience. 
  10. Find, follow, and build relationships with influencers and other nonprofits to and take advantage of opportunities for cross promotion.

Now that you have learned about the benefits of social media marketing for nonprofits, which social media platforms are best, what different types of content to produce, when to post, and social media tips and best practices to follow, it’s time now to get started. 

All you have to do is invest the appropriate amount of time, effort, and money to make your social media strategy work for you, and you’ll see results.  

Happy socializing! 

social-media-cta

Jay Charara
A psychologist, communal and civic leader, a dedicated advocate with a background in public relations.