How to Use Social Media to Increase Awareness of Your Nonprofit
3.96 billion people use social media worldwide. There is simply no doubt that using social media as a tactic in the marketing strategy for your nonprofit organization will help you increase the awareness of your cause. And make no mistake; it is critical to have a marketing strategy for your nonprofit. Much like running a business, a nonprofit organization has income, expenses, goals and targets, and communication that needs to be done. Having a marketing strategy is a key component of communication and reaching your goals. With a carefully crafted social media strategy you will be able to consistently reach more people raise more funds, and help more people.
So where do you get started on social media? How do you know where to have a social media presence? What to post? How to manage engagements?
This will largely depend on your goals and your target “audience”. This might include:
- Potential donors
- Potential sponsors
- Current donors and sponsors
- Community agency members
- Clients (the people you are helping)
- General community members
Where is your target audience spending their time on social media? Most nonprofit organizations will have some form of communication that touches all of these potential groups and so really they will benefit in some way from having a social media presence on as many platforms as possible.
What Social Media Platforms Should Our NonProfit Be On?
The short answer is going to be all of them. You will gain the most benefit and reach the most people if you have a social media strategy that includes:
With over 2.8 billion active users there is no choice but to have a Facebook Page for your nonprofit organization. It really is expected. Here you have the incredible opportunity to reach many people with your message.
This highly engaging platform is home to over 330 monthly active users, many of them loyal to the platform. Benefits of Twitter include the ability to easily grow a targeted community, build high quality relationships, send traffic to your website, and get indexed by Google. Very active platform with journalists politicians and professionals you can imagine the benefits. Pro Tip: Check out Twitter chats for networking opportunities.
There are now over 1 billion active users worldwide on Instagram. This is where the growth is happening with the younger demographic. Instagram is a mobile platform that is visual. The newsfeed is mainly composed of images, and now videos and reels have become very popular. There are additional ways to share content through the “stories” feature.
Instagram is another platform where connecting with targeted groups of people by “following” them is a great way to grow your own community and reach more people. There is a high level of engagement and ways to follow common topics using hashtags.
Pro tip: connect your Instagram account to your Facebook Page to make it a business account and gain access to insights and the ad platform.
The only disadvantage of Instagram is it is the only social media platform not indexed by Google and in general will not send very much traffic to your website.
This is the platform commonly used by a more business to business audience, or the professional side of social media. Using LinkedIn as part of the social media strategy for your nonprofit is a great way to connect with other members of the nonprofit community. Also very beneficial for building relationships with other community organizations, potential donor and company sponsors.
Having a company page on LinkedIn is the correct set up for your charity. (not setting up a personal account as the charity) All social media content would be posted to the company page. If then you have a key member of the organization with a personal account, i.e your director, they might be the ones building up personal connections and sharing the content from the page.
This platform is often forgotten about, but actually will have huge benefits by sending large amounts of traffic to your website and helping in your SEO efforts. So if gaining more website traffic is one of the goals for your nonprofit organization having a strategy to post consistent content on Pinterest will definitely benefit you.
Potentially: Youtube, Tiktok
These video platforms have huge audiences with huge reach. They are for certain ones that might be considered after you have the rest of your foundations in place.
WHAT TYPE OF POSTS SHOULD OUR NONPROFIT MAKE ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Deciding what to post on social media is a very big challenge for businesses and nonprofit organizations. The key is to not come across too “salesy” it is after all SOCIAL media. And the other key is to be consistent. At Dufferin Media we often use the 30/30/30 rule when creating a social media calendar. 30% of the posts are informative. 30% are social, and 30% are sales posts.
For a nonprofit organization you might use this guideline to post 30% perhaps even less of your content as “asks” i.e. asking for donations, soliciting sponsorships, etc.
Really the communications that your audience is going to be looking for is to learn as much as possible about what you are doing and why. So the social and informative posts are going to get more engagement and reach.
Ideas for “social” posts would include anything that is showing the human side of your organization and looking for engagement.
- Ask a question
- Thank sponsors
- Feature a volunteer
- Behind the scenes photo or video
- National Day
Social posts are really trying to encourage reaction, comments, discussion.
Ideas for “informative” posts may include the following
- DYK (did you know)
- Share a recent blog post
- Share statistics
- Share a community article
- Share any article that is informative
- Tell a story of someone you helped recently
These posts are meant to educate your audience on anything to do with your organization, your community, or the social causes you are trying to bring awareness to.
There is so much more to using social media to raise awareness of your nonprofit, and we will certainly be sharing more in the weeks and months ahead. If you have any questions about social media marketing for your nonprofit or charity please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are absolutely ready to help you in any way we can.