Social media is essential to the livelihood of any organization, big or small. In addition to being a great way to engage with your supporters and followers, it is a free way to market your nonprofit and its campaigns. You can get creative with what you post, when you post, and how you interact with supporter responses, discussions, and content from other organizations and thought leaders.
Not only is a solid social media presence good for your organization, but participating in social media is paramount in keeping up with the the way people are progressively interacting with news, causes, and their communities. And social media users are continuously on the rise, increasing by 176 million in just the last year.
However, you can’t just create a series of accounts and hope for the best. An effective social media presence is dependent on a well-thought out strategy that involves knowing your target audience, maintaining a defined and positive voice across platforms, providing compelling content, and consistently engaging with and responding to followers and their feedback.
Looking to improve your strategy? Here’s where to start:
1. Know Your Audience
Your posts need to cater to an identified audience, taking into account supporter demographics and their values, which should align with your organization’s mission. Once you know your audience, your content goals can be refined and set. This will help with deciding which social accounts you should maintain with the most pertinent content according to your followers’ interests. It’s always better to have a selective number of effective and active social media accounts than to spread yourself thin with several inactive ones.
Keep in mind what platforms fit your audience. Facebook is a good bet for most organizations, since it leads in popularity with 1.65 billion users. Instagram is mostly relevant to younger folks, since 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35.
2. Keep a Consistent Voice
Your nonprofit’s voice is an important part of its branding, as it instills a sense of trust and humanity for your supporters. Your voice includes your organization’s visual branding, sense of humor, values, and writing style. Your voice should be consistent across all your social media platforms so that your messaging sounds like it’s coming from the same reliable source.
Want to learn more about building your organization’s voice? Check out this article!
3. Content is King
Once you know your audience, you can curate your content. This is your opportunity to inspire emotionally with stories, videos, and photos.
Tell stories about your organization’s efforts that make supporters feel proud and personally connected. Detail how donations were spent and how they made a difference. And remember to make use of visual media! Photos and videos will help you tell stories with emotional impact.
In addition to promoting your organization and its campaigns, consider posting educational and entertaining content. Become a thought leader in your field, and post relevant news and tips that relate to your organization’s mission. And don’t shy away from posting the occasional feel-good update that will entertain and delight your supporters—this shows a refreshing sense of humor and humanity.
4. Follow Up and Respond Promptly on Your Social Media
Social media is a great place to get feedback about your work, and the more you responsive you are, the more your supporters feel personally engaged with your organization. Comment on posts, respond to other’s comments, retweet and share quality posts from other organizations, causes and users. The quicker and more thoughtfully you can respond, the better. Your supporters will feel that they are engaging with your organization in real-time, and the flow of conversation will feel more human to your followers. The latest stats from Brandwatch state that 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to.
Using hashtags is a great way to spread the word for a campaign or event, as well as to see feedback from participants and supporters who have posted their own photos and comments with your hashtag.
In short, the best way to utilize your social media is to treat it as a means to engaging with your supporters. Know your audience demographics, cater to their interests, and keep them inspired. Show that you care by following up, participating, and networking with your community.
What social platforms does your organization use and why? We’d love to hear your comments.