6 Tips for Using Social Media to Promote Your Nonprofit Organization
If social media isn’t a part of your digital marketing strategy, it needs to be. Social media is the best way to gather your audience in one place and to share your message. However, with the rules and algorithms of social media platforms constantly changing, it can be hard to figure out how to use them effectively.
Regardless of the platform you choose, there are a few standard tips for making the most of your social media channels. Here are 6 ways to promote your nonprofit organization through social media.
1. Provide value to your audience.
If all of your posts are soliciting donations, people won’t have much incentive to follow or interact with you on social media. Instead, you should be sharing articles and writing copy that provides some sort of value to your audience. Before sharing a post, ask yourself: Why would someone want to read this? What value will they get out of it?
What counts as “valuable” depends on your focus, but it can never hurt to educate your followers on the issues your organization is working to change. People also enjoy feel-good stories, so giving heartwarming testimonials about what a difference your organization is making and sharing photos will encourage them to give without having to ask.
2. Interact with your community.
Social media isn’t just for sharing – it’s for interacting. Your social media profiles are a great way to create a personal connection with your audience. You should reply to every direct message within 24 hours of receiving it and make an effort to reply to every comment on public posts as well. It makes a person’s day when an organization they love responds to them directly.
Of course, every public Facebook page encounters negative comments from time to time. In these cases, it’s best to not engage too much publicly. Write a simple, kind reply in the public post (don’t delete it!) and let the person know you’ll be reaching out to them privately via direct message. In your private message, apologize for their experience or help solve the issue as best you can.
Sometimes, however, people just want to be negative and there may be no solution. The best you can do is make an effort and show your followers that you respond to every public comment and try to make things right, no matter what. In that case, there’s no harm in blocking or hiding comments instead of interacting.
As mentioned, it’s best to refrain from deleting these posts. In addition, we don’t recommend blocking users with negative comments unless its an extreme case. If this happens, it’s best to report them to the platform instead of blocking them entirely. Blocking and deleting posts can potentially get your organization into trouble as it may be seen and reported by the user as discrimination or an infringement of their first amendment rights. (Public officers are prohibited by law to block constituents on social media. We recommend doing whatever you can to solve the issue and reaching out to the platform to report issues before blocking.)
3. Quality over quantity.
When it comes to social media, engagement is everything. An account with 30 followers who comment on every post will be much better off than an account with 1000 followers that never engage.
Don’t be tempted to resort to fast-growth tactics for your page, like boosting ads to every demographic out there. Instead, focus on attracting people who are aligned with your mission. Your goal is to encourage people to donate to your organization, and you’ll get there faster by cultivating an audience of people who actually care.
4. Mix up your mediums.
Social media is very visual, but that doesn’t mean you have to post the same types of content all the time. You should make an effort to share a good mix of photos, articles, and videos on your page.
You’ll likely notice that your audience prefers one type of post over the others over time, such as videos over plain photo posts. It’s okay to focus mostly on one type of post, but you should still include the others from time to time to keep your feed fresh.
5. Be unique.
Why is your organization different than other nonprofits with a similar focus? Social media gives you a platform to stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself in your industry. It’s important to establish a strong brand voice and remain consistent with your branding while also sharing what makes your nonprofit great.
An easy way to do this is to share some behind-the-scenes content from your organization. Showing your employees having fun around the office or volunteering at events will humanize your organization and give people a sneak peek into the nonprofit they’re supporting.
6. Stay consistent.
Social media moves quickly! It’s not unusual for a morning post to become lost in the shuffle by lunchtime. This means less people are seeing and interacting with your content. Even worse, some platforms take consistency of posts into consideration when deciding what posts to show your audience: Even if they’ve “liked” your page, the platform might not give your posts priority.
The best way to circumvent this is by being consistent with what you post. You should aim to post multiple times per week and, depending on the platform, sometimes even multiple times per day. This increases the likelihood that your audience will see your posts and shows the platform that you’re an active user.
While social media can seem overwhelming, it takes just a little bit of strategy to boost the effectiveness of your social presence. You don’t need unlimited time or energy to promote your organization on social media; a few small changes here and there will go a long way towards making sure your message is heard.