Social media has taken the nonprofit world by storm. Almost every nonprofit is on social media in some capacity. There is a reason every organization is racing to get its message out. Social media platforms allow nonprofits to have a closer relationship with their supporters and donors. No longer are nonprofits only highlighting their achievements in the newspaper. Now they can share their information with a much wider audience on a more regular basis. Their supporters also have the opportunity to share their favorite nonprofit’s messages on all of their social media platforms. Nonprofits now have a chance to reach a larger audience than ever before.
We know social media is also intimidating. Learning how to promote on social media requires you to learn multiple software programs. When you are unfamiliar with social media platforms, they seem like a mountain too big to climb. The most important suggestion we can give to all beginners is to take it slow. Start small with only a couple of posts a month. As you become experienced, you can simply increase the number of posts you create. If you want to get started on social media or improve your current use, follow along for tips to help your overall strategy.
5 Getting Started on Social Media Tips for Nonprofits
- Create In Advance
One thing that many people get wrong when using social media is they stress about posting in real-time. Using a business account on Facebook gives you the ability to post to your Facebook and Instagram accounts when you schedule them. Scheduling makes creating content for your organization so much easier. You can even plan out a month ahead of time.
Working ahead gives you more time to think about meaningful content your followers would like to see. Think about all the things going on during the month in your community and at your organization. A content calendar can be a helpful tool as well. If you have not heard of a content calendar, this is an Excel document where you plan out a month of social media posts. Content calendars are helpful because you can make placeholders for important dates and holidays in addition to spacing out your content and keeping your content consistent.
The Facebook Business Manager is a free tool available to all business pages on Facebook. It is an easy tool to use, and it can be helpful when you are posting to Facebook or Instagram. It takes all the stress away from trying to post in real-time. Here is a helpful video where they walk you through how Facebook Business works.
2. Make It Easy to Donate
One thing that we see a lot of nonprofits getting wrong is they do not make it easy for people to donate. A donation button seems like a small tip, but it can be helpful. You would be surprised how many people are willing to give on social media. Here is an informative resource with step-by-step instructions on adding donate button to your Facebook homepage.
3. Share Meaningful Stories
Sharing meaningful stories is a piece that many people forget. We can get so overwhelmed with posting on time and the numbers that we forget about making our social media meaningful. Remember that you are not just posting to post. Social media is a way for you to share with the world the impact of your organization. Social media posts need to be short and sweet, but there are ways to go into more detail. One easy way to expand on a story is to give social media viewers a snippet and then link back to your website. It is an easy way to tell a story that will also drive people to your website. You could even consider recording short videos to highlight an event or connect with your audience in a new way.
4. Take Lots of Pictures
It is easy for your posts to get lost in the sea of social media. But one thing to keep in mind is that a picture is worth a thousand words. Images of your impact on the community can speak to your audience more deeply than anything written. As your skills increase, you can also try your hand at making videos. One suggestion we have that will make your life much easier is taking pictures any chance you get. Ask to take photos of your board members in the community or volunteers coming together. Having a photo library that you can pull from at any time will make your life easier. It is also a great way to engage with your audience as people love to see pictures of others they know in the community. In addition, photos can make your social media content more relatable.
5. Bonus Tip: Set Your Goals
First, you need to begin by finding the social media platforms that work for your organization. Learn more about how you can pick a social media platform. To be successful with social media, you need to first begin by recording the numbers. There are three stats that you need to focus on:
- Followers: These are the people who follow your account and will see when you post something.
- Page views: This is the amount of people who landed on your home Facebook page. They could have found your page through a web search, or from someone else sharing your posts.
- Post engagement: This is when people are sharing, liking, commenting and reacting to your post. Each of these interactions give your post a score. Posts that score higher indicate that people are interested in your posts.
For Facebook, these metrics are on the insights tab. They should be recorded each month. Tracking the metrics of your posts allows you to understand which ones are reaching your followers. With metric data, you can promote things that people want to see, driving more people to your page. Tracking social media numbers is easy; all you need is an Excel document.
Once you have created an Excel document, take half an hour each month to plug in the numbers and begin recording your goals for each metric. Set reasonable goals that match up to the three stats you are recording. An example would be “gain 100 new followers in 6 months.” Setting goals helps you manage your expectations.
Even if you do not implement any of these tips, the best advice we can give you is to relate to your audience. Relatable content gets engagement. There is a way to engage with your audience in a fun way while still being professional. So, do not be afraid to use exclamation points and humor to communicate with your audience. The more someone relates to the content, the more likely they are to share it with others.
If you are looking for more nonprofit tips, check out our blog, where we have dedicated a blog each month to support our local nonprofits. If you want to stay updated with everything that is happening at the Fayette Community Foundation, sign up for our nonprofit newsletter.