How To Maximize Social Media In The Nonprofit World
Storytelling is one of the oldest and most sacred pastimes of humanity.
One of the most important tasks for any organization is to share your story with your target audiences. And this truth is exponentially more important when speaking about nonprofits. Being able to share your story well can make or break your budget...and mission.
And sharing our story in May 2016 looks much different than it did 50 years ago. And 5 months ago. And 5 weeks ago.
Social media has quickly become an important avenue for sharing the stories of nonprofits and those we serve on a daily basis.
Here is a quick rundown of the top social media channels and key ways to use each one:
- Facebook: It continues to be the 'big kid on the block' and is an important way to communicate with your network about what is going on in your nonprofit. Facebook ads are a cost-effective way to get in front of more people, and is essential to use because of the 'Facebook algorithm' which reduces the likelihood of a non-boosted post being seen. Also, use a lot of photos in your posts and make sure you utilize the call to action button on your page.
- Instagram: A great platform to share photos and stories about your staff, volunteers, and neighbors. Great to use for connecting with teens and young adults. Tip: Utilize hashtags effectively but don't #over #hashtag #your #posts.
- Twitter: Great to use to connect with others nonprofits in your area of service and geographic area. Share posts, quotes, stats, and photos that are easily shareable by your followers. Using video on Twitter has a lot of potential as well to share daily updates and testimonials.
- Youtube: This 'older' platform continues to be the best way to share video content with your friends - volunteers and donors.
While these platforms are great ways to creatively share your stories, they are most effective when integrated into a larger strategy. Here's some tips on how to use social media platforms effectively.
- Make sure your social media posts are beneficial to your target audience and provide content and updates more often than you 'ask' for help and support.
- The end goal is not for people to land on a social media page (which you don't own) but rather your goal should be to get them to your home turf - your website.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly, easy to use, and linked to from your social media pages.
- Have an easy way for people to join your email list on your website.
- While social media is great, the two best ways (still) to communicate back and forth with friends of your organization is through your website and through email. Being allowed into someone's email inbox is still profoundly important when it comes to sharing our story.
Here's the most important point: Social media is a tool - not your end game. Aim for sharing your story better; don't just aim for more likes and shares.
Social media is important, and it's value and importance will only continue to grow in the months and years ahead. And while every nonprofit needs to be effectively using social media, it must continue to be a (extremely important) element to your larger 'story sharing' strategy.
Looking for more info on social media and marketing for nonprofits? Check out this 2016 trends report from Nonprofitmarketingguide.com.
What ways have you seen nonprofits (either that you are a part of or support) use social media effectively? Are they using other/newer platforms? And what's your preferred way to keep up with your favorite nonprofits? Comment below!