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Utilizing Social Media for your Nonprofit Organization

This past year, nonprofit organizations have felt the hardships of COVID-19 as in-person fundraising events and donor meetings have been limited. Nonprofit organizations have pivoted their fundraising strategies to use social media to increase donations, improve visibility, and develop relationships with their constituents. Social media allows nonprofits a chance to connect and build relationships and trust with their audience.  

To utilize social media to the best of its abilities, your strategy should align with your nonprofit’s goals and target audience. Frequent posting and targeted campaigns can increase community engagement while increasing visibility to new constituents.  

Benefits of Social Media

Social media can take your nonprofit organization’s marketing strategy to the next level. Some of the benefits of social media are:  

  • Social media spreads your mission and objective to a new audience 
  • Social media is a cost-free way to change your marketing strategy 
  • Social media can attract new donors and keep current ones engaged 
  • Social media can increase your reach  
  • Social media platforms allow your audience to feel more engaged  
  • Social media can be an effective tool for recruiting new volunteers 

    Best Platforms

    Instagram 

    Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms available to non-profit organizations, with 1.2 billion unique visitors reported as of October 2020. In terms of increasing brand awareness, Instagram is a great platform to share high-impact visuals from your organization. Given that more than half of the Instagram population is aged 34 years or younger, Instagram is the perfect platform to market to a younger generation. The key to running a successful nonprofit campaign on Instagram is to use emotional marketing to boost engagement and to share your nonprofit’s story and mission. Images and videos on Instagram can range from heartfelt, inspiring stories to hardships.  

    Take advantage of the tools that Instagram provides nonprofit organizations, such as the donation button. The donate button on Instagram allows nonprofits to raise money directly from their Instagram Business Account. 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website after looking at an Instagram post. To add the donate button, go to your organization’s profile and tap the menu icon in the top right corner. Check to make sure that you’ve enabled the donation sticker on Instagram for your nonprofit: 

    • Click Settings at the top of your Facebook Page. 
    • Select Donations from the menu. 
    • Check the box next to Allow people to add donation stickers on Instagram Stories. 
    • Click Save. 

    Facebook 

    If your nonprofit is looking to target a more mature audience, you will most likely find them on Facebook. With 68% of adults using the platform, Facebook is the perfect platform for storytelling and community building to an older demographic. Not only is Facebook a great place to provide information about your nonprofit such as contact information and your mission, but Facebook is a great way to connect with your supporters and gain recognition. Similar to Instagram, you can set up a donate button directly on your Facebook page. Whereas Instagram is the perfect place to share high-quality videos and photos, Facebook is a key platform for storytelling. Prioritize the key points of your story as most successful posts on Facebook are not lengthy paragraphs. Don’t forget to utilize hashtags to help your post gain traction and improve your page’s visibility.  Make sure to add in a donation link to your post so people can directly donate after reading your story.  

    In order to add a donate button to your Page, you’ll first need to be a Page admin for your organization’s Facebook Page. To add a donate button: 

    • Go to your organization’s Page. 
    • Click Add a button. If you’ve already added a button, hover over the button and select Edit Button to change the text. 
    • Select Shop with you or make a donation then click Donate. 
    • Select Next and then Donate Through Facebook. 
    • Click Finish. 

    Facebook also gives you the option to run ads to a target audience. You can select an audience based on people similar to your supporters and donors which can increase your range and engagement.  

    LinkedIn 

    LinkedIn is a professional network designed for industry professionals and the business community. Nonprofits might overlook LinkedIn when looking at social media platforms, but LinkedIn can be a useful platform to establish credibility with an educated and professional audience. Not only is it a great platform to develop and maintain connections, but it is a valuable resource to find new staff, volunteers, donors, and businesses that goals align with yours.  

    When using LinkedIn, make sure to keep posts professional and informative rather than using storytelling tactics. Use your expertise and knowledge to share statistics, images, and videos to show how your nonprofit helps its cause. Utilize LinkedIn to highlight how your nonprofit partnered with corporations or businesses to establish credibility further.  

    Twitter 

    Nonprofits can use Twitter to share timely news such as live updates, photos, videos, and chats. Leverage hashtags and tagging to increase your reach and engagement.  

    Tips for creating a successful social media strategy

    Plan and Post Consistently  

    Without an overall plan, it’s easy to lose track of your campaigns and goals. To create a successful social media strategy, you must plan and post consistently. Take advantage of the automation tools provided on social media platforms or invest in a social media management platform such as Buffer or Sprout Social.  

    Define what role social media will play in your nonprofit’s marketing strategy 

    In order to utilize social media to the best of its abilities, you must define what role social media will play in your nonprofit marketing strategy. Here are a couple of the ways social media for nonprofits can help your organization.   

    Relationship Building 

    • Nonprofits rely on support from donors and volunteers to achieve their organization’s mission and vision. Social media is a great way to personally connect with donors and volunteers to provide more insight into your organization. Through social media messaging and comments, you can connect with your audience and further develop relationships while even finding new constituents to support your organization’s mission.  

     Spreading brand awareness 

    • Social media allows you to turn awareness into action. Use your visual content to create an impact and to appeal to your followers to take action. These visuals can tell your organization’s story resulting in more followers and supporters.  

    Lessons on creating purpose-driven branding 

    Drive Donations 

    Take advantage of the donation buttons offered on social media platforms to drive donations for your organization.  

    Define your target audience 

    A targeted audience on social media is a group of people defined by specified behaviors and demographics. Your audience are the people who will resonate with your mission and organization the most.  

    Brainstorm your target audience to create audience personas based on who would align with your organization’s vision and mission. Be specific by identifying age, gender, education, work, interests, location.  

    Once you identify your target audience, you can look for them online. Most social media sites offer tools to target specific audiences such as Facebook’s audiences’ insight tool. 

    Nonprofit social media campaigns

    Love has no labels by Ad Council 

    Love Has No Labels is a movement by Ad Council to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability.  

    Their heartfelt Youtube Campaign swept social media and challenged users to rethink their bias. They encouraged users to take the following steps:  

    • Take a video, or a photo using our Faces of Love tool on Love Has No Labels  
    • Tell us what Love Has No Labels means to you.
    • 3) Share your story and use #LoveHasNoLabels to submit it to our gallery. 

    #MeToo by Just Be Inc 

    In 2006, the “me too.” Movement was founded by  survivor and activist Tarana Burke. In 2017, the #metoo hashtag went viral and woke up the world to the magnitude of the problem of sexual violence. On Facebook, the hashtag was used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts during the first 24 hours. Currently, the #metoo hashtag has over 3 million posts on Instagram and continues to generate awareness about sexual violence.  

    Earth Hour by World Wide Fund for Nature 

    World Wide Fund for Nature holds their Earth Hour campaign annually in which they encouraged communities to turn off non-essential lights for one hour on a specific day. In their 2021 campaign, people from 192 territories and countries came together resulting in 6.7 billion impressions from #EarthHour and related hashtags, 2.4 video views, and trended on Twitter and Google in over 42 countries.  

    Blue Shirt Day 

    STOMP Out Bullying holds an annual Blue Shirt Day in order to signify the importance of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. The hashtag #STOMPOutBullying ran on social posts, encouraging users to post blue shirt photos and join in the mission of putting an end to bullying. The hashtag #STOMPOutBullying generated over 100K monthly page views and led to 9M commitments to join the cause.  

    BigTobaccoBeLike 

    Big Tobacco be Like was designed to dismantle delusions related to social smoking. They partnered with Vine and Instagram creators to show social smokers’ perceptions vs Big Tobacco’s reality. Within 24 hours of launching the campaign, they had more than 4 million views on their videos. At the end of the campaign, they reached 59 million views and saw a 55% increase in young people agreeing with their mission.  

    Social media offers your nonprofit unique ways to connect with your donors and community to increase donations and boost engagement. If you want to improve your social media strategy for your organization, reach out to our team today! 

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