How Nonprofits can make an Impact with Social Media

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Social media can be an asset for your nonprofit organisation. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are great for all kinds of campaigns including fundraising, generating awareness, recruiting volunteers and sharing news. Here’s how your nonprofit can create a social media campaign that works.

Even with a small budget or one social media marketer, there are social media tactics that will help your nonprofit to make a big statement.
Before we launch into those, let’s get the basics right first:

  • Set a clear goal of what you want to achieve – Will your campaign be geared towards fundraising, recruiting volunteers or raising awareness of what you do?
  • Who’s your audience? – Research what social networks your audience uses regularly and the type of content they interact with
  • Which social platform(s) will you use? – If you have limited resources, it’s best to target the social media platform(s) where the majority of your audience gathers
  • Have a strategy – How much time can you realistically invest? Create a weekly or monthly schedule to determine how often you can post

Once you have a basic plan in place, use these tactics to achieve your goals:

Post content that’s interactive and will encourage engagement

Interactive content requires your audience to take action, rather than passively looking at your posts. Stop them in their tracks as they scroll, with content that matters to them.

For example, if you’re a pet charity looking to recruit volunteers, engage pet lovers with video content that draws them in and ends with an invite to join your team.

Interactive content is proven to increase clickthrough rate by as much as 50%, while increasing form submissions by as much as 80%.

There are different types of interactive posts you can use across most social media channels, including:

Twitter polls
Question and answer sessions using Instagram Stories
Facebook surveys

Add hashtags

Relevant hashtags are a great way to widen the reach of your campaign and get your content in front of the right people. The major social media channels, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn all have the hashtag feature. Instagram and LinkedIn will also give the number of posts associated with a particular hashtag.

You can do hashtag research (to find the most relevant hashtags for your nonprofit) by using free hashtag finder tools such as best-hashtags.com
You can even brand your nonprofit with its own unique hashtag or identify a popular hashtag and make it your own.

For example, #charitable on Instagram has more than 63,000 posts associated with it, while there are more than 23,000 posts associated with #charitablegiving.
You can target these hashtags as part of a fundraising drive.

Use Visuals to Increase Engagement

Everything from GIFs, Infographics and photos from recent events will increase audience engagement.

According to recent research, Twitter users are much more likely to engage with Tweets containing videos or photos.

Facebook posts see up to three times more engagement when images are used, too.

Be sure to use high quality, striking images that are correctly sized for the social network on which you’re posting.

Be consistent and responsive

Regular posting is the only way to boost audience engagement. Keep an eye on your social media analytics to determine when your audience is most active on social and post on those days at peak times.

It’s likely that consistent posting will lead to an increase in the number of private messages you will receive via your social media pages. It’s important to be responsive, so check into your social media profiles daily.

Research shows that 83% of Facebook users and 71% of Twitter users expect a same day response to their messages.

Facebook has a handy feature that lets you and your audience know how quick you are to respond to private messages. To keep your response rate at a high level, try to answer any messages within a day.

Make it easy to donate or register to volunteer

Don’t make the action you want people to take, difficult. If your social media campaign is geared towards fundraising, make it easy to donate. If you’re targeting new volunteers, make it clear how to volunteer.

Facebook in particular makes this very easy. You can customise a clickable button that says donate or volunteer, which will direct people to your website to complete the process.

Giving your audience a clear and easy way to get involved in your cause, which you can do for free, could potentially be the difference when it comes to getting a donation or recruiting a new volunteer.

It’s recommended that you keep an eye on all the new features that social media sites are constantly adding, too. For instance, YouTube recently introduced a series of new fundraising tools for nonprofits, which will allow you to create content and directly receive donations with the help of video marketing.

Use social media scheduling tools

Like most nonprofits you’re probably pushed for time and resources. There are a number of social media scheduling tools you can use. Some social networking sites allow you to schedule directly on the platform, i.e. Facebook and Twitter.

While you can schedule on Facebook directly from your profile page, for Twitter you will have to sign into your Twitter account using tweetdeck.twitter.com

For multichannel scheduling across different social media channels, you can use a tool like Hootsuite.

Multichannel scheduling tools will save you heaps of time and also allow you to create a social media content calendar, enabling you to be more organised, consistent and deliberate with your posts.

Scheduling content in advance means you don’t have to think up new post ideas on a daily basis. Content scheduling can easily save you 2 – 3 hours of work per week, while ensuring that you post more varied content.

Measure the impact of your social media campaigns

Most social media channels will give you analytical insights showing the number of likes, shares, comments, link clicks, photo engagements, video watches and more that your social media content receives.

It’s important to monitor your social media campaigns so you can identify what works.

Because you’re pushed for time and resources, you need to be posting content that works. Monitoring performance means you can quickly identify what type of content is performing and the times of day it performs best. Knowing this will help you fine tune your social media campaigns.