When you manage or market a nonprofit organization, your day-to-day business can feel a little like spinning plates. Every day, you juggle priorities like fundraising and social media strategy. Chances are, you don’t have enough hours in the day to spend on nonprofit marketing.
Nonprofit social media marketing requires time and attention. However, with a bit of strategy, you can reach your organization’s audience and still have time for your other essential projects.
How to Improve Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Strategy
1. Establish Branding Guidelines
First and foremost, you want your social media to represent the nonprofit in a professional manner. You will need to establish some brand guidelines to help any employees and volunteers as they create content for your social channels. Make sure to incorporate your organization’s logo, visual style, and color palette into your social media posts. Your social media accounts should be an extension of your offline brand so your supporters can immediately recognize and trust your content is authentic.
2. Brainstorm Content & Plan
Once the branding guidelines are established, brainstorm content and messaging for your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platforms you plan to use. Planning social media posts is not a one-and-done activity. You will need to do this regularly, possibly weekly or monthly.
Some ideas include:
- Reminders about any events or fundraising campaigns.
- Share news and stories about your organization, team, and the work you do.
- Start conversations about the issues that are important to your target audience and to your organization.
- Ask for help when you need it, whether you need new board members, volunteers, or donors.
Take a moment to consider what you want to accomplish through your nonprofit’s social media platforms. Too often, nonprofit staff post on social media without a clear idea of what they aim to accomplish. Your nonprofit social strategy should be a path to fulfill your overall goals and mission.
Once you’ve identified the goals and brainstormed some content ideas, take the time to build out a content calendar so you are posting quality content.
3. Focus on What You Can Do Well
There are so many types of content you can publish on social media. Focus on what you can do well. You may hear video is trending, but if you cannot produce quality video content, then it may do more harm than good. If you have a decent photographer on your team, you may do better with still photos.
Remember, social media is usually less formal and more conversational than traditional media. In other words, if you post a video, you want it to be engaging and of decent quality; however, it doesn’t need to be Oscar-worthy.
With practice, you may be able to create simple yet engaging videos using a smartphone and a free video editing app. Just practice and make sure anything you post enhances your organization’s image online and offline.
4. Be Visual
Think about a multimedia approach especially using visual media like videos, photographs, or illustrations. It is difficult to stand-out in your supporter’s social media feed if your post is simply a wall of text. Popular social media platforms are primarily visual, so your social media success depends mainly on your visual branding and identity.
You don’t need a graphic designer to create good-looking visual content – with practice, a user-friendly design tool can help you make images with ease.
5. Bulk Schedule Your Posts
You don’t need to actively publish every day! Most brands schedule a week or more worth of content through a scheduling platform. Bulk scheduling your social media posts can save hours and can also help you maintain a consistent presence that builds awareness.
Note: pre-scheduling shouldn’t stop you from reacting to breaking news relevant to your organization. Plan your seasonal and evergreen content, but feel free to reschedule content if something comes up that needs immediate attention.
6. Save Time for Engagement & Networking
Too often, businesses and nonprofits alike publish on their social media channels, and then they walk away. They forget that social media should be “social.” You may increase your post’s reach and engagement by using social media to network with sponsors, supporters, and other nonprofits. Engage in conversations, reply to comments, and share good work from non-competing organizations. Doing this increases your influence, reach, following and engagement.
Most social media platforms reward accounts with high engagement. The more people who share or comment on your content, the more people who will actually see it. Low engagement accounts typically reach fewer than 5% of their followers with each post.
7. Take Your Offline Conversations Online
Years ago, Facebook announced they prioritize content that inspires conversations. This is one area where nonprofit social media managers have an advantage over larger brands. Chances are you engage in conversations about your organization and its mission daily. Look for ways to adapt those conversations to social media.
8. Study Your Analytics
Each social media platform offers powerful analytics that can inform you what is working and where you need to improve. Take the time to review your analytics monthly for ideas on where to focus your energy better. For example, you may notice when you post about a specific topic, you receive more comments. This is an indicator of your audience’s interest.
9. Refine & Fine Tune
Use your analytics and any feedback to refine and fine-tune your content. Over time, you will get better at creating engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
10. Keep Learning
Most social media platforms offer some form of free training to brands and potential advertisers. For example, Twitter Flight School and Facebook Blueprint both offer online classes to help business owners and nonprofit social media managers learn to better use their platforms.
Spend a little time learning about each platform you use. This will empower you to create more compelling content in less time.
Bonus Tip: Consider Advertising
Most social media platforms monetize through advertising, and as a result, they prioritize content from advertisers. The good news is that social media advertising is usually more cost-effective than traditional media advertising. If you can find the budget, consider using ads to strategically boost important content, merchandise sales, or events.
Finally, use a complete nonprofit productivity platform like UncommonGood. We offer a suite of donor tools to make your life easier as a nonprofit marketer. Whether you are fundraising, planning an event, or managing your social media, we’ve got you! By integrating all your outreach activities, you can better leverage social media.