How to boost your non-profit’s social media presence
Whether you’re a small or large organization, you may wonder about the benefits of investing your time and resources towards enhancing your organization’s social media presence. Will having a social media presence create more brand awareness for my organization? Will it generate more leads? Is my target audience even on social media? The answer to these questions in short is… yes! However, to successfully run your organization’s social media channels in a way that effectively produces results and meets the digital goals of your organization, you need to have the right strategies and tools. Keep reading as we provide valuable tips and tricks on how you can boost your non-profit’s presence on social media!
1. Create a social media strategy
Creating a well-laid-out plan is always the best way to start a project. The same applies when running your organization’s social media channels. Developing a social media strategy will help you outline the goals you want to achieve through your channels, keep track of the different campaigns you want to run throughout the year, develop your metrics to track success and define your target audiences and branding. Your social media strategy should be the document your team can refer to while running your organization’s social media accounts.
Although creating a social media strategy can seem quite a daunting task, there are some great resources online that help guide you in the right direction in building your own useful and comprehensive social media strategy document.
- Galaxy Digital‘s detailed guide, Nonprofit Social Media Strategy: How to Implement a Plan and Measure Success explains the importance of a strategy, how to develop one, and provides downloadable templates to get you started on creating a social media strategy for your organization.
- HubSpot has a variety of downloadable Social Media Templates in their resource section, including not only social media strategy templates but others that can aid in your social media planning such as calendars, advertising checklists, post content templates, etc.
- Hootsuite offers a similar set of template resources neatly outlined and compiled by use in their 20 Social Media Templates to Save You Hours of Work blog post.
There are a ton of other resources online that can help you develop a social media strategy that best serves your organization’s social media needs and goals, so make sure to do some research before diving in. If you do use a template, feel free to make it your own and adapt it as you see fit!
2. Stay active and engaged
Gaining a ton of authentic likes and followers on social media does not happen overnight. It takes time to build a strong social media presence, but more importantly, it requires regular engagement! This means, regular posts on your social media accounts, interacting with your followers, interacting with other organizations, etc.
No one is going to keep coming back to your social media page if it has no recent content or updates for them to see, so it’s important to keep your organization’s accounts as active as possible. Although there is no set rule, a minimum of 2-5 posts per week is recommended. Post about your organization’s upcoming events, recent achievements/campaigns, what your staff are up to, testimonials, worldwide or local trending topics, public holidays or observance days, the possibilities for content are endless but keep in mind that whatever you post should be consistent with your organizational mission and brand.
In addition to pushing out your post content, it is equally important to engage with those who follow you and other organizations of interest. Responding to comments made on your posts spark conversation and therefore more engagement on your channel. Interacting with other organizations who may be in the same or associating line of work, will not only gain their attention but the attention of their followers, who may decide to follow and engage with your content as well. Engagement is key to getting the most out of an organization’s social media channels. In other words, don’t forget the social aspect of social media!
3. Create original, interactive campaigns
Social media campaigns are a great way to keep a consistent flow of content on your channels that can engage and inspire your audiences. When developing your social media campaigns, it’s important to strive for originality and interactivity. Create campaigns that will set you apart from other organizations and inspire your audience in a way that no one else is, whether it’s by using different tools such as live streaming or online polls, or creating a new spin on a popular topic. Original content will not only set your organization apart but also create recognition and brand awareness. The ability to interact with the content of your campaign will also help determine its success. Take the ALS ice bucket challenge social campaign, for example. Its popularity increased because everyone was able to participate in it and create their videos/content too. Include a call to action in your campaign that encourages your audience to comment, like, participate, donate, etc. This will drive up both engagement and awareness with your campaign and your overall brand.
4. Stay on top of the trends
In today’s world, social media is where people go to stay updated on current events and information. As a public organization, it’s important to stay on top of trends in the newsfeed to stay current with what your audiences are consuming. Join the conversation on trending hashtag topics and provide an organizational statement on important issues that people are talking about. By staying current on what is going on in the world around you and speaking out on it, you show your audience that your organization’s account isn’t just a place they go to learn more about you, but a source for valuable information and insight.
It’s also important to note the trends of how your audiences are consuming information on social platforms. Previously, each social media platform essentially had its niche medium for delivering content. Instagram was for photos, YouTube was for videos, Twitter was mainly for short written updates, and so on. Now, with the evolution of social platforms, many have various mediums to choose from when sharing your content. For example, on Instagram, you can either post a video or photo to your feed, a story, a reel, an IGTV video or a live video. There are many options for displaying your content on social media these days, but some mediums are more popular than others and these trends are evolving constantly. Check this article by TechSoup on 5 Social Media Trends for Nonprofits in 2021 and research regularly to see what methods are the best ways to convey your organization’s messages.
5. Track progress and refine your strategy
Having great content and active social media channels are all well and good, but your return on investment (ROI) into social media will determine if all your hard work is paying off. Whether you decide to track your progress weekly, monthly, quarterly or on a per campaign basis, tracking your social media metrics can help you identify which strategies are working and which ones aren’t. This will allow you to refine your strategy based on what worked and allow you to better direct your time and resources moving forward.
You can track your social media progress directly through the social media platforms’ analytics pages (i.e. LinkedIn Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and Instagram Insights) or third-party analytics providers such as Hootsuite or HubSpot. Regularly checking your account or post analytics and reporting them on a centralized spreadsheet or document will allow you to measure your success on social media, as well as give you some direction on how you might want to refine your social media strategy as you continue to grow your channels over time.
Although these tips are by no means an exhaustive account of ways to boost your non-profit’s social media presence, they provide a basic framework for your organization to start growing its social media profile. A strong social media presence nowadays can make a huge difference in the overall success of an organization. Just remember that successful and authentic social media growth takes time as you learn, test and refine what works best for your organization to achieve the goals and results you desire.
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