7 Tips to Create a Nonprofit Social Media Marketing Plan [Template]

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By Jess Woloszyn
Published May 12, 2021
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Your nonprofit social media presence doesn’t have to be a stressful part of your job with a social media plan to simplify content creation.

Social media drove 51% of donation traffic in 2020. 

Social media usage is growing rapidly among 4.2 billion users worldwide. It’s never a bad idea to establish a social media plan that accounts for post-pandemic best practices and shifts in modern donor behavior.

A nonprofit social media approach backed by a strong plan increases the likelihood of attracting donors worldwide, driving them to take timely action, and building a following of new supporters to engage for recurring giving campaigns

The following seven steps help you navigate the confusion about what to post on which channels and when. The result? Your unique nonprofit social media strategy.

When you’re ready to apply your learnings, download The Nonprofit’s Social Media Content Planner, for sample posts, best practices, and a template to make planning your posts a breeze.

7 Tips to Create Your Nonprofit Social Media Marketing Plan 

1. Take a Week-by-Week Approach

Who doesn’t love to plan as far ahead as possible? Apply the forward-thinking approach you use for donor stewardship and fundraising campaigns to your nonprofit’s social media presence, with a touch of flexibility.

Build a flexible weekly planning process that helps you stay on top of social media but also creative about last-minute ideas or pivots. You can establish a rhythm for posts that’s easy to replicate each week when you see content laid out by week. That structure makes it simpler to plan content for weeks or months at a time.

Each week, check in to confirm your posts are timely and relevant to your organization. You’ll want the added flexibility to create posts around events such as a promotion during a campaign lull or a new donation match announcement. 

2. Look at Examples to Inspire New Ideas

One of the best ways to get inspiration for nonprofit social media content is to see an example. You never know what could spark your next big idea for a social media challenge, educational content shares, or behind-the-scenes videos.

Try browsing various aspirational accounts to get your creativity flowing or check out the sample week of nonprofit social media posts for seven of today’s most engaged with channels. It’s all included in the Nonprofit’s Social Media Content Planner

3. Choose the Best Channels to Post on 

New social media platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse became conversation starters overnight in 2020. A wide variety of social platform options is great to reach more people. It also makes it more challenging than ever to target specific audiences.

It’s much easier to focus your posts on channels where the most donors will see them when you understand what sets each of them apart. The first step is looking into the latest user demographic insights per channel. 

These insights will tell you the number of monthly users, the average age of users, and how much time a user spends engaging on each channel. Pair your findings with what you know about your ideal donor base to create content that drives action from the right audience.

4. Narrow Down the Type of Content You’ll Post

There’s a wide variety of post ideas to choose from when you build your nonprofit social media marketing plan. Organizations use everything from creative challenges to touching quotes to engage new followers.

There’s no right or wrong way to approach your content because your organization has unique goals. There’s a basic rule of thumb however to avoid creating confusion among those who follow your social media accounts. Consistency is key.

Narrow your content options down to a list of about 10 to focus on each week. Being able to refer back to the content that you feel most comfortable with helps you manage, anticipate, and grow your nonprofit social media strategy over time.

We’re covering the latest in marketing and fundraising at the Collaborative: Virtual Sessions in June. This is a great opportunity to register free and attend forward-looking sessions for more nonprofit social media and branding ideas.

5. Know the Best Time to Post on Each Social Media Channel

Every social media channel has different high-engagement windows across the various days of the week, and specific times that boost engagement for each of those days. As you learn more about engagement stats per channel you’d like to post on regularly, you’ll also want to consider how often you’re posting to keep your audience engaged.

It would be great if social media was as simple as posting a new Instagram Reel, Tweet, and TikTok video simultaneously every Monday. Each channel has to be looked at uniquely to make the biggest impact.

The Nonprofit’s Social Media Content Planner guides you through the best times to post on each channel and how to build that into a weekly content plan.

  1. Build Key Messaging Around Existing Marketing Materials

A consistent message is the glue that holds your social media content plans together across every channel, content variation, and schedule you include. Everything you post should ladder up to a greater narrative that followers can easily follow along with. 

In other words, you wouldn’t want the content you post on Facebook and Snapchat simultaneously to look like two completely different organizations wrote it. Consider a narrative per day of the week. Every post you publish across all channels should align back to that daily narrative for a more consistent follower experience.

To identify narratives and timely themes for your nonprofit social media content, take a look at what exists within your existing email calendars, your fundraising events, and organizational milestones.

7. Use a Weekly Social Media Content Planner

The key to putting tips one through six into action is to have a place to see all of your social media content from a bird’s eye view. 

Your weekly social media content plan should include:

  • A layout of every day of the week’s posts next to one another
  • Specific times your audience will see your posts on the various platforms they use
  • How your content aligns across every social platform
  • Opportunities to cross-promote the same content on different platforms
  • Your key message or theme to align each day’s posts back to   

We’re making that easy for you with a free template to plan your entire social media strategy and a step-by-step guide to make it your own. Download The Nonprofit’s Social Media Content Planner to get started.

The Nonprofit's Social Media Content Planner [TEMPLATE]

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