With the power of social media, nonprofits can now speak directly to supporters on the platforms they already visit daily. While the idea of sending short text messages or images to your community’s feed is a simple concept, managing your organization’s social media presence can be quite a challenge.
New platforms are popping up every day and each one works a little differently and attracts a different crowd. By choosing your social media channels wisely and posting great content regularly, you can cut through the noise to engage and appeal to your audience.
To help, we’ve put together a Social Media Cheat Sheet for nonprofits, which you can download below. The first step, however, is to learn how to choose your platforms and make a plan for consistent engagement. Then you can use the cheat sheet’s tips, tricks, and post ideas to support your plan.
Social Networks for Nonprofits
If you tried to maintain a presence on every single social network available, you’d never have time to send emails, fundraise, or even sleep. There’s just too many of them. And what’s more, the vast majority of people are only on a few top platforms.
Three of the most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Facebook is far and away the front-runner, with 71 percent of all Internet users on the platform. LinkedIn and Twitter are also at the front of the pack, with both individuals and organizations.
With so many users on these platforms—especially on Facebook—your nonprofit can unlock the power of peer-to-peer fundraising by empowering your supporters to share on their social platforms and raise money for your cause. With the Classy for Facebook integration, you can enable fundraisers to duplicate their Classy campaigns into Facebook fundraisers, thus enabling them to expand their reach while their progress remains in sync across both platforms. Download our latest guide to learn more about how you can activate your fundraisers to raise more money for your cause, as well as leverage the integration to improve their experience and your reporting.
Businesses and nonprofits use these three platforms for the majority of their social engagement. While Facebook and Twitter allow you to reach large audiences with information and announcements, LinkedIn is a particularly good space to find talented staff and volunteers. There are some other networks worth considering though.
Depending on your audience and your overall marketing strategy, you may choose to be active on Google+, YouTube, Instagram, or another platform. Many nonprofits, for example, use Instagram to display powerful pictures from the field. On the other hand, if your organization produces video appeals or documentaries, YouTube is probably a good fit.
Don’t add social media channels for no reason. It’s better to do a great job on a select few than to post here and there on a dozen different platforms.
Plan and Post Consistently
Like any marketing initiative, social media is much more powerful when you make a plan and stick to it. Once you know which platforms you want to use, your next step is to think about how often you will post (check out the suggestions in the Social Media Cheat Sheet). You can then create a calendar to keep track of your social media activity.
With modern marketing automation tools, you can actually compose and schedule posts days or even weeks in advance. This is a great way to make sure you post consistently, but you shouldn’t be afraid to post something spontaneously. Part of what makes social media popular is that it moves so fast. You never know when a trending topic or other engagement opportunity will arise.
In the end, every nonprofit’s social media strategy will be different. To use your chosen platforms as effectively as possible, check out the tips and tricks from our Social Media Cheat Sheet. Inside you’ll find advice on how to set up your profile, the best ways to engage supporters, and how often to post.