6 (Simple) Ways Nonprofits Should be Using Social Media

By December 8, 2014Marketing, Social Media

A nonprofit organization, whose causes rely heavily (and often, entirely) on their supporters, can use social media as an effect method of engaging with contributors. It can be an effective channel to demonstrate success and improve awareness of a cause.

So, as a nonprofit organization, there are 6 simple and effective ways you should be using social media to engage with your audience and spread awareness.

1. Post issue-centric content

The best advice for nonprofits looking to use social media as a marketing tool is this: Post issue-centric content.

Here’s why:

According to a Nonprofit Quarterly, 75% of nonprofits use social networks to advertise only organization-centric updates. But, think about why your donors contribute to your organization? It’s because your organization represents movement toward a cause. Donors care about a cause, not a specific organization (although some may develop loyalty to a nonprofit organization, but that’s another matter altogether). An organization that shares only organization-centric content is limiting their ability to use issue-centric media to their benefit.

2. Share what’s happening in the field

Encourage your volunteers to take pictures while they work. Collect them and share them with your donors across social networks or on your website (or both). If it’s possible to do it in real time (with Twitter, for example), that’s even better. It shows donors the actual work that’s going toward the organization’s goal and also helps build a more personal relationship between donors and volunteers

3. Show off your success (even if it’s small)

Did your organization do something cool? Did it finish a project, score a great partnership, or meet a new individual you’re helping? Even if it’s something small, take a few pictures and upload them to the organization’s social media profiles (or email them to your marketing person to post later). It’ll help keep your donors current on your successes.

4. Share the organization’s history

If you’re an established organization, make sure to share your history. Make a page on your website that talks about where you came from. Include a timeline that documents successes and major milestones. Now, you can share quotes from the page on your social media profiles and link back to your site (if someone wants to know more).
A successful history can be a powerful asset because it demonstrates stability and (hopefully) a pattern of success.

5. Share your earned media coverage

Earned media is gold for nonprofits. If a media source picks up a story about your organization (or about a topic it’s involved with), share it on your social profiles. Think of these things as rewards, mentions, news coverage, blog coverage, etc…
Earned media coverage is typically viewed as more reliable / reputable than self promoted or paid media.

6. Involve your doners and followers

If you have a following already, involve your audience by talking with them on social media. Ask questions, talk about current legislation that has an impact on your cause. Create a discussion and communicate with your followers.

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