Tend to Your Nonprofit’s Social Media and Maximize Impact

Date: April 26, 2024

by Susanna Fontenot

Social media platforms offer nonprofits an unparalleled way to reach diverse audiences. Your organization can increase its visibility, raise awareness about a cause, and successfully attract and steward donors by using social media. Read on to discover key components to maximizing potential impact and fulfilling your mission. 

Get going with goals. 

Setting social media goals is like planting seeds in the garden of your nonprofit dreams – without them, you are just scattering seeds to the wind and hoping something will sprout. But with clear goals, whether donor engagement or program awareness, you can carefully tend and cultivate results for your organization. 

Think about what you want with your online presence and go from there. Yes, you can plant more than one seed in a garden at a time, so you can have more than one goal. Just don’t overcommit to something you don’t have the time or resources to support. 

Find and use the right platforms for your organization.

Do you remember seeing those inspirational posters taped around school hallways? I’m imagining one now that relates here: What is right isn’t always popular, and what is popular isn’t always right. Pick a social media platform that serves your purpose and fits with your goals. Don’t worry about what’s trendy (yet) and go where you know your audience will be.

Facebook and Instagram are a great duo because they are both owned by Meta, and you can cross-post from one to another. One post goes further because you can share it with both audiences at the same time. These platforms are great for building a community, sharing updates, and organizing events. Instagram is especially great for sharing compelling images and short videos if your organization has a library of strong assets just waiting for the public eye. 

Consider LinkedIn to connect with potential partner organizations, showcase the work your organization does, or reach volunteers with a specific skill set. TikTok and YouTube are video-sharing platforms where your nonprofit can convey its mission in fun, creative ways or share videos that educate your audience and tell the story of your programs.

Compelling content is a must. 

Try to match your audience's behavior – consider where your audience is when they’re consuming content and how they’re viewing it. Give your audience valuable content regularly. High-volume content, like short-form video captured by a cellphone, should be posted consistently and often. Think about a maximum of one-minute videos, where you let go of perfection. You create this content to drive traffic, engage audiences, and build brand awareness. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective.

Images and branded assets should be clearly composed or eye-catching and communicate part of your nonprofit’s story. Compelling caption copywriting goes a long way to connecting with your supporters’ passions and converting the tug on their heartstrings to a donation or volunteer inquiry. Think about your posts on social media as steps to achieving the goals you set. 

Here are just a few possible purposes for social media content:

  • Document program impact. 
  • Share interviews or testimonials with stakeholders or those affected by your work. 
  • Capture the process of your programs or initiatives in action. 
  • Communicate needs during fundraising campaigns. 

Make meaningful connections. 

Let’s revisit the sowing seeds analogy from earlier in the post. You might intentionally plant your social media garden, but what happens if no one is there to see it grow? Making meaningful connections is essential for your nonprofit to foster relationships with other organizations, followers, influencers, and supporters. 

Interact with other organizations by liking, commenting, and sharing their content. Offer authentic compliments, insights, or contributions to discussions that relate to or are similar to your mission. 

Just like when a dormant garden goes to weed, leaving your social media channels unattended can negatively affect your organization’s ability to be a valuable resource within the community. Actively listen to your followers and supporters by monitoring comments, messages, and mentions on social media. Reply promptly, reshare user-generated content when it fits with your goals, and be thoughtful in strengthening bonds that will ultimately build opportunities for collaboration. 

Analyze and revise.

I used to roll my eyes at the cliche “you must inspect what you expect”, but this is a time and place it really makes sense. If you’re achieving your goals through social media presence and activity, you must consider what is working and what is not. Find some key metrics based on your goals and come to deeply understand what they mean and why they matter. 

Let’s say you want to grow your engaged audience. To check progress on that goal, you’ll want to look at your engagement rate and follower growth over time. Maybe your goal is to increase awareness and expand your reach. Then look at the impressions and reach for posts. Analyze regularly, month to month, and pay attention to trends across your reports. Adjust the course when your goals change or when patterns lead you to new realizations.

Some KPIs we are always following with our clients:

  • The number of posts
  • The number of likes
  • Engagement rate
  • Number of engaged users
  • Comments count
  • Link clicks
  • Impressions
  • Post Reach
  • Follower growth
  • Daily average impressions, engagements, and clicks
  • Audience demographics, such as age, gender, and location

Whether or not you are personally active on social media, there’s no denying how instrumental it is for nonprofits looking to achieve big goals and keep changing the world. Whether your goal is expanding your reach, engaging supporters, or raising funds, your nonprofit can maximize its impact when you use social media strategically.

Looking for more?  Download our "5 Fool-Proof Steps to Social Media Success Guide."

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