5 Tips for Mastering Social Media in 2018 (for Nonprofits!)

5 Tips for Mastering Social Media in 2018 (for Nonprofits!)

Guest post by Lucy Benton

Social media is a wonderful tool for sharing what you do. People use social media every day, and through today’s platforms, your audience can follow all possible news and information they need.

Nonprofits can also get their supporters acquainted with what they do through social media. But no matter who you represent, working with new platforms can be challenging. It requires substantial knowledge of how to reach your target audience and build strong connections with your followers.

The world’s largest companies use social media to sell their products. But how can nonprofits make the best out of social media and grasp the attention of larger audiences?

Here are four great tips and tools for nonprofits to use social media effectively.

Tip #1: Choose a platform

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a few of the most popular social media platforms, so they are great options for establishing your social media presence.

Before you begin crafting a strategy, select the platform you think is right for your nonprofit. For example, Facebook and Twitter are great for reaching large audiences of potential donors while LinkedIn is good for recruiting skills-based volunteers and talented staff.

Meanwhile, Instagram is a powerful tool for sharing visual content, so it’s recommended to have a presence there if your organization publishes this type of content often.

Re-evaluate the performance of social media platforms for your organization on a regular basis and try to focus more of your efforts on high-performing ones.

Tip #2: Take your time to learn

While many social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram can seem easy to use, engaging your nonprofit followers should follow a targeted strategy.

Research what approaches work by checking out how other nonprofits master social media to represent their mission. You can determine successful organizations by analyzing how many viewers engage with their content (likes, comments, and shares) and define what types of content perform best.

UNICEF, for example, leverages Instagram to share stories of the children they support around the globe. Through compelling content, they underline their message and make the public aware of these issues.

Next, you should also learn what your competitors are doing and determine some successful practices. Perform a social media competitors analysis using these free tools:

  • Fanpage Karma. Analyzes competitors’ accounts (most-used content sources, engagement, keywords, engagement, and more).
  • LikeAlyzer. Delivers metrics and recommendations about increasing popular Facebook pages.
  • Twitonomy. A tool that provides analytics of a selected Twitter page (tweets, replies, mentions, hashtags, and more).

Tip #3: Define what you do

The biggest mistake nonprofits make using social media is vaguely explaining who they are and what they do. Single out your impact and mission to better represent your work and attract more people to share your work.

Share your mission statement with social media users on your profiles to let them know the kind of values you stand up for.

Tip #4: Visualize

Visual content is more engaging. Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat were created as sharing platforms, and look how much traffic they have now.

We can find lots of examples of nonprofits who leverage video. For example, Humane Society of Memphis often posts great short video messages on their Instagram page, as well as the announcements of some events they’re going to organize. Their page has more than 8,000 followers who constantly give feedback and vocalize their support.

It’s known that music touches the deepest feelings, but videos — where both picture and music are present — will deeply impress and have an impact on your followers.

Brad Hilton, a media and video producer from Classy Media had this to say in an interview about using music in nonprofit videos:

Watching a video is an experience, and it’s your job is to curate that experience for your viewers. Do you want them to feel sad? Happy? Empowered? Music is the foundation for emotion, and this is one the hardest parts of my job.

To find some music for your own videos, check out resources such as Music For Non-Profits.

Tip #5: Engage your audience

In order to receive feedback, you need to reach out to your audience and communicate with your followers. How do you do that?

  • Ask them a question directly on Twitter or Facebook and encourage them to leave their comments.
  • Create a survey to get more structured data.
  • Don’t forget to thank your audience for their active engagement and emphasize how great their contributions help your organization achieve its goals.
  • Provide them with a chance to tell their stories through videos. For example, they can be individual or team videos where people explain why they believe in your cause and how they participate in your nonprofit. Posting these videos on social media may attract more volunteers and show appreciation for those who help you.
  • Mention them in your social media posts or share their content. Just make sure you have their permission!

Tools to Improve Your Social Media Effort

Sure, using social media to promote your nonprofit may not be easy. But these four tools can help you attract more attention!

  • TweetDeck. Get your tweets scheduled! This tool will post and schedule your tweets with minimal effort. This works especially great if you’re managing multiple Twitter accounts. It’s easy to use and free!
  • SocialFlow. This is a great tool to better understand your target audience. SocialFlow identifies the time your target audience is most active, and according to this information, schedules the time to publish your content. This tool is not free, the price depends on the kind of organization you’re representing. But it’s worth it if you need optimal interaction with your audience.
  • AssignmentHelper. Remember that tip about your mission statement? With this tool, you’ll be able to write an impactful and well-informed mission statement. You’ll also receive assistance from experienced writers.
  • Canva. Today, graphics on social media have become so creative that it’s  become harder to impress people with an accurate visual representation of your content. But Canva has a lot to visually impress your audience with. It offers a plethora of design templates and all of them can be customized.

Above all, start gradually and set reasonable expectations. You should understand that it requires some time for social media marketing to pay off. But as every relationship, it also requires time to build good connections and engage your audience.

Have a tip to add? Share it with our readers below.



Author Bio: Lucy Benton is a marketing specialist, business consultant, and helps people turn their dreams into profitable businesses.  Visit Lucy’s blog, Prowriting, to read her latest publications and follow her on Twitter.