7 Ways Non-Profits Can Drive Social Media Engagement

By Rob Monroe, May 10, 2016
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OK, so your organization has finally decided to go all in on social media. Fantastic! Now, as you begin planning, you may ask, “What specific things should we be doing to get the most out of our social media efforts?” Well, here are some fundamental steps you can take to help drive engagement on your social media channels…

 

Designate a Point Person

Growing an audience on social media requires a substantive amount of effort. As with your donor relationships offline, on social media, you’ll have to carve out time to consistently communicate and respond to your audience. Evaluate your resources. Is there someone within your organization available or who can be trained? Or will you have to actively recruit someone from outside with the expertise to assist you? Before launching out, make sure you have a designated point person who can lead your efforts, in place.

Tell Them Who You Are

As foundational as this step is, many non-profits forget to provide adequate information about themselves on each of their social media profiles. Each of your social media channels gives you the opportunity to tell your story. Whether you’re on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, for example, make sure you’ve:

  • Included a dynamic photo that represents your work or the people you help in your header image
  • Added your website link and links to your other social media channels
  • Provided a short description in the bio that describes your mission and impact
  • Included a call to action that invites people to connect with you

Make New Friends

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of social media is that it provides you with the opportunity to attract new supporters to your cause. Let’s say your non-profit helps autistic children. By using the hashtag #autism to search on Twitter, you can discover other people and groups who can help you in your mission. Use hashtags and keywords to find like-minded folks who care about what you do and reach out to them.

Keep Old Friends Connected

If you have a passionate base of supporters, social media can help keep them up- to-date and connected with you. Share news, events and stories of impact; more on this here. Strengthen those relationships by following supporters on social media and recognizing them for aiding your mission. If there’s a group or company that’s donated or volunteered, thank them and give them a “shout-out.”

Create Visually Engaging Posts

Social media content with visual images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images according to the analytics company Kissmetrics. Make it visual. The very nature of social media lends itself to fast viewing and images can help you to communicate a lot to your audience quickly. People are much more likely to click, comment and share posts with visual content. In addition to custom photography, use Canva, simple & easy to use software, to help you create visual posts.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo, Periscope, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+, Vine, Quora, Medium—there’s no shortage of social media channels online. Which channels should your organization be on? It depends on your audience and where they live. If you’re not sure, ask them. Don’t open up channels that you can’t feed consistently. The key to building an audience on social media is to deliver quality content to a targeted audience on a consistent basis. It’s fine to start off with just 2 or 3 social media channels and build from there. As your proficiency and internal capacity grows, you can consider establishing a presence on additional channels.

And Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Donations are the lifeblood of every non-profit. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers, particularly at the end of each year. Of course, you want to make sure that you don’t overdo it. Most of your posts should be geared toward generating awareness and building relationships. Use analytics tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Google Analytics, to identify your most engaged followers. Then reach out to them directly to explore how they can become more involved in your mission.

Have fun as you connect, meet new people and move your organization forward!