Somewhat surprisingly, many Non-profits are still feeling shy about their Social Media presence. Social Media Marketing is increasingly necessary for nonprofits; it is an effective and cost-efficient tool to increase your reach and awareness. There are 2.8 billion active social media users worldwide, so this is the medium where you want your nonprofit to be, right?
According to the NGO Technology Report, NGOs agree that social media is effective for increasing online brand awareness, creating social change, recruiting volunteers and event attendees, and boosting online fundraising. However, a successful social media campaign does not gel on its own, it requires strategy, planning and a dedicated effort.
If your organization has not harnessed the power of social media marketing, or like many, have tried some things but got a little lost along the way… lucky you! We have put together what we think are the top social media best practices for non-profit campaigns from the initial campaign start stage through to execution.
- Segment to target the right audience
To identify your target audience, first, you need to make sure that the objectives of the campaign are clear. If you know what you are trying to achieve it will be significantly easier to define your audience profile. This step is very important, it will help you recognize what your target audience responds to, how to speak their language and create an engaging campaign.
- Select the right channels
There are many social media channels, so which one should you choose? What matters here are the results of the segmentation process as you now know who your audience is, right? So determine where those people are hanging out on social media and select the channel(s) accordingly. It is that simple, you want to be where they are. Facebook, for example, is the most popular social media network, with 1.9 billion unique monthly users, predominantly female (83% of online women). In addition, it is a very good place to reach millennials and Generation X, who spend almost 7 hours per week on social media.
- Plan a content strategy
Content marketing is playing a key role in today’s marketing landscape to the extent that it drives online marketing. The creation and distribution of valuable and relevant online material (video, blogs, live interaction…), with the purpose of attracting a clearly defined niche audience and encourage an action, can’t be ignored by nonprofit organizations. People following your nonprofit on social networks are interested in the work you do, so focus on topics that are relevant to your cause and appeal to your audience. Your posts should be informative and authentic, create meaningful content that will engage your fans and trigger their reactions. It can seem overwhelming, but planning and documenting a content strategy is easier than you would expect, check out our content calendar guide for more tips
- Storytelling, storytelling, storytelling!
While we are on the topic of content marketing, we have to tell you about one of the most important trends in content marketing: storytelling! Storytelling is a really effective way of bringing your mission to life and connecting with people emotionally. Create compelling stories, with topics such as the real impact of how your organization’s work affects a person’s life, or how a volunteer’s efforts contributed to a decisive transformation in their community. The bottom line is that, in order to tell a successful story, the story must be real and your audience must be able to relate to it. Visuals are known to increase interaction and engagement rates. 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day, and that 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound.
- Interact with a strategy in mind
Once your campaigns have traction and you have begun to establish an online community, the ongoing interactions with those community members need to be strategic. Build relationships with your audience by generating dialogue, replying to their comments, asking them questions, thanking them for sharing your content, and so on. Ultimately your campaign needs to lead to the desired audience action and as always, building a community of support is key. You can think of Social Media as your funnel for support, a way to reach new supporters and build your community. This leads to Relationship Management/CRM/Donor Management and allows you to further enhance your opportunities to market.