3 Steps to Kick-Start Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Strategy

TL;DR: Nonprofits largely have a presence on social, but are not using the networks to their full capacity. When working with a lean budget, social media is one of the most cost effective marketing tools you can use to increase donors and volunteers.

Social media may be the place to house selfies and photos of your lunch, but it also has the vast potential to move the marketing needle for nonprofit organizations. Many nonprofits may have a page or a presence on social, yet they’re underutilizing the tools that social media has to offer. For organizations that are often running on lean budgets, social media has some of the most cost effective and measurable results. Using these tools is easier than you may think!

We’ll walk you through some simple initiatives to get started on today to increase the effectiveness of your nonprofit marketing through social media.

Make a Good First Impression

Just like you want to have a favorable in-person meeting with a potential donor, you want this to be represented online, as well. Be sure that the social media profiles of your nonprofit have an aesthetically pleasing look with a simple profile photo and header image. In order to look cohesive and presentable, have a branded look to your page with the correct logo and color scheme. Don’t overwhelm potential fans with too much text or information. Instead have a clear mission or tagline with a short about us bio and links to learn more. If you have a brand video, this is a great post to have pinned to the top of your profile to engage users right off the bat.

Define Your Objective

A lot of nonprofits are using social to just blast random information about events. Yet without a clear objective or strategy, these posts can seem spammy, or get immediately swallowed up in the noisy climate of social media. For most nonprofits, the main objective is going to be donations. For others, it might be recruiting community members to volunteer or getting the word out about events.

Once you define your actual objective, you can then map out a plan to get there. If donations are your main objective, you’re going to want to build out a content calendar and advertising plan that has engaging content that leads the user to the website. Conversely if volunteers are what you’re after, you might want to run lead generation ads to capture e-mails of users for your newsletter. You’ll want to be strategic with your objective by only posting relevant, high quality content. Posting more does not equal success. Most brands do well with two to three well-crafted posts per week. This will also give you a starting place to track the progress of your content with a specific objective outlined (website traffic, post engagements or video views).

Become an Advertiser

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have a host of advertising capabilities that allow you to not only get your message out, but get it out to the right people. You can get very specific with your promoted content to reach someone with a certain income, who may already donate to other organizations, and is interested in the specific cause your nonprofit works for. For instance, you could target those living in Orange County with income over $150,000, environmental interests and a behavior of making charitable donations. This will ensure that your content is being seen by those who will appreciate it and act on it.

Beyond the reach and targeting, you are able to track the return on your ad dollar spends with conversion tracking. By installing a Facebook pixel on your website, you can see who is coming there from social media, and what actions they’re taking. This will allow you to show your stakeholders exactly how many volunteer sign ups or donations came from promoted social media content, easily proving its worth.

Nonprofits tend to have a diverse community support, so don't miss our five steps to break into new audiences.