Five nonprofit social media best practices

By Lauren Rogers on November 22, 2016

By Lauren Rogers on November 22, 2016

If you’re responsible for the social media at your nonprofit organization, chances are good that it’s one of many important tasks on your plate!

We work with many nonprofits, and we understand that it can be overwhelming to keep up with social media best practices on top of everything else. I’ve done nonprofit communications before working here at T&S, so I definitely want to help you make the most of the time you spend on social media!

Rather than sharing any platform-specific tactics, I’m going to stick with practices that apply across the board.

And although I talk about how nonprofits can apply these practices, they work with for-profit businesses as well.

Practice 1 – Find brand ambassadors

Do you find that the people liking and sharing your posts online tend to be some of the same people? Those are people who have already connected with your mission.

Increase your reach by asking them personally, specifically, to share posts. You don’t have to ask every time, but you could ask them once to share posts that particularly resonate with them in the future.

These may not be people who are able to donate or volunteer, but this is one way to get them more connected to your organization. And it’s one of the best free ways to get your content in front of more people.

Practice 2 – Join topical hashtags

Some hashtags have become fairly universal in meaning—like #throwbackthursday—and you can use them on hashtag-friendly platforms like Twitter and Facebook to increase your reach.

When people scroll through public posts tagged with a particular hashtag, they’ll be able to come across yours. You may want to look into #givingtuesday, for example. It occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a global day to kick off year-end giving.

Practice 3 – Keep it consistent

It’s important to be active on social media when you have a campaign or an event to promote, but unless you’re active during the rest of the year, you won’t have much of an audience to promote to.

Consistently share interesting, valuable content to keep your audience engaged whether you have a campaign running or not.

Practice 4 – Strive for conversations

Speaking of engagement, be proactive about engagement online! Respond to commenters, acknowledge re-tweets, and reply to direct messages.

People who are positively engaging with your organization online are likely people who may decide to donate to you, even if they aren’t currently in your CRM or on your direct mailing list.

Practice 5 – Utilize images

I can’t stress enough how important images are to your social media marketing plan. Visuals are attention-grabbing and often stand out from the text updates that your audience has in their feeds.

In addition to that, though, as a nonprofit you potentially have an additional emotional component to your images. You can share photos from past events, include the picture of a real-life person when you share client success stories, or share pictures of the life your nonprofit is able to help clients lead.

These best practices can help you reach more of your audience, and help the audience you’re already reaching connect even more with your organization.

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