8 WAYS YOUR NONPROFIT CAN INCREASE SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORTERS
You already know the importance of your nonprofit’s website, but social media networks are the best way to connect and communicate with your supporters in a personal way. Social media allows you to reach millions of people all over the world, instantly, for free!
Even if funding for your organization is limited, you can still plan and execute an effective social media strategy in very little time or cost. Here are some tried-and-true tactics that other successful nonprofits have used to attract more of the right followers and build a great rapport with them.
CHOOSE ONE OR TWO NETWORKS
The phrase “Jack of All; Master of None,” comes to mind here. Without an entire team devoted to marketing alone, it’s hard for a business of any size to manage multiple social media accounts successfully. That’s why it’s best to only choose one or two to commit to. The type of content you’ll post, the community you think you’ll be best suited for, and your demographic’s preferences will all be deciding factors. Every platform has unique uses and capabilities and reaches different networks.
Once you understand the differences between them, deciding which one will work best for your organization will be easier. For example, if you want to have a community where your supporters can connect more inclusively with each other, you might use Facebook and have a dedicated Facebook group your supporters can join to continue the conversation amongst themselves. If your cause relies on support from local small businesses, you might use LinkedIn to connect with business owners and expand your reach to their other networks. Twitter is great for reaching politically and socially involved people, and Instagram is wonderful for sharing and spreading stories through visuals.
STAY CONSISTENT WITH YOUR BRAND
Once you’ve picked your platform, it’s time to create content. Use images and colors that match your brand and website aesthetic in every post. Use your written brand voice in your captions. It should be consistent throughout every post or comment you make. Your social media pages are unique to your organization, just like your website, so don’t be afraid to share your organization’s perspective in every post. It’s what sets you apart from organizations with similar purposes or missions.
FOCUS ON ORGANIC GROWTH
Social networks use algorithms to push popular posts to the top of a user’s feed. In other words, popularity begets popularity. The more people like, comment, or share your posts, the more people will see them. This is organic engagement. It can take some time, but through regular posting, sharing, and commenting on similar pages, and responding to user comments, you can make a genuine connection with your followers and attract more of them. These interactions also foster trust because they show your audience you’re not just a faceless organization trying to make money, but one run by real people who care about others. Unless you eventually want to invest in ads, the biggest appeal of social media is that it offers outreach to millions of people for free, you just need to be diligent with your efforts.
KEEP A DILIGENT SCHEDULE AND POST REGULARLY
Saying “thank you” and showing your donors appreciation helps to maintain good relationships with them. Showing them the impact that their time or donations make encourages them to stay proactive in your cause, and to spread the word about the work your organization is doing.
Try to send a “thank you” email after a donation is made. Most email marketing platforms allow you to easily set up a template to do this automatically. Try to make the email personal by including information about your supporter’s contribution or how long they’ve been helping your organization. Mention some details about the overall importance this has and how it contributes to your nonprofit’s big picture or end goal.
START THE CONVERSATION
Again, honest connection appeals to people’s emotions and need for engagement. They’ll be more inclined to help your cause if they feel you’re genuinely trying to help and connect with others. The best way to encourage this is to start conversations. Start discussions on your own posts, host an Instagram or Facebook live where people can ask questions in real-time, post surveys on LinkedIn, and share the results on your next post. Get people involved, talking, and sharing and you’ll attract more positive engagement your way.
POSTS SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE A PURPOSE
Because your social media pages represent a respectable nonprofit, you not only want your posts to be brand-appropriate and relevant, but to serve a purpose. Don’t post something just because you think it will get a lot of likes; this may end up confusing your followers, potentially driving them away, or attract the wrong demographic to you. Post meaningful, purposeful content like beneficiary success stories, volunteer experiences, or educational information. Stay true to your values and mission statement. Your content helps you to hone in on your perfect audience and encourages lasting long-term engagement. You want your followers and supporters to know exactly what to expect from your nonprofit; providing trustworthy, reliable resources for your cause.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
No matter what industry or business you’re in, the social media accounts that post often are the ones that benefit the most from the algorithms. The best practice would be to post at least once a day, every day when you’re first starting out. However, you don’t want to flood your account with low-quality photos, irrelevant information, or inappropriate content just to post something. Again, this could have the opposite effect of what you want and might drive your ideal audience away.
It’s more important to post high-quality, valuable content when you can than to post every day. Try to make your social media accounts cohesive with your website and other marketing materials by using the same color palettes, fonts, themes, and keywords.
MAKE YOUR SUPPORTERS FEEL VALUED AND APPRECIATED
Your social media followers are potential donors, volunteers, and other supporters. Show them you appreciate their time and support by saying “thank you” often. This simple interaction helps to cultivate and strengthen your relationships. Remember that you draw more flies with honey; positive posts and gratitude attracts more of that to you. Your nonprofit can’t accomplish anything if it doesn’t have supporters, and those are the people who truly embody your values and mission.
Social media is a wonderful way to spread awareness about your cause, find volunteers, and collect more donations through genuine connection and communication with your followers. The key is to post high-quality content and interact with your followers and fellow nonprofits regularly. With a little bit of patience and steady engagement, you’ll build a great rapport and a reliable network of supporters that will help your mission.
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