Businesses consider sales as their most highly coveted form of engagement. It's when social media campaigns are successfully implemented and continuously produce leads and conversations. For content creators, it can be in the form of shares, likes, and comments. As much as possible, they want their content to go rapidly viral. It happens when people talk about them online and re-post their content on their own social media profiles. It's different for non-profit organizations. What they consider as the ultimate form of engagement is donations and they heavily rely on email marketing for that.
In 2015, it was reported that nonprofits sent around 2.4 billion emails to 37 million subscribers. For them, it is a cost-effective way to inform their supporters and generate donations without taking the focus away from their supporters. Their over-reliance on email is not irrational though. It was proven that email still reaches far more donors and volunteers than social media. Hence, the neglect and lack of investment of nonprofits in online networks.
But that doesn't mean they are not established on social media. In fact, 98% of charities and nonprofits in the U.S. are active on at least one social media site. Here are some statistics provided by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research:
- YouTube (97%)
- Facebook (92%)
- Twitter (86%)
- Pinterest (72%)
- LinkedIn (57%)
However, nonprofits only use these networking sites as a megaphone to broadcast information about their upcoming organizational events and activities. They are not fully utilizing social media as a proper tool to gain donations. In this post, we'll help nonprofits like you build an effective social media marketing strategy and show how it can be of value to your organization.
Define Your Goals
The first step in developing a social media strategy is to determine what you want to achieve through your social media campaigns. This is to make sure your goals and objectives are defined for your entire team. If you are not sure where to start, here are a few targets that are important for the nonprofit sector:
- Engaging their community
- Gaining brand recognition
- Recruiting volunteers
- Raising money (Donors)
Determine Your Audience
When you have finally identified your goals, think of your audience because you need to understand who you want to influence. To do that, you need to research your potential clients and your existing community. Social media management tools can help you determine the demographics you are targeting online. They usually have the feature to produce useful reports that cover every aspect of your social media channels. By gaining powerful insight from social data, you can make smarter decisions for your organization.
Once you already have an overview of your audience that you are trying to reach through social media, it should be noted that different people with different age groups use the Internet. You can use this opportunity by implementing personalization. It is the ability to leverage what we know about our audience. It's for organizations to deliver customized experiences to their clients by applying personalized marketing campaigns.
Focus On The Right Online Communities
There are a lot of social media platforms available for everyone to use for their benefit or cause. That's why it's crucial to know which online networks your audience is most active on so that you do not waste your time and effort focusing on the wrong community. To better understand where your target audience is the most engaged, your organization can use a social media analytics tool. From there, you will know where they are most vocal.
Your organization can focus on 2-3 platforms as a start and work your way from there. Most organizations make the mistake of opening accounts on multiple platforms only for them to become inactive later. It's not always better to have social media presence everywhere more so if you are not responding to your followers as it will damage your brand even more. You should set realistic goals to achieve better results. So, focus on your chosen online communities and do a fantastic job there by being consistent and actively sharing content on these social media networks.
Develop A Content Strategy
Now that you have defined your goals, determined your audience and identified the right social networks, it's time to plan your delivery. Without proper content structure, you will be left with mediocre posts leaving your audience confused or worst your organization ignored. Who would want that, right?
We have provided some helpful tips that can assist you to build your content strategy:
1. Determine the type of content to share
You can start by previously checking published posts and see which ones got the most engagement. You can recreate something similar on your social media channels. Another way of gaining additional insight is by asking your followers or supporters. There is no better way than getting the answers directly from them. You can also produce content that you think your donors would be most interested in. For example, you can share a story of how proceeds are being used to benefit a certain group. You can also show appreciation to those people who donated to your organization.
2. Be sincere and helpful to your audience
To capture the attention as well the heart of your followers, you need to be honest and true to your cause. They can easily pick up the insincerity on your part in a heartbeat. So, be true to the content you post on social media and engage with your audience personally. It's not good when you sound like a robot while responding to comments online.
Social media can also be used as a tool to solve people's problems. You can do that by sharing useful information and make it easy for your audience to access it when they search for it. You need to build that trust with them because this will help in getting better audience retention.
3. Have a publishing schedule for your posts
When you have a posting frequency, it allows you to plan the content you are going to publish in advance. A social media scheduling tool can effortlessly organize and manage your social content and campaigns with you in control. Using this tool will give you extra time to manage your channels and community, produce better and newsworthy content, and measure your influence or impact online. A guide was produced by TopNonProfit for organizations who don't know where to start in terms of social media posting strategy.
Get Advocates And Influencers
A non-profit successful in empowering their advocates is UNICEF. They were the first organization who enlisted the help of celebrities. It was Danny Kaye who pioneered the ambassador role in 1954 and Audrey Hepburn next. This all helped in building a roster of goodwill ambassadors worldwide. UNICEF also regularly features their influencers on their official Instagram account seeing the clear benefits it has given to them.
The amount of engagement and the exposure they get from sending their ambassadors to field projects and emergency programs abroad is astounding. This is one of the ways how their organization raises money to support UNICEF's mission to ensure every child’s right to health, education, equality, and protection.
Check Your Results And Analytics
Social media experts recommend looking for social media tools that can track the performance of your social media profiles. Such tool will allow you to access all your data in one place. This is good for nonprofits especially those who are not tech-savvy. All they need to do is enable their notifications, connect all their social media profiles and they will start receiving daily useful reports covering every aspect of their social networks. Understanding the analytics can take some time, but it's important to learn how to make use of the data provided to your organization.