With the advent of social media marketing, small businesses have a new, viable marketing path with remarkable reach - and it's no different for nonprofits. Generating donors and recruiting volunteers requires establishing strong relationships, and your social media strategy plays a crucial role in that.
If you're currently feeling your way around the social media realm but aren't necessarily getting the results you'd like, consider the following five tips:
1. Effectively Tell Your Story
Potential donors are out there, but getting them to support your organization over the countless others available requires you to provide a compelling story behind your mission.
When crafting your story, consider including the motivation behind the founding of your organization or focus on successful past events or objectives, highlighting how you've helped those in need. For nonprofits on social media, you've got to be creative and convincing.
2. Resist the Urge to Automate
Automating your social media posts offers a level of convenience, but you also run the risk of alienating your followers if you rely on it too heavily - especially so for nonprofits, where building long-term relationships is key.
Avoid automation and exploit each social media platform's strengths. Facebook is great for articles, Twitter is best for short snippets, and Pinterest is best for focusing on visuals.
3. Commit to Top-Shelf Content
In short, practice quality over quantity. Spend the necessary time making sure anything you post on your social media pages is high-quality, relevant and actionable for your followers. Include a creative and interesting title, open with a hook, fill the body with concise content and end with a call to action.
Tying your content in with current events is another great way to pique interest. Just be sure not to over-post. Unnecessary spamming is a great way to ruin your online presence.
And if you're still not sure exactly how to create your content, check out these tips on establishing your communication style.
4. Inform Your Followers
Clearly inform your followers of the goals and achievements of your organization. For starters, include transparent commentary on any administrative expenses you incur. If yours are too high, it can be a turn-off for potential donors. If you clearly outline where these expenses go, you can in fact improve donation levels.
5. Make It Easy for Followers to Take the Next Step
If your goal is to get a reader to sign up for email updates, clearly state that in your postings. If you're seeking actual donations, make that clear too. Too many websites lack easy-to-understand instructions for next steps, so don't be that organization. And don't be shy either. If you need money, then say so. You won't be offending anyone, and your followers are going to have a better understanding of exactly what they need to do to help you. After all, that's why they're there.
Social media marketing requires a significant time commitment if you want meaningful results. If no one in your organization has the time or expertise to properly conduct operations, consider bringing in outside help. If your budget is limited, eschew hiring a full-time employee and instead find qualified freelancers at websites like Guru and Elance. You can certainly increase donations through effective social media marketing, but if you're not the one for the job, be prudent enough to admit it.
What is your nonprofit currently doing with social media?