To make the most of your nonprofit's social media channels, follow these general principles discussed in The Essential Guide to Growing Your Online Support for Nonprofits:
- Use social media to build relationships, not as a fundraising tool. These channels are excellent places to engage your community by sharing your story, the results of the donations you’ve collected, and much more through photos, posts, and other forms of content (see Chapter 3 for more on content marketing).
- Look for and create influencers. These people believe in your organization and use social media to spread the word of their convictions to other friends. We recommend e-mailing your list and asking them to become Facebook fans/Twitter followers — it’s a great free way to bump up your social network fan base in a hurry. After they’re your fans, encourage them to help you spread the word about your latest campaigns, advocacy efforts, and so on. Make the influencers your social media ambassadors, and reward them for their efforts regularly. Recognize them in social media communications, invite them to contribute blog articles or photos, make them special guests at events (where they may even take photos and tweet about your event), and show your gratitude the old-fashioned way with a thank-you message.
- Build your network of organization-friends. If social media is all about forming connections and building relationships, then you could have a lot of success by extending that beyond just your supporters. Find like-minded organizations to connect to on your social-media channels and see whether they’ll do the same. You can share each other’s social-media posts with your respective audiences when appropriate. It increases both the content you have to share as well as your social-media reach.
- Make your supporters aware of social media in your e-mails and on each web page. Make sure your presence is active and current and that your pages have visible call-to-action links and “Donate Now” apps or icons.
- Use social media to complement your existing campaigns, not host a brand new one. Spread excitement about an upcoming effort, or drive traffic to your website by sharing your activities with your fans and asking them to share with others.
To learn more download our free ebook, The Essential Guide to Growing Your Online Support for Nonprofits. This new guide helps you connect and engage with current donors, volunteers and activists, and tells you how to reach out to new supporters using the online tools and content you’ve probably already got in place. It covers things like storytelling and choosing the best message for each medium, but also goes into things you might not know a lot about yet, like SEO, SEM and leveraging text messaging.
And for more details about maximizing your use of Facebook, download this free whitepaper, The Real Value of a Facebook Friend.