Brochures, web copy, blog articles, Tweets, Facebook posts – the many forms of communication that communication professionals must master is wide. And, if they were people, they’d all be Sally from “When Harry Met Sally” – i.e. high maintenance, wanting their ice cream on the side and pie warmed but no whip cream, unless you can’t get the pie warm, then…
Rachel Muney, on October 17, 2016
Rachel Muney, on August 23, 2016
This November, use social media for good and make progress toward your fundraising goals by getting #GivingTuesday trending.
#GivingTuesday is a chance for nonprofits to capitalize on the virality of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to orient the upcoming holiday season as one of not only getting, but giving. And, as the hashtag suggests, #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity for nonprofit organizations to put their social media marketing strategies to work.
But what if your organization doesn't have a social marketing strategy, or what if you haven't updated it in several years? You shouldn't let #GivingTuesday pass by without making sure you have a social media plan for this year.
Instead, use this guide to get your social media marketing up to speed and ready for the big day and the big season. This post will examine a few of the most important practices of a nonprofit with a successful social media strategy. These include:
- Using the platforms that work best for you.
- Being open to experimentation.
- Telling, and spreading, your story.
- Including a call to action.
If you are wondering where you can start improving your social media strategy this season, these best practices will get you well on your way.
#GivingTuesday: using the platforms that work best for you
Choosing the right social network begins with identifying your target audience as well as your peer to peer and general fundraising goals. But also think about which network falls most in-line with the way your organization naturally communicates.
Chelsea Bassett, on July 1, 2015
Do you know who your biggest supporters are? Do you even have enough data about them to segment your lists, deliver targeted messages, and get better results from your email campaigns?
Elicia Tedrow, on April 20, 2015
Twitter has become one of the most essential social networks for today’s nonprofits. One of the biggest fundraising days of the year, #GivingTuesday, is a product of Twitter’s influence on the nonprofit world. Last year, organizations raised an estimated total of $45.68 million through their Twitter #GivingTuesday campaigns.
Did you know? 18% of all digital donations now come from peer-to-peer giving campaigns. Social media, mobile devices, and other peer-to-peer fundraising software have made it easier than ever for individuals to ask their peers for donations on behalf of a nonprofit organization that they support.
Andrew Desmond, on February 11, 2015
While email marketing isn't a new trend, it certainly should be a staple of your constituent communication.
Why? It's fast, easy, inexpensive.
Email has the highest rate of return on investment for any marketing channel - that’s $40 for every $1 spent (yay!) While it’s important to understand the risk, it’s even more important to work toward reaping the benefits of sending quality emails that deliver positive results.
This blog is a part of our recent series on nonprofit training.
So, it’s go-time on end-of-year fundraising planning. You and your colleagues have huddled. You’ve strategized. You figured out what you're going to highlight from this year. Your game plan is ready. And now, you sit down at your keyboard, look at your screen and oh. crap. what. do. I. say?
Jennifer Gmerek, on July 1, 2014
According to Mashable, yesterday was Social Media Day (#SMDay) - a day to honor the digital revolution happening around the globe. Didn’t get the memo? We forgive you.
But since we treat everyday like Social Media Day around here, we figured why not use the date to help launch our #SMDay mini-series of blogs this week dedicated to all things social.
Get ready to talk about your favorite social media sites, tricks, tools services and even a few pet peeves. But first, let’s cover a few best practices for nonprofits' digital marketing on social media.
Plan it Out
First, it’s important to create a plan. In fact, think about it more as a blueprint. “Begin with a strategy, not with the tools. Too many nonprofits begin with the tools when the tools should flow from the strategy, not the other way around.” says SocialBrite founder, J.D. Lasica.
In other words, once you know where you’re going, you can figure out what you’ll need in order to make it there.
Do you want to be seen as a reliable source for sharing powerful stories or giving breaking news updates? Your answer will help determine the best social media network for your organization.
But don’t just stop at the big picture - drill down into the day-to-day. Who is posting? How often? At what times? Use an editorial calendar to set expectations and coordinate your team.
Having a plan in mind will also make measuring your progress a lot easier. The world of data analytics and social media measurement may sound like a scary place, but the best rule of thumb is just to start small and start as soon as possible.
Use a social media dashboard, like HootSuite, which saves you time by letting you schedule tweets or Facebook status updates. Or check out a tool like Attentive.ly to help your track your efforts.
But if any tool ever adds more stress to your day than it helps relieve, then drop it and move on. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do everything or play with every shiny new toy that comes along.
Choose Your Platform Wisely
When talking about choosing the right social media platform, our motto has become: You can’t possibly be on every network, so don’t even try.
It’s better for your organization to put more time and effort into a smaller number of sites that people will actually use, rather than have empty profiles. So we’ve done our best to narrow down a few helpful tips for you when choosing to join (or not) any social media site.
But the key to unlocking the potential of any new medium has always been - and will continue to be - knowing your audience. Research your target audience and find out as much as you can about them.
This will help you to know which platforms they use the most, what times they’re most active, what content is most relevant to them, and more.
Pay close attention to creating a consistent “voice” for your organization that will resonate with real people who fall into your key demographics.
Give your organization a human element and personality. People connect with other people, not with computers. Don’t hesitate to show appreciation and excitement.
Try this exercise - create a persona for your social media audience by answering these questions outlined by communications firm, Big Duck.
Once you’ve figured out your goals, audience and voice, now’s the time to pick the one or two sites that make the most sense and dive in!
Learn From Others
More than 4 billion people are using social media today, but instead of feeling like you’re the last one to the pool, learn from the mistakes of other organizations who’ve gone before you.
When creating your social media profiles, be conscious of what you are choosing for your name, profile picture, “about” section, and other introductory information or meta data. These are the first pieces of content that people will see when discovering your social media page.
Make sure they are all a good representation of your organization and what you stand for. The images you choose should be big, clear, and relevant.
Though now a bit dated, Nonprofit Tech for Good’s 10 Common Mistakes by Nonprofits on Social Media still has some good nuggets. (FYI, distorted avatar images is listed as mistake #1 - hint, hint!)
And we couldn’t let this moment pass without mentioning one of our biggest pet peeves that didn’t make the list. If you are managing profiles across multiple networks, do not rely on automating all your posts. All platforms are not created equal! They require different tones, timing and styles.
However, creating new content for each platform doesn’t need to be a time suck either - learn more about how to maximize your content creation.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about the types and styles of specific social media platforms.
Make it “Spread-Worthy”
Social media is about getting your messages to spread widely and quickly. But getting people to share your content means engaging them where they’re at...not where you need them to be.
That means your content has to be not only relevant to your supporters, but something they will want to share with their friends and families. Author and Move On co-founder, John Hlinko, refers to this as making your content “spread-worthy."
Potential supporters and donors are out there, but getting them to choose your organization over the countless others available requires you to provide a compelling story behind your mission.
You want to keep readers excited and entertained. Try to keep content fresh and diversify what you’re saying; the same old content gets boring.
To get your posts shared, try to hit on at least one of these popular types of social media posts:
From parts one, two, and three of our new series How to Build a Website for your Charitable Foundation, we have compiled a list of tips to help you craft a website that will leave a lasting impression on your supporters.
In this article, we'll cover seven tips to help your create stunning nonprofit website:
- Make your mission apparent.
- Use content to attract supporters.
- Make your site donor-friendly.
- Make volunteer recuritment easy.
- Incorporate visual storytelling.
- Make your website mobile-responsive.
- Tie your site to social media.
Let's dive right into the first step: make your mission apparent.