11 Ways nonprofits can use social media to engage with their community (with examples)
If you are reading this blog post, chances are that your nonprofit has an active social media page. You might regularly post pictures there, share content from other resources, organize events, and respond to queries to ensure that your followers are engaged, and satisfied.
But has it occurred to you that maybe you’re not doing everything you can with your social media account?
To maximize benefits and ensure that your social media handles provide a thriving space for engaging conversations and support, you need an effective social media strategy. The benefits of engagement should go beyond likes, shares, and followers, and result in actionable change – such as getting more donors, volunteers, or supporters.
If you’re asking why, take a look at these numbers: 71% of nonprofits globally find social media effective for digital fundraising, 29% donors are inspired to give by social media and 57% of traffic to fundraising campaign pages comes from Social Media (Source).
Simply put, to get the right support, your social media content should be strong and diverse enough to build a thriving online community for your audience.
How can your nonprofit take advantage of social media?
Today, people use social media to support causes they feel strongly about – be it by sharing posts, engaging in conversations through comments, or directly donating.
It is crucial to understand the variables that interest your audience. It is one thing to write good content, but another thing to achieve your target with it. Your content must not only educate and entertain but also persuade your audience to take meaningful action.
Which social media channels are the best for you?
Before we take a look at how you can diversify your social media content, you need to decide what social media channel suits you. Don’t worry about being present on every social media platform. It’s better to excel in two or three than be average on four or five platforms.
Here are a few steps to follow, to choose the right social media platform for your nonprofit:
- Define your nonprofit’s goals on social media:
- Recruiting volunteers
- Raising awareness
- Identify your target audience by
- Devices used
- Job title
- Analyze the demographics of all the platforms
- Study the tools that different platforms have to offer
You don’t need to be as active on Instagram unless millennials form your major target audience (25 to 34-year-olds form 33% of Instagram’s audience). For the age group 25-44, Facebook is where you need to be the most active.
Now that we’re sorted on the channels, let’s look at the ten ways in which you can use your social media content to engage with your community better.
Go behind the scenes
Social media is a hub for creative, informal content. There are a million ways for you to craft immersive content that tells your story.
Behind the scenes (BTS) is one such type of content. Instead of just showing your donors and volunteers the impact of your nonprofit through planned posts, BTS shows your audience the raw and real work behind building a campaign or a successful event. Not only does this give your audience a deeper understanding of how your nonprofit works, but also makes them feel involved.
Some examples of BTS content are staff interactions, ideation sessions, event preparations, fun videos on fundraising processes, etc.
Create engaging infographics
65% of Facebook users use Facebook to view photos. Users on Twitter are also more likely to engage in a post that includes a photo. Images that attract attention offer a break from an otherwise content-packed feed and have a higher chance of being shared.
The use of infographics, a creative combination of images and minimal text, is an effective way to grab the attention of the audience. You can use infographics for stating helpful information, raising awareness, announcing events, etc.
Here is a collection of our favorite infographic templates.
Let data speak for you
Numbers tell stories. Especially those that can be accurately attributed and are based on research.
For instance, an impact report packed with data – number of beneficiaries, funds raised, volunteering hours – shows your audience the impact of your project tangibly. It motivates the reader to further support your cause and even share your success story with their network. Besides showcasing your success, it also proves your legitimacy and fosters trust.
Pro-tip: We highly recommend sharing your nonprofit’s quarterly progress on your social media pages.
Show your journey through diverse storytelling ideas
“What makes a good story?”
Storytelling is a beautiful art form – it brings your audience along your journey. Use emotional and informational elements to demonstrate your nonprofit’s impact.
You can select an individual or a group of individuals that your nonprofit has helped, and use written content, videos, images, audio files, slideshows, etc. to tell your story through them.
Pro-Tip: The average engagement rate for Facebook video posts is 0.26%, while the average engagement rate overall is just 0.18%! We hope this is encouraging enough for you to incorporate videos in your social media content. Here are some of our favorite client stories:
Make your team, ambassadors, and interns the heroes
It is very important to acknowledge your staff and their contribution. Photos and videos about employees tend to get a lot of attention and applause on social media – be it about new hires, retirements, promotions, etc.
You can create a specific template to feature your staff for specific campaigns.
Throw the spotlight on events and campaigns
Your virtual event is one place where your supporters collectively get to participate in the causes you both support. A virtual event amplifies the sense of community and camaraderie and results in improved engagement.
Following are some ways to creatively promote your event:
- Creating save-the-date posts
- Using unique hashtags for social handles
- Sharing countdown graphics/videos
- Encouraging reposts from volunteers, supporters, etc.
- Use visuals and large text on the photo to grab attention.
- Include additional details in your caption.
Appreciate your volunteers
There are many reasons why volunteer gratitude posts get a lot of engagement. Firstly, these posts inspire many people to read about the work done by someone for the cause they support. Volunteer gratitude posts are also often reposted and shared by the volunteer’s family and friends.
Volunteers are one among your audience, making them more relatable to your community. Your audience will resonate more with your volunteers’ struggles and learnings than with yours.
A few ways to show gratitude to your volunteers online are:
- A thank you video
- A blog post celebrating your volunteers
- A “Volunteer of the Month” campaign to recognize outstanding contribution
Pro-tip: Post photos or videos of your volunteers alongside beneficiaries. This can help build trust with donors as they see your organization’s impact in action!
Say thank you!
Thanking your supporters goes a long way in building a meaningful relationship with your audience. While there are many creative ways to show your appreciation, you must make it actionable.
Resolving complaints quickly, making handwritten notes of gratitude, sending anniversary cards, etc. are a few ways to make your gratitude actionable.
Pro-tip: Tag all your supporters in your ‘Thank you’ social media post!
Share inspiration with your network
Inspirational quotes can motivate followers to take action.
Create a template that you can modify for each new inspirational quote you share. It’s very admirable how organizations, like Audiopedia, post inspirational quotes on Instagram.
Pro-tip: Make sure to include your logo or website URL so you can drive traffic there!
Show off your swag
If your nonprofit has merchandise that you sell, create image posts about it and clarify where the profits will go, in the caption.
Write value statements
Value statements help nonprofits communicate their mission, vision, and goals. As content saturation increases, value statements are a bold and effective way for nonprofits to convey their message.
Revamp your social media content strategy
Now that you know the different content types that will get you more engagement, here are a few additional tips to give you a head start.
- It is crucial to have a mobile-friendly website mainly because over half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices
- Add a chatbot to your website to stimulate engagement.
- Schedule your social media content in advance.
- Set ambitious targets for the number of likes, shares, and comments.
- Occasionally share light-hearted memes, gifs, dog photos, etc. to liven up your feed.
We hope that you use the content ideas in this blog to craft a more compelling social media strategy for your nonprofit. If you found this blog useful, don’t forget to share it with your network or with whoever might find this useful!
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