Social Media for Nonprofits: Your Guide to Getting Started the Right Way by @JuliaEMcCoy for @CoScheduleClick To Tweet
Organize Every Post for Your Nonprofit With This Social Media Calendar TemplateDo you have a lot of content to share, but not much budget to spare? Then download this easy-to-use social media calendar template to plan and organize all your posts in advance, so you won't be left wondering what to share, and when:
Your Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits: Table of Contents
Why Social Media for Nonprofits is Important to Your Business
Social Media Strategies for Nonprofits
- Establish Your Company’s Goals
- Understand Your Audience
- Assemble Your Social Media Toolkit
- Select Your Channels
- Set Your Goals
Social Media Best Practices for Nonprofits
- Create Your Basic Content Strategy
- Set a Basic Posting Schedule
- Plan and Organize Posts on a Calendar
- Measure Results
How to Use Social Media for Nonprofits to Boost Awareness
Why Social Media for Nonprofits is Important to Your BusinessBefore diving into the strategies and best practices for nonprofits, it’s important to understand why social media is important to nonprofits. Consider these social media statistics:
- Over 50% of social media users will research products and services through various social media platforms.
- When it comes to social media engagement, 83% of Twitter users who received company responses to their Tweets had more positive feelings about the brand and were more inclined to do work with them in the future.
- Nearly 40% of consumers find purchase inspiration through different social media platforms.
Social Media Strategies for NonprofitsBefore you start optimizing social media strategies for nonprofits, it’s prudent that you have a plan in place to make the best use of your social media marketing efforts.
1. Establish Your Company’s GoalsHopefully, you’ve already spent some time on this and know the general goals for your nonprofit. However, you need to have these nailed down to make the most of your social media strategy. Here are some questions to ask as you craft your goals:
- Why do people care about the issue you’re trying to address?
- What do you do differently that sets you apart from other nonprofits?
- Who is most likely to be moved by your goals?
2. Understand Your AudienceKnowing who you serve, what they care about, and what actions you want them to take is a critical part of social media success. Think about how your audience demographics stack up:
- What is the general age range for your audience?
- Do you serve a local audience, or do you have a broad reach?
- Why does your audience care about your nonprofit specifically?
- Canva – For nonprofits that don’t have a designer on staff, Canva offers a low-cost option for creating your own infographic, logos, banners, and more.
- Venngage – Another free to low-cost option exclusively for creating infographics is Venngage.
- CoSchedule’s Growth Plan – If you’re looking for a comprehensive marketing package that includes social media management, consider CoSchedule’s growth plan.
4. Select Your ChannelsOnce you’ve figured out who your target audience is, you can start focusing on which social media channels will work best for your nonprofit. Here are the most popular social media channels for nonprofit marketing:
- Boost donations to your nonprofit
- Drive traffic to your nonprofit’s website
- Bring awareness to a seasonal cause or promotion
- Increase your social media presence
1. Create Your Basic Content StrategyIf you haven’t already considered this, the first thing you want to do before you start putting together social media campaigns is to create your brand’s voice and tone. Do you want to sound professional and composed? Would you rather sound warm and open? Your voice and tone set the stage for how you’ll create your content strategy. You’ll also want to consider the types of content you want to share across different social media platforms:
- Links to content you created or outside sources
- GIFs, photos, or graphics that have been created for your post
- Videos that talk about your mission and goals
2. Set a Basic Posting ScheduleRather than haphazardly posting to your social media channels as time permits, you need to set up a posting schedule for the best campaign results. Think about each platform individually – social media best practices vary across platforms. Posting too infrequently means you’ll miss opportunities for exposure. Some social media best practices for nonprofits figuring out their posting schedule are:
- How often you post: Studies suggest that posting once daily on Facebook is best but posting 15 times daily on Twitter has the most impact. Instagram and Pinterest vary, as well.
- What time you post: This varies widely, but B2C businesses that post on Instagram have the most success at 8 AM, 1 PM, and 9 PM.
- What day you post: Depending on the social media channels you’re using Wednesday may be the best day. For other channels, it may be Friday.
3. Plan and Organize Posts on a CalendarOnce you’ve spent some time figuring out your posting schedule, you’ll have the best results if you plan and organize your posts on a calendar. A web-based calendar is the best, but feel free to make notes on a desk calendar if it helps. Planning everything on a calendar helps ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities. There are a couple of ways to manage your social media calendar:
- Calendar templates: If you’re going to manage your social media strategy yourself, you’ll need to use calendar post templates to schedule your social media posts. This can be a little time consuming, so keep that in mind.
- Social media apps: For a more efficient social media management strategy, consider using CoSchedule’s marketing suite. Their Growth Plan offers a comprehensive suite of tools for $250/month – that includes their social media management tools.
4. Measure ResultsThe last of the, if not the most important, social media best practices for nonprofits is to measure your social media campaign results. If you don’t measure your results, you won’t know if your campaigns are performing. A non-performing campaign is a waste of your time and money, so don’t skip this step. Here are some important things to measure about your social media campaigns:
- How many people viewed your post and how many engaged with it?
- Did your post drive traffic to your website or a landing page?
- What are the demographics of the people who engaged with your post?
How to Use Social Media for Nonprofits to Boost AwarenessWhile it can seem a little overwhelming at first, social media for nonprofits is an excellent tool for promoting your brand and bringing awareness to your organization’s mission and goals. This is what you need to know about using social media for nonprofits to boost brand awareness:
- Choose social media platforms that are frequented by your audience – this will ensure you’re reaching the right people.
- Use social media management tools to save time – you have other marketing efforts to focus on, so don’t spend all of your time managing various social media channels.
- Measure your results to create better campaigns – don’t keep doing the same thing if it isn’t working for your organization.