Social media is one of the best ways to advertise any organisation or campaign in the modern world and investing time into your online presence is a must for any nonprofit seeking to have their message heard by as many people as possible.
With a whole host of completely free platforms containing a wide range of users, social media can give any campaign the opportunity to be seen by thousands or even millions of people.
However, there are some techniques which can be used to tailor your usage of social media to your specific goals, and therefore optimise your impact. Each platform comes with its own nuances, user base and capabilities so we have compiled a handy run down of each major social media, (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), so you can better understand how to use each one to achieve your marketing aims.
But first, some general rules for any social media platform:
Post the right content in the right place
There is no point in posting on a platform that your target demographic doesn’t use or trying to publish a post on a site that is incompatible with its format.
For more information on the best use of each platform, see our related posts for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Know your goals for social media marketing
What you post, as well as where and when you post it, will differ depending what you are trying to get out of using social media.
Whether you are trying to raise awareness of a particular cause, let people know about the services you offer, advertise a fundraising event or connect with the community, it is important to consider beforehand the purpose of each post you make.
Give campaigns direction and narrative arcs
Following from the previous point, a series of unrelated, directionless posts will be less impactful to viewers than those with a clear purpose or story.
Techniques such as linking posts together, displaying the progress of your work or telling stories of individual case studies will evoke a more emotional response from viewers and prompt them to repeatedly return to your profile in order to follow your journey.
If they are invested in your cause, people are more likely to get involved or donate, and this maintained interest will also generate more interaction, inevitably expanding your reach.
Make sure you can be found on your platform’s search engine
As with your website, your profile and posts should include language and keywords that allows your page to be easily found in the platform’s search engine.
Using meaningful or popular hashtags can also help to improve your visibility to people who are interested in specific topics relating to your organisation or cause.
Interact and stay active
Social media is named as such for a reason and should mostly be a friendly and informal space.
Social media profiles will be less successful if treated in the same way as a website; two-way interaction and engagement is equally as important as simply broadcasting information.
Responding to questions and comments will make users feel more involved and heard within your campaign, and the added bonus is that social media algorithms generally favour posts with more comments and discussions, placing them higher on feeds.
Encourage more interaction by asking direct questions, keeping content interesting, relating posts to relevant current events or even adding memes for a more humorous tone.
Post at peak times
Trying to post when your target demographic is most likely to be online is important if you want to maximise your reach or interaction.
These peak times differ depending on the platform but generally weekdays tend to have the most engagement for nonprofits.
This is by no means an exact science but considering the habits and daily rhythms of your target demographic might allow you to post at the times when these people are most likely to be online.
For example, if you are targeting working class adults, they may not be online during working hours but might check their socials during their commute or lunch break, whereas students are less likely to have as much of a fixed routine.
Use social media metrics to help you reach your goals
Interaction on social media can let you know exactly what people think of what you’re producing, and inevitably some posts will be more popular than others.
Through looking at statistics such as number of likes, comments and shares you can gain a better idea of what works and what doesn’t and use this data to tweak future posts so your content is as tailored to your audience’s tastes as possible.
Agency For Good are an ethical marketing agency.
We provide completely free marketing consultancy, coaching and training to 3rd sector organisations to help you focus and improve your income and in turn your social impact.
In 2019 we delivered 419 hours to 111 charities and social enterprise and we want to increase this to 500 hours this year so please get in touch.
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