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CHAPTER FIVE: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

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A Huge Opportunity Awaits With A Nonprofit Social Media Strategy

Reach your supporters with a well thought out social media strategy to create a culture of continuous real-time donor engagement.

See how you can engage your supporters and reach new donors on social media:

How to Use Social Media Social Media Best Practices   Why Nonprofits Should Use Social Media Social Media Tips for Nonprofits

Social media poses both the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity for nonprofit organizations. Everyone from Millennials to Gen Xers to Baby Boomers uses it. Though it may seem daunting at first, social networks are arguably the best place to fuel your follower base with both new and existing supporters.

Engaging your organization’s followers through compelling, shareable content, storytelling updates, and calls to action are great reasons why your nonprofit should use social media.

Social Media by the Numbers

65 percent of people use a social network

• 67 percent use social media to stay in touch with current friends—64 percent current family and 50 percent old friends

• There are 500 million tweets sent per day, and 78 percent of users tweet from mobile devices

44 percent of Twitter users don’t tweet, but watch other people tweet

500 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube 
every minute

• Facebook reaches 81 percent of the U.S. 
digital population, Twitter 36 percent, 
Instagram 34 percent, and Vine 14 percent

• The average visit on Facebook is 18 minutes

• The average Facebook user has 130 friends

• 1 million links are shared every 20 minutes 
on Facebook

Instagram posts generate 58 times more 
engagement per follower than on Facebook and 120 times than on Twitter

Statistics compiled from Statistic Brain, MarketingSherpa 
and Forrester Research

Social Media for Nonprofits

Step #1 Make A Plan

Set your goals and go after them
Create a clear-cut plan of who and what you’re trying to target and craft content for those goals. In addition to internal goals, set weekly and monthly goals as part of your social media strategy around follower count and engagement, volunteer sign-ups, and donations—anything you can use social networks for in supporting your cause!

Social Media for Nonprofits

Step #2 Customize Your Message

Tailor your content to each platform
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for social media. A great social media tip nonprofits should keep in mind is that every channel is unique, and your posts should reflect that. Facebook is a great place for slightly longer, engaging posts. Twitter’s 140 character limit means you have to be short and to the point. And for Instagram and YouTube, you’ll need to create graphic and video content for your cause.

Social Media for Nonprofits

Step #3 Inspire Participation

Get followers involved in your cause
A social media best practice is to put effort into growing your nonprofit’s social following by telling your story. All of your hard work will pay off, transforming social media into a powerful tool where you can get people involved, start conversations with followers, promote your fundraising events and campaigns, ask followers to donate and fundraise on your behalf, and more!

Did you know?

“Social Media Gives you an equal playing field or near equal playing field with many large brands and organizations.”

Ritu Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, Social Media for Nonprofits

How to Use Social Media For Nonprofits

A SOLID ACTION PLAN IS IMPERATIVE FOR LONG-TERM FUNDRAISING SUCCESS

Technology is not a miracle cure, it is an amplifier–and it amplifies both good and bad. A social media page alone is not enough! While many nonprofits do well with general awareness, organizations need a sound fundraising strategy to put behind their social media efforts to achieve ongoing success.

Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits

How to Build an Effective Social Media Strategy:

  • Think about social as part of a long-term strategy for bringing in new supporters.
  • Design a social media strategy that builds on your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts .
  • Test your mobile-friendly donation page and create shortlinks—this is vital!
  • Have a clear vision of what you wish to accomplish and how you’ll analyze the data.
  • Involve different departments and get your board engaged

Nonprofit Social Media Best Practices

CREATE A NETWORK OF SUPPORT WITH COMPELLING CONTENT AND CAMPAIGN INTEGRATION

As a general rule, it is a social media best practice to focus your efforts in to the 1-2 channels you are already use. Put a dedicated team member (who can write well!) in charge of posting updates across channels—their passion for your cause and the community will shine through.

Social Media Strategy Execution for Nonprofits

How to Integrate Social Media:

  • Identify the most compelling stories in your organization.
  • Test your mobile-friendly donation page and create shortlinks—this is vital!
  • Identify influencers (people with a lot of followers) and reach out to ask them to help share your fundraising campaign.
  • Provide staff and volunteers with talking points to use in posts and in person

Fun Nonprofit Social Media Stats

1. For every 1,000 email subscribers, the average organization has 355 Facebook fans, 132 Twitter followers, and 19 Instagram followers. Education was the only segment where Twitter followers outnumbered Facebook fans.

2. Cultural groups were the only segment to have a larger audience in a single social media channel than on email. For every 1,000 email subscribers, Cultural groups had 1,639 Facebook fans.

3. Organizations posted to Facebook an average of 1.3 times per day and tweeted an average of 3.8 times per day. Cultural groups were the most active on Twitter, with an average of 7.7 tweets per day, while Rights and Wildlife/Animal Welfare groups led the pack on Facebook with an average of 2.0 posts per day.

4. Engagement with social media posts vary by segment, with Wildlife/Animal Welfare groups seeing the highest rates of engagement on both Facebook and Twitter, while Hunger/Poverty organizations saw the lowest engagement levels. Average engagement rates were 5.4% for Facebook and 1.6% for Twitter.

M+R Benchmarks Study

Why Nonprofits Should Use Social Media

YOU CAN RAISE $124K AND BOOST EVENT VISIBILITY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Event fundraising campaigns are huge in the nonprofit space, but it is imperative to have fundraising solutions that integrate with social media to make it easy for participants to support your cause and the event throughout the year.

One example of a great reason why nonprofits should use social media is the Cartersville Dances with the Stars event. This wonderful event featured local celebrities competing to see who could raise the most money by getting the community involved using text-to-give keywords and individual donation pages to raise over $124k!

Social Media Proven Strategies for Nonprofits

Proven Strategies:

  • Create a separate social network/Facebook page for the event.
  • Encourage “celebrity” participation and repost from their pages.
  • Produce content, images, and assets for use by participants.
  • Create individual donation pages to track, share, and promote.
  • Update social pages during live event with photos, videos, etc.
  • Create posts to follow up with and thank donors and participants.

Social Media Tips for Nonprofits

Text-to-give keywords collect pledges

social media post idea for nonprofits

Hashtags create a community of support

social media hashtags for nonprofits

Social Media Tips to Remember

Each Social media marketing channel need to have different messages and imagery. Posting to Facebook requires a different message than posting to Instagram—even if you are using photos in both places.

People use different social media channels for different reasons and your nonprofit organization needs to customize to those levels of expectation.

Map Out Your Entire Donor Experience and Track Everything

From the first time an individual likes one of your posts to a lifetime of recurring online donations, each donor touchpoint presents an opportunity for your nonprofit organization to grow its mission and fuel your cause. Once you have properly set up your fundraising campaign, you will be able to measure and gauge donor behavior every step of the way.

Step 1: Sign Up Experience

social media sign up form

Essential Social Media Fundraising Components:

  • Keywords and shortlinks for easy promotion
  • Mobile-friendly forms
  • Embed logos, photos, and videos
  • Custom fields for donor data collection
  • Secure donation pages
  • Suggested donation amounts and recurring gift options
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising integration
  • Automatic email receipts and SMS notifications

Step 2: Donation Experience

sign up confirmation page

Confirmation page with donation, crowdfunding, and social share instructions.

sign up donation page

Mobile-friendly secure donation form with suggested donation amounts and recurring gift options.

Step 3: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Experience

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising signup page

Supporters can set up their own peer-to-peer fundraising page with photo, message, and goal.

sign up donation page

Individual fundraisers raise donations from friends and family on behalf of your organization.

Nonprofit Social Media Checklist to Help Get You Started

Below is a checklist that will help you move forward with your social media strategy.

Your Organization’s Future is bright With Social Media

Social Media as a marketing channel must be embraced by your organization 100%. Not only is it great to communicate, raise money but it’s where you can reach multiple generations, gain referrals from followers, increase your brand’s reputation and have real conversations with constituents.

Download a free PDF version of this online fundraising guide…

PDF version contains all of the content and resources found in the web-based guide

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