For most charities, mastering social media can be daunting and intimidating. You don’t have a product to sell, you’re not Amazon or Apple with worldwide brand awareness, and you don’t have an unlimited budget or staff. And you definitely don’t want to simply keep asking people for money. So where do you start?
It is important to realize that you are appealing to your donors’ hearts. Storytelling is one of the best ways to connect emotionally to donors, and social media is the most accessible way to tell your story.
Here are the primary social channels you should be using to inspire donors to take action:
It’s the most basic form of social media. Almost everyone has an account or a page, so if you don’t, your donors will probably be wondering if you’re living in the dark ages. Use this platform to post event updates, tell stories about your organization, and share photo and video content. Encourage engagement through sharing with friends, commenting, and organizing events. It’s easy to use Facebook for targeted ads, and you can boost your posts to a highly targeted audience for a low price. Here’s the problem: younger generations are not as engaged on Facebook, so to appeal to the under 30 demographic, you’re going to need to grow your presence on other platforms as well.
This platform cuts the clutter and is much more visually appealing and positive than Facebook. Although its algorithms prefer friends over organizations, you can now sponsor your content to increase your presence on the platform. Use it to post eye-catching visuals related to your organization’s work, as well as occasional quotes and live video. Use hashtags so that your posts can be discovered outside your following audience.
This is where all the cool kids are. Gen Z and millennials love Snapchat because most of their parents don’t have one – yet. You can post video stories and live-broadcast events that are going on with your organization. However, there are downsides. It is difficult for a nonprofit to use; you can’t create calls-to-action, and there are not a lot of opportunities to directly interact with you audience.
Like Facebook, Twitter can become a cesspool. Twitter has more male users than female and is popular among Americans ages 18-24, and those in specific industries or interests such as media, politics, and pop culture. Use Twitter to promote giving campaigns, to share blog posts from your organization, and to connect with and support other nonprofits. It is a great place to promote or ride the wave of a trending charitable topic – think of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge or Giving Tuesday.
LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking site… not a place where you’re going to find new donors. With this in mind, do post content, but don’t expect people to interact with it. It’s good to post a few things to let people know what your organization is doing, but most people don’t log in to LinkedIn every day like they do with other social media platforms. Instead, use this platform as a way to connect with professionals that are involved in your realm of the nonprofit world.
Hope these tips are helpful as you expand your online presence!