Increasing your nonprofit’s engagement on social media can be tricky and, at times, time consuming, but it’s importance for your nonprofit’s online presence cannot be understated. Whether you are just launching yourself on social media or looking for ways to improve your presence, following these 7 best practices will be sure to help maximize your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts on social media.
1. Prioritize your storytelling efforts ahead of marketing
Storytelling is crucial when it comes to promoting your nonprofit over social media. The number of donors and supporters following causes is rising, so prioritizing storytelling ahead of marketing will make your brand more recognized with certain causes which your nonprofit advocates. When storytelling, focus on the 5 most important content angles: success, urgency, statistics, quotes and humour. These approaches should be intertwined throughout your social networks. As a rule of thumb, 4 out of every 5 of your posts should include some form of storytelling (including blogs, web/news articles, video, photos, stats and quotes). That leaves only 1 out of 5 posts to provide a marketing element to your campaign. It is imperative to not post too many marketing-related posts to avoid your nonprofit from looking to promotion heavy; it’s just bad optics, and follower engagement will likely suffer from overdoing the marketing aspects on social media. Try to employ these tactics and content approaches in your social media strategy for better success.
2. Visual content drives higher engagement rates
Photos uploaded to Facebook get 5 times the interaction and engagement rates than posted links, while visually compelling photos uploaded to Twitter receive doubled retweet rates. On sites like Google +, links are mostly ignored while photos attract higher +1 rates and shares. Pinterest and Instagram have become digital imagery giants and are hotspots for social media and visual activity. Their dominance in this space emphasizes a seismic shift away from written content and towards entirely image and video based visual content as being the primary source for social media engagement. If you want your nonprofit to be highly shared, retweeted, +1’d, repined and liked, be sure to have the necessary photo and digital editing skills and libraries to produce solid content.
3. Your graphic designs should look professional
While on the subject of posting digital imagery, be sure to invest in a professional graphic designer or design service. Internet users have become very tech advanced and are able to detect quality designs from lackluster ones; as a result, they have come to expect quality design for all of your online campaigns. On social networks, they will make a snap judgment about your credibility based upon your branding, which can very good or very bad for your nonprofit depending on the quality of your designs. Having your avatars, banners and backgrounds professionally designed will definitely increase your credibility and number of followers. It is vital for nonprofits to understand the importance of aesthetics on social networks, so make sure to invest some time and money into creating an outstanding visual experience for your audience.
4. Curate your content
Very few nonprofits produce enough quality content on social media to have an effective content strategy when using multiple networks. Getting in the habit of searching, source and posting interesting content you discover to your social networks is a vitally important skill for any new media manager to develop and/or possess. After you’ve curated content, be sure to add a human element to your posts. As I mentioned before, storytelling skills is your nonprofits most important asset. Combine interesting content with an interesting story to maximize engagement.
5. Post breaking news and current affairs
Regardless of the size or reach of your nonprofit, you should always be ready to respond to breaking news or current affairs, especially if it is related to your cause. Some of your highest rates of interaction will come from timely content that is relevant to a current viral news stories.
6. Remember all social networks are mobile too
When you distribute your social media content, you need to assume that the majority of it is being viewed on a smartphone or tablet; therefore, it is important to study and understand how your content is being displayed on mobile devices. Take the time to figure out what content displays well on both computers and mobile devices as well as which; this will have a positive impact on your social media content strategy.
7. Higher Capacity equals higher frequency
This one is pretty simple. The more active you are on social media, the more likely your engagement numbers will increase. Nonprofits with more capacity for social media activity are likely to have higher follower numbers, engagement rates, shares, likes and most importantly, awareness! So remember, when it comes to distributing your content on social media: Quality, consistency and frequency are key!
There you have it! Follow these 7 steps to ensure your nonprofit’s content strategy successful on your social networks.