Chloé Gee

Do nonprofits need social media?

Does your nonprofit need social media accounts? Nonprofits require volunteers, donors, ambassadors, and public outreach in order to function. Social media would make sense for your organization if you want to dedicate time and energy to driving engagement, increasing website traffic, and generally increasing communication and exposure through an online social network. The question then becomes: How should nonprofits use social media?

Best social media platforms for nonprofits

Surveys have shown that Facebook is the most common platform nonprofits use. Facebook stands out the most because there are already over 1.5 billion users worldwide. The platform is also designed around sharing news, entertainment, and video. Established in 2004, it has had years of development put into making content shareable.

Events are also popular to share on Facebook as it has specific types of posts you can use to announce and host events for your organization. If you want to engage a large audience and increase your website traffic, you should look into Facebook first.

The second most popular choice is Twitter. Twitter is designed to share news, track topics, and have conversations. This platform uses hashtags to get specific topics trending, which can be used as an advantage to bring people to your profile and increase conversation about your nonprofit. If engagement or sharing news and links is your main focus, a Twitter account could greatly benefit your nonprofit.

A more visual option is Instagram, with over 1 billion users. It is used to share photo and video content through a variety of methods, which can be a powerful tool if you can produce high-quality and entertaining imagery. However, a drawback from using this platform is that you cannot share links in any of your text. You can add a link to your website or a donation page in your account profile or share sponsored posts that link to a webpage, but overall it is not optimized for link sharing.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and several other platforms are free to use, but there are also additional paid services you can utilize to boost your content and get it in front of more eyes. You can also use a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite to schedule and track your content, especially if you are on multiple platforms.

Look at the statistics

After you have chosen the right kind of social media account, take a look at some analytics and info about that platform and compare it to your target market. You can find out the age, gender, and much more about social media users from Pew Research, or find out how often people use social media and what they are looking for from Social Pilot to increase traffic. Does the information you find align with your goals?

Track your progress

Before you begin posting, you should know how to track your content. Most social media platforms are good about providing analytics data for business accounts. After you begin posting consistently, you can start to see trends for different types of content and how many likes, shares, and comments they receive.

The main four categories you can use to track your progress are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Growth
  3. Engagement
  4. Conversions

Awareness is your number of impressions, views, or audience reach. This is how many people see your content. Growth is followers, likes, or subscribers. This is how many people want to continue seeing your content. Next is engagement which refers to reactions, clicks, comments, and shares. Engagement is how many people interact with your content. Finally there is conversions, which is how many people take the next step and register, donate, or contact you after engaging with your content.

The numbers you find in the awareness category are going to be much higher than the succeeding categories. For example, nonprofits post to Facebook about once per day and receive 0.12% engagement from their followers, which is actually slightly higher than the average rate across all measured industries.

Creating your account

The main rule for the account creation process is to fill in as much information as the platform allows. If it asks for keywords, fill in some keywords to help people find your profile. If it asks for an email, use an email associated with your nonprofit’s website.

Setting up and running an effective business account for your nonprofit on any social media platform takes dedication and consistency. If that sounds like the next logical step for your organization to take, then go for it!

If you would like to learn more about using social media or using the help of a professional marketing team, feel free to contact us.

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