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How to create your nonprofit’s social media presence

August 27, 2020
This nonprofit supporter is scrolling through social media while drinking coffee.

Social media is the fastest-growing phenomenon of the modern age. Since Facebook launched in 2004, it has grown to over two billion users, with Twitter and Instagram close behind. Because of this, it’s important for nonprofit organizations to have active social media accounts on platforms that their donors frequently use. Let’s start by exploring the advantages of optimizing social media for nonprofits.

Benefits of nonprofit social media

Aside from allowing you to connect with a greater audience and network, nonprofit social media has many other advantages. Here are some of them:

  • Build trust within your community
  • Deepen your relationship with your audience
  • Promote your events
  • Drive people to your website
  • Add personality to your organization
  • Provide real-time engagement with your followers

Social media is a fast-paced environment that allows you to connect briefly and frequently with your supporters. This keeps your nonprofit at the forefront of your followers’ minds, as they will consistently see your content.

The four components of nonprofit social media

Use these four components of a successful nonprofit social media strategy to help establish your social media presence and deepen your relationship with supporters.

1. Social media profile

Think of your nonprofit social media profile as a “first impression” or “first meeting.” For many people, examining your profile will be the first time they interact with your organization. Ensure that your profile is eye-catching and draws supporters in by:

  • Keeping your name and profile picture consistent across platforms. By doing this, you’ll make it easy for people to find you on different platforms.
  • Using your nonprofit’s logo. Consider using your nonprofit’s logo as your profile image and include it in all of your posts. This is an easy way for you to build brand awareness.
  • Filling out your bio. A bio helps individuals unfamiliar with your organization understand you a little better. You can include some company info or write a short blurb describing your nonprofit’s purpose in this section. Be sure to add a link to your website so that curious individuals can easily learn more.
  • Setting your cover or header image. For social media platforms that have this field, this is an easy way for your nonprofit to stand out. Update this image periodically to highlight events, programs, organizational news, or just for a change of pace.

With a strong profile, you’ll put your best foot forward to entice potential supporters to learn more about your nonprofit.

2. Social media posts

Social media posts are the basis of your online presence. As such, it’s important to publish content that drives engagement and conversation. From your purpose to programs and events, you have plenty of material to talk about, including:

  • Fundraising campaigns. This includes campaign launches, status updates, and related events.
  • Press and announcements. You can create posts when you receive grants or awards and when your organization is mentioned in the news.
  • Events. On top of fundraising events, consider posting about community events, performances, panel discussions, and town halls.
  • Program updates. Supporters want to know how your organization has made an impact. Share the number of beneficiaries you’ve served, new sponsor information, and any new partnerships you’ve forged.
  • Relevant external news. Your nonprofit social media doesn’t have to solely be about you. Feel free to share articles regarding your area of focus, blogs by experts in the field, and any important community affairs.
  • Non-promotional tidbits. Show viewers that your nonprofit can be lighthearted by posting non-promotional tidbits. These include holiday party photos, candid volunteer shots, new staff member introductions, opinion polls, and contests.

When creating your content, focus on being personable, approachable, and fun. Determine what your nonprofit’s social media personality is and infuse your posts with that energy. Furthermore, include videos and images in your content to attract viewers and increase engagement.

3. Content schedule

Posting consistently should be a top priority for your nonprofit, as it helps to boost your social media presence and drive engagement among your followers. Use a content calendar to plan when each post will go live and ensure that your nonprofit is creating educational, relevant, and entertaining content day after day. 

The key to a great content calendar is to find the times of day when your followers are online. When you create your content schedule, test it out over a period of time to see what kind of response you receive. Use that information to alter your schedule and determine what times of day you get the most engagement.

Additionally, you’ll want to create a priority system for your nonprofit social media posts. For example, event announcements are much more time-sensitive than trivia, and you’ll want to post about any news mentions fairly quickly after the news is published. Have a plan for how to prioritize your content.

4. Insights and analytics

Like any other marketing or fundraising effort, your nonprofit’s success on social media will be determined by your goals. Take advantage of the insights and analytics integrated into social media platforms to help you evaluate your social media strategy. Some metrics you can examine include:

  • Overall likes, shares, retweets, and comments
  • How, where, and when people are interacting with your posts
  • Retention over time
  • Follower demographics
  • Reach and amount of engagement of individual posts
  • Influencers in your network

While it’s exciting to watch your number of followers increase, you’ll also want to see them engaging with your content. Consider which content receives the most engagement and use that as the basis of your future content creation strategy. 

Create your nonprofit social media plan

Social media is an amazing tool for your nonprofit in terms of outreach, and it gives you the opportunity to show your nonprofit’s personality to the world. Although social media may seem informal, you should still carefully plan out your nonprofit’s social media strategy. When you create engaging content and consistently evaluate analytics, you’ll be able to further refine your strategy and drive support to your nonprofit.

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    Supporter Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing