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How to spread the word about your nonprofit on social media

May 16, 2021
Several nonprofit professionals gather around a table to strategize how to spread the word about their nonprofit on social media.

Because of their popularity, social media platforms are a great place to connect with people who are passionate about the cause your nonprofit organization is working for. If you post interesting and interactive content regularly on the platform, you can attract donors and supporters who will help you spread the word about your nonprofit and the work you’re doing.

In this article, we’ll explore how to make an impact and generate meaningful support through social media.

What type of nonprofit social media content should you create?

Creating content is simpler if you focus on a few different types of content when you’re getting started. Consider adding a few of the following types of content to your social media plan:

  • Staff features. Post little blurbs about key staff members so supporters can get familiar with who’s working at your nonprofit.
  • Project updates. If your nonprofit is working towards a specific project or goal, provide updates about the status of the project and how close you are to completing it.
  • Supporter features. Hopefully, your nonprofit will have passionate supporters or advocates. Create posts about some of them to encourage them to continue their good work!
  • Campaign announcements. When you begin a fundraising campaign, promote it on social media. Create follow-up posts with updates and information about any events that are part of the campaign.
  • Infographics. Aside from promoting your nonprofit’s activities, you can use your social media presence to educate supporters about the issues you’re tackling. Create infographics that clearly explain these issues.
  • Polls. If you’d like your supporters’ feedback or thoughts on anything related to your nonprofit, create a poll to get their opinion. For example, you might ask if they’d prefer your next event to be a fun run or a walk-a-thon.
  • Video messages. These can feature your leadership, staff, or other community members.

When deciding what types of content to create, consider the strengths of your staff members. Do you have someone who is good at designing graphics or someone who knows how to create interactive content on different social platforms? By focusing on your staff’s strengths, you gain more traction. Plus, you can always branch out and learn new skills after your social media plan is up and running.

Engaging with donors and supporters on social media

The real magic of social media is the opportunity to expand your reach beyond your current donors. To make this happen, you’ll need to be intentional about engaging with them. Here are three ways to expand your reach:

  1. Ask supporters to share your content with their peers. For maximum impact, ask donors to help spread the content in your monthly newsletter and other communications. Encourage them to share it with their friends, family, and colleagues. This action is a small step that most supporters will be happy to take for you.
  2. Engage with those who comment on your posts. While your social media following is still small, respond to each comment that you receive. If someone shares your post, thank them. Besides generating goodwill, this will maximize the exposure your post receives on your supporters’ pages. When your following grows, you may not be able to respond to every comment or share, but you should still make an effort to respond to a few.
  3. Invite supporters to share their stories. Ask your supporters to fill out a short Q&A that you can feature in a social post. This will let supporters know how much you appreciate them, and it will also lead to more exposure as your supporters share the features with their networks.

Part of the power of social media is that you’re not just reaching out to a larger audience—your audience can promote your nonprofit for you. Make the most of these platforms’ built-in sharing functions, such as Instagram’s stories or Facebook’s ability to share to feed.

Create a plan of action for your nonprofit’s social media presence

Social media is complex and requires a lot of management. If you create a plan and system for managing your activities, you can streamline the process, helping you spread the word about your nonprofit with social media content. Create a written plan that includes:

  • Who will be responsible for your social media. Establish who is leading your social media effort and who will assist this person.
  • Which social platforms you want to focus on. Begin with no more than two. After you’ve honed your social media strategy for spreading the word about your nonprofit on these platforms, then you may want to branch out.
  • Type of content you want to post. Consider what sort of personality you want your nonprofit to have on social media and the content that will fit into that personality. For example, if you want a lighthearted personality, you may post relevant memes alongside campaign updates.
  • Content schedule. Determine how often you want to post content and what type of content. For example, you might choose to post video messages on Tuesdays, staff features on Thursdays, and graphics on Sundays.
  • Working content calendar. Ideally, you’ll want a content calendar that can hold the actual text and images you plan to post. Hootsuite is an online tool that serves this purpose well—it will allow you to create posts in advance and schedule them to post on various platforms at different times.

Aside from streamlining your process, creating a plan ensures that you take the time to think meaningfully about your social media strategy. In order to spread the word about your nonprofit on social media, you need to be intentional about your choices. After you’ve been posting content for a while, re-evaluate your strategy and see where you can improve it for more engagement.

Spreading awareness with nonprofit social media

Social media is a perfect opportunity for nonprofits because you can get started without a financial investment. As you become more comfortable with your social media activities, you may want to begin promoting posts through each platform’s built-in advertising tools. For instance, Facebook and Instagram allow you to target specific audiences with ads for a low cost. Even if you never go beyond the free tools that the platforms offer, you can still spread awareness about your nonprofit on social media and expand your reach far beyond your current supporters.

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    Donor Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing