Social media is one of the most important channels for NPOs. Today, more than 68% of American adults use Facebook, and three-quarters access the site daily. If you run an NPO and are looking for ways to expand your audience, tapping into this vast network is one of the smartest things you can do.
In addition to providing broad reach, social media is also one of the best and most productive ways to connect with supporters.
Here’s how to develop a social media strategy that works well for your NPO.
How to: Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits
NPOs have become increasingly social in the last ten years, and it’s time to jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already.
Here’s how to create a social media strategy that works for your organization:
1. Define Social’s Role
What is the role of social media in your NPO communication strategy? How does it fit with your other marketing tactics? Social media can’t exist as an island – instead, you need to integrate and align it with your other marketing efforts and make sure everything supports and informs everything else.
When you define the role of social media, it helps you clarify which actions you’ll need to take on social media and how the content you create will tie back to your overall digital strategy.
For many organizations, the role of social media is simply to drive donor engagement or retention, but that can vary between campaigns and organizations.
2. Set Your Goals
You’re a nonprofit, which means you’re no stranger to the concept of setting goals and working to achieve a mission. With that in mind, consider what you want social media to accomplish, and how you can take proactive steps to reach that:
Here are a few common social goals:
- Community engagement and education
- Brand building and reputation management
- Program recruitment
As you’re setting your goals, don’t forget to consider how you’ll connect your organization’s social strategy to other digital marketing efforts, like your website, blog, and email newsletter.
3. Name Your Target Audiences
If you’ve never developed an audience persona, now is a great time to take the plunge.
Designed to help you appeal to the people who support your nonprofit most by creating a fictionalized representation of your ideal supporters, an audience persona is a must-have marketing tool.
Once you’ve developed your audience persona, you can take things a step further by consulting your social media analytics. These analytics will provide you with additional demographic information about your current social media following.
This, in turn, will let you hone your target persona, make further social media decisions, and alter your website design, so it’s all speaking directly to your most important audiences.
4. Choose the Right Platforms
You can’t dominate every social platform, so you have to pick and choose.
Trying to maintain a presence on ten different social platforms will only exhaust you and destroy your marketing budget, and it’s wise to be choosy about the ones you interact with.
If you’re not sure which platforms are right for you, take some time to figure out which networks your target audience is using. You’ll be able to figure this out by consulting social media demographics research or polling a selection of your existing supporters.
5. Create a Content Strategy
Now that you’ve created your audience personas and figured out which platforms you want to use, it’s time to put a plan together for how you’ll interact on them. This involves creating a content strategy. For a nonprofit organization, of course, this also involves coming up with a way to tell your story in a compelling and moving fashion.
The first question, when it comes time to create your content strategy, is what your NPO should share. For best results, check out similar NPOs in your niche, or who deal with your target audience. They’ll be able to give you an idea of what’s performed well, and what kinds of content will engage your target audience.
You should also take the principles of behavioral economics into account: publish content that pulls at your readers’ heartstrings and provides a compelling reason to interact with your organization.
Better Social Strategy Means More Engagement for Your NPO
While coming up with a social media strategy for your NPO can feel intimidating, these tips make it much more attainable.
Whether you’re an established NPO looking to drive more engagement with your social platforms, or a new NPO working to build a following, establishing a data-driven social media strategy is one of the best ways to meet your goals and create ongoing engagement for your cause and your organization.
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