Nonprofits may have different and sometimes more restrictive rules or guidelines for using social media than for-profit businesses or direct-to-consumer companies.
However, there are some significant opportunities for cause- and mission-based organizations to take advantage of technology and drive donations, patron support and overall brand awareness!
Here are 5 things any nonprofit should consider when creating a strategic marketing plan:
1) Be consistent!
One of the most important things to do as a nonprofit is to stay in your audiences' feeds when they may not be considering a donation or contribution -- giving them valuable and inspirational content frequently, so that when they are ready: you're top of mind and you've established trust and shown how you use fundraising support for good.
Overwhelmed? Using volunteers to help with marketing? It's no problem! Consider using a scheduling tool (we like Buffer!) to batch create and schedule content across your top platforms.
You certainly don't need to post every day, but 2-3 times a week is a great plan. And don't feel like you have to be active on every platform that's out there. Where are your fans? Your donors? Start there and let the rest go.
2) Set up accounts as nonprofits (where eligible) and leverage available online fundraising tools -- including those that are built right into many social media platforms.
While you may have a direct-donation tool on your own website, the simpler it is for someone to click and contribute, the better!
- Facebook and Instagram allow eligible brands to add a donation sticker or fundraising link (see here) to posts, stories and more.
- YouTube allows creators to use Link anywhere cards and access special support through its Social Impact program and also has a Nonprofits Program.
- TikTok announced a new donation sticker feature in 2022, which allows creators to add a sticker -- leading to in-app donations -- to videos and live streams.
- Twitter has a nonprofits hub featuring case studies, special announcements and training programs.
- LinkedIn features Nonprofit webinars and more here.
If you prefer using your own donation link, or don't qualify for one of the in-app tools, encouraging followers and viewers to contribute right from their mobile phones is important!
3) Set and use a social media policy.
Having a set of guidelines can make your team feel more comfortable with leveraging social media platforms, and it also empowers your marketing team to know what's OK and what isn't.
Can people be featured in images, or do faces need to be hidden? What if someone leaves a nasty comment -- does it stay up or get deleted? Who is allowed to post and who isn't? Does content need to get approved before it's posted?
4) Have fun and be personable!
Serious causes don't always have to feature serious content (at least not all the time). Have fun with memes and trends if it aligns with your brand. Show behind the scenes moments -- people love seeing what the "day in a life" of a nonprofit team member looks like. It's OK to smile and laugh and be entertaining, even if your goal is to drive awareness and fundraising.
5) If possible, invest in and use video.
While static posts and images are great -- reports show that videos can lead to 12 times more shares than other content and 85% of social media users say they want more videos from the brands they follow (source | source), so capture what you can on your own, and consider working with a creative agency like Vers Creative to craft the ideal video strategy to support your goals.
Vers is a strategic creative agency that combines proven-process with award-winning creatives.
We develop fresh strategies that elevate cause-driven brands to their full potential.