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social-media-best-practices-for-nonprofits

Nonprofits: 14 Best Practices to Skyrocket Your Social Media

Corinne

If you have not focused on your nonprofit social media strategy to date, now is a great time to start! It could only take a few slight changes to boost your viewability, and this could mean big changes for your organization. 

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Why Is Social Media Important For Nonprofits?

Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter each serve the same purpose newspapers once did. Luckily, they are a lot more eco-friendly and provide more opportunities. Most importantly, you can connect with your community on an intimate basis, notify them of events, and create more awareness about your organization. You do not have to wait for a letter to come in the post, you get to give them a response in real-time! 

Social media’s ability to provide nonprofits a direct connection to their target market allows them to meet goals by:

  • Promoting awareness of the organization, its mission, events, and beneficiaries

  • Building communities of potential volunteers, donors, and advocates

  • Sharing the impact of how the organization is making a difference

Different people consume media in different ways. While print media is still king to some, more people follow social media than ever before. Harnessing its power is key when considering a well-rounded marketing plan to looks to engage relevant audiences to meet the various goals necessary to grow organizations. 

71% of nonprofits worldwide agree that social media is effective for online fundraising. Everyone is scrolling on one platform or another, so it is not a surprise that it has become the best way to reach people. 

As you look to take your social media presence to new heights, view sample nonprofit social media strategy templates and implement the following nonprofit social media strategies to boost your organization’s visibility, and the impact that comes with it. 

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1. Define Your Nonprofit’s Objective

It is extremely important to take adequate time in the beginning stages of any large project to set some clearly outlined goals. What do you want to get back from your investment in this process? Your main focus might be to build your community or enhance branding. Start where you are. Maybe you are looking to engage additional volunteers, bring in new donors, or possibly bring in additional funds from existing supporters. Whatever your goal, be sure to define it and write it down. Ensure your entire team is on the same page. Once you have objectives in place, you will know what kind of content you should create. 

When you tailor your content to your organization’s message, goals, and inherent motivations, you create authentic and clear energy. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of content creation. When you have a clear nonprofit social media policy, the creative process is easier and you can rest assured that you are walking the right path when you know exactly where you are going! Map everything out and use your strategic documents throughout each step of content creation. 

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2. Build A Strong And Consistent Brand Image

Although ensuring you present information across all of your platforms with a distinct and recognizable tone is not an easy task, it is an important one. It will come with time and trial and error, but you will never get there if you never start! 

social-media-best-practices-for-nonprofits-build-an-imageNancy knows the importance of a strong brand image!

Do this with your bio, and the way you phrase your posts. It is best to have a person or a small team responsible for this, as it can be a lot of information to manage. It requires organization and harmonization of your content. No matter what channel your audience finds you on, they should receive the same message, and it should be the one you intended to convey with the post. 

As you tweak your strategy, make sure you update the content on all your platforms to keep them all in sync with the brand, and each other. 

Pro Tip: If you are wondering how to build a tone, know that it comes from a mix of your core values, mission, and objectives. To get started, begin with a list of words and language guidelines that you feel strongly about and build from there. It will become clear based on the feedback you get and how your social media manager tends to write for your target audience.To help keep that tone consistent, ensure that once you set guidelines that everyone follows them! 

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3. Use Specific Nonprofit Accounts

To get the most out of your social media presence, ensure that the platform in question knows that you are a nonprofit! Most platforms offer various resources and features for nonprofit organizations. 

When you first sign up on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms, enroll as a nonprofit to accelerate your impact through benefits like "donate here" buttons, built-in fundraiser functionality, free or reduce advertising, and more. 

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4. Add A Donation Button To Your Profiles

Most of the platforms you use will provide an option for you to add in a CTA or a "donate" button. If someone stumbles onto your page and they love what you do, they may be inclined to send you a donation without even thinking about it. 

This button makes it a simple process for them, and it is simple to add it in, too! You might be surprised how much those little donations add up, and over the years, the numbers can be very encouraging. 

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5. Be Consistent And Post On A Regular Basis

Even if you do not use your accounts all that much when you keep them updated with new posts on a regular basis you are able to show your viewers, and the social media algorithms, that you are still active. 

A content calendar can be incredibly useful for organizing and scheduling your posts on each social media platform. Scheduling posts helps you to keep a steady rhythm, which the social media platforms enjoy and benefit from as they show your page to more people. They know what to expect from you, they know you are active, and they want to see the way you move in your community. Check out our nonprofit social media calendar for an example.

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6. Schedule Your Posts For Ease And Flow

Do your best to anticipate what you want to post in advance. This takes some of the stress out of the process of content creation, and you are able to let your creativity flow more easily. In addition, you will not have to feel a sense of immediacy around posting at the right time, since your automation systems make the posts public at the times of your choosing. 

social-media-best-practices-for-nonprofits_Matt-scheduleMatt loves being able to schedule his social posts in advance!

There are scheduling features embedded on many platforms, but if you do not have them, there are lots of easy-to-use solutions. To name a few, check out Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout, or Later. They can help you make sure your posts go out exactly when you want them to.

If you or your team find yourselves too busy to work on social media strategies, this option can be a lifesaver. Write and schedule your posts up to six months in advance, and forget about them! The content creation happens in a huge chunk in the beginning, and the rest just flows from there.  

Pro Tip: At Springly, we work and schedule posts at least a month in advance for all our social media channels in order to keep on top of everything. 

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7. Be Active And Interact With The Crowd

It is equally as important to like, comment, and share posts as it is to create your own content. When you interact with your audience in an organic and friendly way, they are going to have a better idea of who you are, and what you stand for. Comment on other nonprofits’ posts, share their events in your story if it happens to be in your area, and double-tap the posts you enjoy. Do not forget about those social media communication guidelines, either! 

These actions will boost your visibility, and create a positive online presence for your nonprofit. People are more likely to treat you the same way they treat their friends and peers if you look the part, and interaction happens constantly on casual posts. Even if it is just a few emojis, wishing someone a happy birthday, or sharing an interesting fact, you will come off as more down-to-earth as a result.  

Pro Tip: Crowd interaction is particularly important on LinkedIn. LinkedIn's algorithm favors those who interact regularly, and more fully, over those who simply post and do not take any other actions.

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8. Be Visual

As a nonprofit, your goal is to take care of others. In order to truly transmit this emotion, visuals are an extremely useful tool. When people consent to it, take photos at your events or community outreaches. If that is not possible, there are plenty of online sources for you to find visual content. Where one picture is impactful, PageLever found that for one of their clients, posting multiple images together increased clicks by over 1,000%! 

A picture is worth a thousand words! Consider combining pictures with words for useful infographics that will resonate, and inform, with your base. 

Wondering where to get the best pictures? Check out Photobucket’s free account option. You will have to deal with some ads but overall, this is a great resource. Prezi also offers an option for free accounts, or you can opt for more advanced features in the paid version. Click around, find photos that work for you, and use them efficiently. 

Pro Tip: We love, and try to promote where we can, free resources. However, remember that your goal is to find the most powerful images. It is better to pay for ONE powerful image that represents the brand really well that can be reused and recycled vs. a bunch of options with different styles, colors, and tones.

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9. Try Out Different Forms And Types Of Content

As the digital landscape of social media changes, allow yourself to change along with it when it makes sense. The most important thing to remember is that you should do what is right for your target audience over what is trendy. That said, if your target audience is elsewhere, do not be afraid to branch out with your content.

Try out the new methods of content sharing on each platform. Instagram has reels, which are short, punchy videos that usually have music or spoken word edited in. They run on a different algorithm than regular posts, and they are designed to be infinitely scrolled, so you want to ensure you pop up in the rotation. Facebook has stories, which is a common concept on a different platform, but they are also highly scrollable and great for boosted visibility. 

Many people will not scroll down their newsfeed, but they will spend hours watching reels or checking stories. If you do not cover your bases, you miss out on a large portion of your possible target audience. Utilizing all possibilities for content output is a great way to make sure you catch that valuable attention wherever you can. 

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10. Use Analytics To Improve Your Performance

You will find analytics information on both your basic social media settings and your third-party social media management software, so whatever you are using, be sure to tune in to your numbers. It can be very useful to regularly pinpoint your reach, which is the number of people who view your posts on their newsfeeds. 

social-media-best-practices-for-nonprofits-analyticsSalma is thinking about the insights her analytics are giving her.

You can also check out more specific details of the engagement, like how long people stayed on a post, how many people shared it with a friend, or how often viewers commented on it. When you analyze each post, you can clearly see which strategies do better than others and optimize your content according to your data. 

Pro Tip: Do not get lost in the numbers. Social media platforms provide a volume of data that is not always relevant. Pick a few of the most meaningful KPIs to follow and focus on those.

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11. Mobilize Your Members To Enhance Interaction

With more interaction happening on your pages, you create more visibility to other users. When someone comments on a post, it has a higher chance of showing up in the newsfeed of their friends and families, many of whom have probably not heard of your organization. 

Encourage your members to interact with your posts. This drives visibility among their networks and helps you build your brand over time. 

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12. Build Partnerships To Grow Your Audience

Social media partnerships occur when two organizations, businesses, or influencers team up to collaborate on their individual, and combined, presence. The partnership may create educational content that is relevant to both entities, which in turn drives awareness. Other options are to team up for giveaways, user-generated content, or other media strategies. Not only do these partnerships benefit both organizations because two heads are better than one, they are a useful way to gain exposure to new networks. 

In addition to the partnership allowing each entity to access the other’s audience, these arrangements often lead to a fun and relatable energy of camaraderie, along with the ability to put out additional, and different, content! 

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13. Take Advantage Of The Most Relevant Hashtags

If you use them well, hashtags can work magic! You do not want to rely on them, but a post with at least one hashtag gets around 12.6% more engagement. Do a little research as you build your content strategy. Some hashtags are used so frequently that you will end up washed out in a sea of content while others are not used enough to gain valuable traction. Mixing one of the most popular (those that are most commonly used and those with the most followers) hashtags with one or two that have smaller, but still, sizeable followings is a smart approach. Use a handful of different hashtags and stay on top of your research to make sure you use the right ones. 

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14. Be Yourself, Stay True And Authentic! 

Social media is a communication tool. Treat your audience as though they sit in rows of chairs in front of you, and be authentic. In a world filled with well-done sales pitches, the public values authenticity more than anything, and they often look for it in the pages they follow. 

Keep it simple. Keep it human. You are sure to win their sympathy with your honest message, so do not dilute it with filler, and do not spend too much time trying to convince them you are worthy of their involvement. Just be real, and your audience will make their decision based on their appreciation of your involvement within the communities you serve. 

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Springly is trusted by over 20,000 nonprofits to help them run their organizations on a daily basis. Try it, test it, love it with a 14-day free trial!

Communication & Marketing
Corinne