nonprofit social media

By far, one of the biggest topics is related to social media. Social media has become an essential aspect of marketing for nonprofits and businesses alike. And, with the rapid pace of change happening because of technology, there’s always something new to learn.

What would you say are the key social media platforms nonprofits should focus on using?

This one is easy to answer. Facebook is by far the largest social media platform. Most nonprofits do have Facebook pages. However, many organizations do not use Facebook regularly. My team is on Facebook every day. We’re posting articles to our pages. We’re doing live streams. I encourage all marketing people at nonprofits to master Facebook.

YouTube is also very interesting. And, YouTube does help you drive up your SEO rankings. Did you know that after Google, YouTube is the largest search engine out there? We live in an era of pictures and videos. It’s only natural that when people want to search something visual they go to YouTube. If you haven’t done so, I would create a YouTube channel for your nonprofit and make sure to post there weekly. Check out YouTube’s Nonprofit Program for more information.

What is the one thing nonprofits should be doing on social media but aren’t?

I think nonprofits are missing an incredible opportunity by live streaming. And, since most nonprofits are not live streaming, this is a chance to set your organization apart from the rest. My team live streams on Facebook (among other platforms) every day for our social enterprise.

This does not have to be difficult. Our live streams on Facebook may last little more than a minute, but we do it each business day. This gives us a chance to talk directly to our followers. Gone are the days where videos had to be scripted and perfect. Social media has done away with that. People are seeking authenticity. In other words, they want to see the real you.

Assign someone who’s comfortable being in front of a camera to live stream on Facebook each day. Check out Periscope as well, which is tied to your Twitter account. Talk about what you do. Tell your followers where to find you online. If you have the chance, show people the work you do every day. It doesn’t take more than your mobile phone about a minute of your time.

How can we lift engagement on social media?

One of the easiest things to do is get pictures and video on your posts and tweets. This year visuals became a big part of an effective social media outreach. Video and live streaming are increasingly becoming more popular than photographs.

Avoid posting anything without an accompanying video or visual image. There are plenty of places to obtain license-free images. Don’t forget that cell phone have much better cameras than in the past. You can snap a quick picture that gives your supporters a view into your organization’s everyday life and upload it to social media.

However, I like to say that you should always like like Nike from Day 1. We prefer to have our creative team come up with great images that capture the work we do. Color, simplicity, branding and message are all parts of our images. This helps us increase engagement around the work we do, and it separates us from others.

What is the ratio that nonprofits should use in promoting on social media?

I think we should look at this question in thirds. A third of the time nonprofits should be educating and providing information about the work they do. By the way, it’s important to not just promote your own content. If your mission is focused on the environment, share content from leading reporters and perhaps other organizations that are aligned.

The next third of the time, nonprofits should spend connecting with their donors. Our social enterprise speaks about our partners. The reason we do this is because we wouldn’t be where we are without them. And, so by promoting their successes helps them and us by amplifying our voices. The same thing goes for your nonprofit. Show your appreciation. Highlight and feature donors so they feel appreciated, but also so others see themselves in that role.

The final third of your posts and tweets should be spent asking for the resources that you need. If you have a specific campaign happening, tell your followers the campaign goal, need and how their support can make a difference.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Be Bold, Dominate and Succeed in Marketing For Today’s Digital World On A Limited Budget” (Free Digital Download)


© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.