Using Social Media for Your Non-Profit Organization
The Sprocket Report
Everyone knows social media can be powerful. No one really has the time to update their platforms. And it’s anyone’s guess how to do social media successfully. If that sums up the situation at your organization, then read on for a quick master class.
Let’s start with three basic tips about social media:
Take baby steps with social media marketing so you don’t get overwhelmed and just walk away from it all. Successful campaigns are built up. They didn’t burst into existence fully formed. Pick just one platform to start with and do it well for a while before adding another. Or consider assigning different volunteers to manage each platform, all working under the direction of a single marketing manager.
Post consistently. People have shorter attention spans than goldfish they say, so you need to keep reminding them that you exist. Read up on each different platform to determine recommended post frequency. Scheduling tools on the platform or with a service like Hootsuite will help you stay consistent when you’re busy with other tasks.
Remember to BE SOCIAL on social media rather than just broadcasting stuff as if your posts were a bunch of commercials. You know how people feel about commercials. Always respond if you can with a comment, a Like or whatever the platform allows to encourage engagement.
Now let’s talk about the most common platforms a little. Facebook is usually the first one to master, followed by Twitter. Your group should also have a LinkedIn page. As for Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube or any of the many others, you can certainly add them later if they seem useful and someone is willing to manage them.
- Choose the right Page Type. One of the choices is “Cause or Community,” but what you really want is “Company, Organization or Institution” and then choose “Non-Profit Organization” under “Category.” This your official page rather than a crowd-sourced effort.
- As a Business Page, you have access to cool tools not available to Personal Pages that you will want to use like Schedule for posts and Insights for page activity reports.
- Facebook has five Page Roles (Admin, Editor, Moderator, Advertiser, Analyst) so you control who can do what on your page. Both Admins and Editors can create posts. Moderators can’t, but they can respond to comments and ban trouble-makers. Getting volunteers in various roles can help lighten the load.
- There are third-party schedulers, but Twitter recently released their Dashboard which makes it easy to schedule Tweets, including those with photos. Then it’s also a simple matter to check your Analytics at the same time. See who’s following you and whether you should be following them back. Or following the people they follow.
- Don’t forget to listen as well as tweet. Search both with and without hashtags for mentions of your organization or for topics of interest to your group and see what other people are saying. Go ahead and respond if you “overhear” someone talking about you, good or bad. Twitter is one giant cocktail party. If folks wanted a private conversation, they wouldn’t be on Twitter.
Sure, there’s tons more to learn, but this is the baby steps master class. The important thing is to keep moving forward, little by little. If your organization would rather not spend time on social media, we have a team that can do it for you. Or if you have more volunteer time than money, consider asking us for a seminar or webinar to get you started. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!