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How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Nonprofit

By Heather Brown
November 25, 2016

With the rise of social media popularity, more and more nonprofit organizations are using the platforms to market their services, increase cause awareness, and engage supporters. Social media gives nonprofits the power to reach a larger audience and keep followers updated on the good they are doing in their local communities. Some of these nonprofits struggle with creating an effective online strategy and others avoid social media use altogether. Having an online presence is vital to their continued success and utilizing social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

How to use

Here are five ways to use social media to benefit your nonprofit organization.

  1. Educate your followers. Share important information with your online audience about the cause your support. Offer background information on why you were started and continue serving your mission. Include updates and posts about your success and how their support directly impacts your nonprofit and the community you serve.
  2. Increase revenue. There are numerous social media apps that you can utilize to collect online donations. In addition, the more engaging and shareable your content is, the more individuals your posts will reach. Donations rise as your posts reach more social media users.
  3. Find volunteers. Social media platforms are a great way to reach and recruit new volunteers. The more they see and experience the good with you online, the more they are intrigued about what you are doing. Sometimes local community members don’t know about small nonprofits until they see a friend or family member post about it online.
  4. Acknowledge supporters. Publicly thank your supporters (who are okay with the recognition) when they donate to your nonprofit. Public recognition reinforces your gratitude and shows there are other community members supporting you.
  5. Promote events. Post updates and event details on your social media pages. Utilizing these platforms makes spreading the word easy.

How to implement

Social media does require effort, planning, and time. Nonprofit directors already have a full plate, but there are steps you can take to implement social media with ease.

  1. Recruit volunteers. Delegate your social media project to a volunteer team. Look at your existing volunteer staff for individuals who already utilize social media.
  2. Brainstorm. Meet with them initially to brainstorm the most effective ways to utilize social media for your nonprofit. (Hint: Start with the list above.)
  3. Create a strategy. Put your ideas on paper and create a timeline to work off. What will be highlighted daily on your page? Will each day have a theme? (i.e. Thankful Thursday)
  4. Assign tasks. Assign tasks associated with the project to the volunteers. Put individuals in charge of pictures, writing text, the actual posting, and responding to messages. Dividing tasks among multiple volunteers makes them easier to manage and increases the likelihood they are completed.
  5. Committee meetings. Have the group of volunteers meet monthly to discuss strategy and review what is working and what isn’t. Launching a social media strategy won’t be perfect from the beginning, but over time with review and tweaking, your engagement and presence will increase.

Utilizing social media is necessary for today’s digital society. Stop avoiding or struggling with it by implementing these ideas to streamline the process.

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