JILLYN: Hi, I’m Jillyn, Founder and Executive Director of Technology Aloha, and I’m here today with our Content Manager, Kelli to talk about What your nonprofit should be doing to make the most of your social media efforts. Our podcast today will be broken into four sections —
- What platforms should a nonprofit be on
- How often to post
- What to post about
- How to make the posts engaging
Let’s get started with our first question.
What Platforms Should a Nonprofit Be On
JILLYN: So Kelli, what platforms should a nonprofit focus on?
KELLI: That’s a great question to start with. All nonprofits should be on Facebook. Then, it’s best to think about what you’re trying to accomplish and research which channels your target market is on. You don’t have to be on every single social media platform. In fact, that will probably waste valuable time and resources. After Facebook, try Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. You can even try Snapchat and TikTok.
JILLYN: Like Kelli said, you don’t have to be on every single social media platform. Facebook is pretty universal. However, put some thought into what you want to accomplish with your social media outreach. Do you need corporate sponsors? If so, LinkedIn is probably a good platform for you. If your nonprofit operates in the food insecurity arena, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest are good choices. Twitter is great if you need time-sensitive coverage of events. And video is powerful across the board, so YouTube is an excellent channel.
KELLI: Start slow, so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you only have time for Facebook, that is still far better than no social media presence at all. We’ve previously talked about why your Nonprofit should use YouTube, and we’ll link to those podcast episodes in the description.
How Often to Post
KELLI: Now that we know where to post, Jillyn, how often should a nonprofit post on social media?
JILLYN: Good question and the answer is dependent on the channels you choose and how much time you have to invest. Generally, you’ll want to post as much as you can! That doesn’t mean a new post every few minutes (unless you’re using Twitter and have a lot of followers and engagement), but posting once a week is the bare minimum for most platforms. A post every weekday is a smart move, but if you can only post once a week, then post once a week.
Just make sure you post regularly, and consistently. Keep in mind that different followers are on at different times, so it may take some trial and error to find the best times to post your content. If donors and followers learn to expect a post at a certain time, it’s okay to keep to that time so people see how reliable you are. Regardless, use a tool to plan and schedule posts so you can keep that consistency.
KELLI: Excellent point, Jillyn. If you’re only posting once a week, it’s a good idea to select a set day, so your posts don’t look random and sporadic.
What to Post About
JILLYN: Very true Kelli, so since a nonprofit needs to schedule social media posts out, what are some good topics to consider when creating them?
KELLI: There is a lot a nonprofit can talk about on social media! Post about events, either future or past, upcoming fundraisers, stories about people you’ve helped, and even directly asking for donations. Though be careful about how often you promote yourself.
JILLYN: That’s right. What Kelli is referring to is the 80/20 rule. As a general rule, 80% of your posts should inform, entertain, and educate your followers. Only 20% of your posts should directly promote your organization. Because nonprofit organizations are altruistic by their nature, they have a little more leeway on that rule. So posting an even mix of Gratitude, Service, and Ask posts will work as well.
KELLI: Also, change up what kind of posts you share. Put up quizzes, video, pictures, polls, statistics, blog posts, and other types of posts to keep your audience engaged. Which brings me to another question—
How to Make the Posts Engaging
KELLI: Jillyn, what are some best practices on making nonprofit social media posts engaging?
JILLYN: Well, first, you should be engaging with your audience. If they comment on your posts, reply! If your nonprofit is tagged in a post, like and comment on the post. Thank people for sharing your posts. The same sorts of things you would do in regular conversation are the things in replying and managing comments on social media.
It’s also a good idea to use your organization’s brand assets when constructing your posts. This makes your posts more recognizable to your followers as they scroll through their social media feed, and will increase engagement.
Other ways to make your posts engaging include: Using the right hashtags and asking people to comment about a related subject on the post
KELLI: For example, if you’re hosting an event you can ask people to let their friends know about it, or ask them to comment on the post about what they’re most excited about concerning the event.
JILLYN: Great example, Kelli! One final note on asking — always make your ask very clear. Instead of saying “spread the word” which could mean a variety of things, ask your followers to “share and comment”. The more specific your request, the easier it will be for your audience to fulfill.
JILLYN: Well it looks like that’s all the time we have for today. We’ve included links in the description to several of our blog posts that cover the topic we discussed today. I’m Jillyn —
KELLI: — and I’m Kelli. If you have questions about your nonprofit using social media or have other topics you want to hear on our podcast, please reach out on social media or contact us at TechnologyAloha.com.
JILLYN: Thank you for listening to Into the Inbound with Technology Aloha. We hope we’ve added a little Aloha into your day.
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Into the Inbound with Technology Aloha