Social media has become an essential tool for nonprofits. It allows nonprofit organizations to connect with their audience on a personal level, and provides an opportunity to increase visibility of their cause.
Last week, we invited 3 talented panelists to talk about social media for nonprofits. Mark Horvath from Invisible People, Nick Carranza from Children’s Hospital LA, and Conner Galway from Junction YVR, all come from different backgrounds, which provided us insight into ways an agency can use social media for their nonprofit clients (as is the case with Junction), and how not-for-profit campaigns can take advantage of social media to achieve their ultimate results. If you missed the panel, don’t worry—we summed up the experts’ advice on how to use social media for nonprofits.
Here are 5 tips on how to use social media for nonprofits
Tip #1: The story should be about the people, not the organization
“We need to stop talking about me, me, me, and start talking about them, the donors,” says Mark. This connects back to your nonprofit’s story being about your donors and not just the organization. When you make your donors feel like they’re providing value and their contributions are included in the overall story, your fundraiser campaigns will have a better impact and resonate better on social media.
Tip #2: Have internal “buy-in”
Allow your team(s) to get on social media, where they can help spread awareness. Even if they make mistakes, having firsthand experience on social channels will allow your team to learn valuable lessons about communicating on social networks. Doing this allows you to make sure you’ve hired a team that believes and actively participates in your cause, as well as increase the reach of your campaigns.
Tip #3: Don’t force passion—be passionate
Being authentic on social media is extremely important to your brand’s social media presence. For nonprofits, this extends to being genuinely passionate about your cause. This is how you can truly get others to be passionate about your cause, too, and drive participation. “If you are passionately ‘giving’ on social media, you should also be getting the same in return,” says Nick about how being passionate about your cause can provide your nonprofit organization with great returns.
Tip #4: Go beyond the numbers
For nonprofits, the success goes beyond the numbers found in analytics—it is about the end results. For example, ask yourself: are people actually donating canned goods? Are they participating in your challenge to raise awareness (think ice bucket challenge)? Answers to these questions will help you figure out whether you’ve changed people’s perception about your cause.
Tip #5: Create evangelists
When engaging on social media, use it to make friends, so you can create evangelists. Evangelists share your passion for the same cause, and if they feel that the work of your nonprofit organization aligns with their values, they help spread the word to their networks. The beauty with social media is that it provides you the opportunity to reach out to people on a personal level. Don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers to support your cause through social media.