It’s no secret that social media is a great tool for your nonprofit. In fact, 50% of nonprofit communicators label social media as a “very important” communication tool (Nonprofit Marketing Guide Trends Report 2013). The importance of social media begins and ends with your strategy. Strategy is the foundation for all of your actions on social media. There are many aspects that go into creating a strategy, but here are five “special ingredients” that should launch your social media to the next level.
1. Tie Your Strategy To Company Objectives
Think about what sparked your passion for your nonprofit. What did you set out to do? Who were you trying to reach? These goals should be fundamental, but tend to get forgotten over time and repetition. Every action taken on social media should be for the purpose of accomplishing your nonprofit’s objectives. If it doesn’t, it belongs on your personal accounts.
2. Know Your Audience
First, know the audience you want to reach. Research and ask around to get demographic information on who you want to target. Second, establish a presence on a social media platform where your target audience is. Not sure who’s on what? Ask your customers what social platforms they are on (or better yet, which one they use the most). It may not be exact, but it gives you a place to start. Once you have selected the platforms, create a different strategy for each based on what your audience wants. The content you deliver to your audience should be relevant, interesting and valuable to them.
3. Do The Most With What You Have
Despite what you may believe, you can have a successful strategy without ever spending a penny. We hear you exhaling sighs of relief! The best way to be a social media expert on a nonprofit’s budget is to analyze data as often as possible. Fortunately, most major social media platforms have free analytics for you to use. Some are extensive (Facebook’s Insights), while others only give general follower data (Twitter’s Analytics). Remember that follower data is still useful for getting to know your audience (See Point #2). Use this data extensively and let it be your resource when you trial-and-error new ideas.
4. Post Strategically
Content may be one of the most important factors to a successful social media strategy, but right below is making sure to post at optimal times with optimal frequency. Each platform has its own rules when it comes to timing. For instance, Facebook will reach your audience if they meet the timing requirements of its algorithm. Twitter, on the other hand, depends on when the audience checks their feed and how far back in time they look. Timing your post can make a significant difference in reach. Posting too often can also cannibalize the reach of your posts. A good post sent at an inopportune time could get buried, while one sent at the right time could help it go viral.
5. Keep Up
Social media changes quickly. Be sure to utilize the latest features that the rest of your audience is using. Check your data and adjust your strategy accordingly, when necessary. Don’t get stuck in an outdated strategy. When social media stops becoming part of your routine, you break consistency with your audience. At that point it’s hard to get their attention back.