It’s no secret that many a nonprofits’ social media channel is controlled by someone whose job description makes little to no mention of “social marketing.” Social media often times falls upon the shoulders of fundraisers who may traditionally deal in hard copy, it may be a hodgepodge effort by whoever has a moment to spare, or it may be neglected completely (gasp!).
Here are five easy tips to help our de facto social media manager friends launch their social presence:
1. Make it easy for supporters to find you
Is your organization’s social media instantly recognizable? Your social handles should make sense and be easily searchable. Make sure a search for your organization on Facebook doesn’t land supporters on another organization’s page. Sometimes this means coming up with a unique handle, although using the same handles across platforms is ideal. In some cases, shorter character requirements for Twitter and Instagram may necessitate a shorter handle. If you are branching out to other platforms from Facebook and your current handle is taken or too long, there are many ways to come up with alternate twitter names while making sure the new handle stays on-brand.
2. Keep it consistent
This piece is all about branding. Do your channels match the aesthetic of your website? Do all of your social accounts match? It’s fine to get creative with profile pics and header/cover photos but keeping these pieces consistent across platforms will ensure that visitors know they all belong to the same organization.
3. Let the audience come to you.
Everyone wants to grow their following, but not everyone has the capacity (time, resources, know-how) to do this organically online. One really simple way to start off your social platforms is to tap into the audience you already have. Encourage your supporters to follow or like your social pages by making it really simple for them. Send an email driving traffic to your Facebook page. Put social media handles on your materials. An email list of a even a few hundred or thousand can easily translate into a good base number of social media followers.
4. Source your audience for content.
New content doesn’t always mean whipping up narratives or soliciting donations. If you already have an active audience who tags you, share their posts. It is authentic, relatively effortless content that saves you time and prompts additional engagement from your followers. If you aren’t being tagged in posts, think of creative ways to gather content, like launching a #hashtag campaign that encourages your audience to share photos that relate to your organization’s mission, identity, or an upcoming event.
5. Have fun with it!
Social shouldn’t be all stuffy “donate now” posts. The reason so many people are active on social media is because they want to engage with organizations and brands they love. It is called SOCIAL media, after all.
They want to hear from you, and you should want to hear from them. Keep engagement up by asking questions or input of your followers, sharing relevant news stories or program updates and using a variety of media. Keep your response time short when a follower messages you by answering quickly (this also boosts you in Facebook’s algorithm so your posts are more likely to show up in newsfeeds). Encourage supporters to share your mission and get their friends to like your page. Social media definitely takes work but it’s a chance to let your creative flag fly!