It’s no secret that nonprofit staff sometimes wear a lot of hats. We’re talking Kentucky-Derby-day variety of hats. We have spoken with many organizations whose digital presence (i.e. website, social media, SEO) falls on the shoulders of a team member whose role makes no mention of the words “marketing” or “digital strategy.”
Fear not, good friends. We are here to provide the basics to get your Facebook/Instagram presence off the ground!
Whether you are starting from scratch and building out platforms or you’re the proud inheritor of new social handles, here are some general tips to follow:
The most important first step is making sure your organization is easily recognizable and consistently branded across all platforms. This means reformatting your logo to serve as your profile picture across all platforms you are using. Select banner/header images that are representative of your organization’s mission and make sure they are visually appealing and properly cropped for both mobile phones and desktops.
Choose a handle (for example @DSA_boston) that is branded, easy to remember and the same across all social media platforms, if possible.
You should also fill out as many details on each platform. This means including phone numbers, websites, hours, your mission; give it all!
If you are new to Facebook, check out Facebook’s guide to creating a nonprofit page so you understand the basics of managing your page.
It’s critical to select “nonprofit” as your page type when you are setting up virtual shop, as it allows your organization to take in donations on the platform. Once you’ve verified your org’s nonprofit status, individuals can host birthday fundraisers to support you. Got to love that free peer-to-peer fundraising!
The other key piece is to keep content fresh and interesting. A great way to get action on your page is by sharing posts that relate to your organization’s mission or posts you were mentioned in/ photos you were tagged in. Can I get a heck yeah for free content?!
If you want to be in the Facebook know, sign up to receive Hootsuite’s emails. The Hootsuite blog is full of useful content spanning all social platforms.
Are you on the ‘gram? Whether starting fresh or inheriting an Instagram feed, consider going for an aesthetic on your feed. There are achievable ways to accomplish this (like using a consistent filter and being selective about the photos you post), it all depends on your end goal and the photo content you have to share. We are slightly obsessed with Later Media’s blog which provides great Instagram tips and updates. If you’re using Insta, definitely subscribe.
Other suggestions for managing a nonprofit Instagram: follow organizations with similar missions and seek inspiration from them. Also, don’t be afraid to follow their followers: if your organizations’ missions are aligned, those followers would love to get to know your organization, too!
For other content inspiration, do some exploring in the “Discover” feature and find brands (for-profits) whose aesthetic and content you enjoy. You can use their posts to inspire you and you can learn some cool tips for formatting or encounter a new app that you can use to make engaging content of your own.
Our most important tip is investing time in your social media. Posting on any social platform takes time, creativity, and consistency. When sending out a mailing like your annual appeal, a lot of thought and planning goes into designing materials. The same strategy should be applied when posting on Insta, Facebook, or any other platform. Generating likes, shares, and retweets takes more than just uploading a picture with a quick one liner. You need high quality photos, a story that is going to intrigue your followers, and content that has a connection to your mission/organization.
Two reasons this is important: 1) to build your community of supporters and 2) to create a new fundraising strategy that leverages social media. Every day, Facebook has 1.47 Billion active users who may be interested in your mission. Users want to feel like a connected member of your community. Keeping followers up to date on events, staff, programs, and stories is one way to increase that community feeling.
From a fundraising standpoint, those 1.47 billion users a day scrolling through Facebook are accessible potential donors. As an added bonus, Facebook has been prioritizing their giving platform for nonprofits to gain some good PR. You may have seen the new birthday fundraiser that prompts birthday celebrators to create a Facebook-based peer-to-peer fundraiser to support a nonprofit organization. When interested donors ask how they can support your organization, this a great (and easy!) suggestion to make. Not only will this raise money for your cause, but it continues to connect your organization to new individuals. Your mailing list is growing already!