Ten Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Strategy: What we learned from “Social Media for Nonprofits”

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Guest Blog Post by Dylan Nord, We-Care.com

1. Tell stories

Think like a journalist; your followers are counting on you to entertain and inform them with relevant content, and the best way to give your message power is by telling a genuine story. Tell your supporters about your recent campaign to raise awareness, or your recent delivery of text books to Africa, or the $10,000 grant you just received. Charity: Water found that their most successful content was “Stories from the Field”.  People connected to stories like that of Helen Apio who felt beautiful for the first time in years thanks to her accessibility to clean bathing water.

2. Be positive

You want to create long term relationships with your supporters. When your supporters donate or volunteer they feel great about themselves and their participation in your organization. A nonprofit can reinforce these positive feelings by thanking supporters, highlighting specific donors, and showing the impact made possible by supporters. People are receptive to emotional positivity. Bombarding people with helpless statistics is never as powerful as a great photo of rescued dog or a child.

3. Think analytically

Social media is reactive and your supporters will tell you which content they like through sharing, liking, and engaging. Give your supporters what they want and they will thank you with engagement.

4. Tailor content to platform

What works on Facebook doesn’t necessarily work on Twitter, and what is powerful on your blog might not make sense on Facebook. Who says what is popular on Google+ will resonate on Twitter? Every social media platform is different. Take the time to learn what content works on different social media platforms and how to tailor your message to work on each platform.

5. Map donations to impact

When a supporter makes a donation they experience a surge of happiness from affecting a change and being a part of something inherently good. As a nonprofit, you are an agent of change, and you have a responsibility to your donors to show them where their money is going and the change they are a part of. Share a video of your most recent project, or a picture of a rescued animal, even a simple note updating them on your work can go a long way in connecting donations to impact.

6. Become a content curator

Every nonprofit has an opportunity to become an authority on a particular subject. Determine a topic related to your organization and deliver the most relevant and timely content to your supporters. For example, the ASPCA updates supporters on animal rights laws, and news worthy stories of abuse or rescue. They contextualize relevant stories, news, and information and deliver it in a timely manner to their followers – you can do the same.

7. Thank, answer, comment – repeat

“If you are just trying to push your message out, you are missing half the value of social media,” the CEO of Save The Children, Carolyn Miles, eloquently explains the reactive power of social media. Many of your supporters have found your organization on social media with an intent to interact – answer their questions, join the comment conversation, and thank them whenever possible.

8. Plan, schedule, push

Although a lot of your social media content must be crafted spontaneously in reaction to things happening now, some of your most important content can be planned ahead of time to ensure quality and decrease work load.

9. Try Google +

Google+ now has over 100 million users. Many of your supporters are already on Google+ and more are joining every day. You can build a Google+ presence with little effort. Take a week and work to see who you can connect with using this new platform – what do you have to lose?

10. Consider a CEO or ED blog

Harness the knowledge, expertise, unique perspective, and network of your CEO or Executive Director by creating a personal blog, or twitter for them to tell their story. Many supporters will feel like they are getting a privileged look inside your organization.

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