Social media has transformed the way we communicate. For nonprofits, it has become a powerful tool that is being harnessed for positive social change. Because social platforms allow for more direct engagement, it's easier to interact with donors and understand their needs. Growing nonprofits have quickly recognized this potential and have been using social media to scale their organizations. But there are still so many nonprofits that don't have a social media strategy built for scaling. This article reveals a step-by-step process to get your nonprofit's brand more recognized, increase brand awareness, grow your social media followers, and boost engagement so you can scale your nonprofit impact.
The first step is to create a recognizable brand. You want to establish branding that is easy for people to digest and recall. Appropriate brand recognition will set you apart from other nonprofits and keep your organization embedded in the minds of donors. This ensures your nonprofit is the 'go-to' for social change. Get recognized with these tips:
- Don't skip brand development. Clearly define your brand purpose, proposition, mission, and profile.
- Create a brand name and logo that is visually and linguistically appealing and easy to commit to memory.
- Your brand logo should also be easily transferrable to work across large objects (like a billboard), and small objects (like an icon online) and still be recognizable. If your logo is too busy or hard to see from far away, chances are, people won't remember it.
- Invest in professionally branded items such as t-shirts, pens, totes, and buttons that you can give out during events.
- Come up with a catchy slogan. You can even set it to a tune to help people remember it. This is called semantic memory, which is the memory associated with recalling concepts, words, and numbers. Many factors contribute to this type of brain functionally. Health Guidance explains that rhyme, pattern, and repetition are reasons people recall lyrics over any other piece of information.
Brand awareness is a crucial component of your step-by-step social media scaling strategy. Growing social impact is at the crux of every nonprofit's marketing goals, and brand awareness is the only way to get there. Increasing the likelihood of donations starts by increasing the number of people that know about your organization and its causes. Because brand awareness is an ongoing process, small nonprofits with limited budgets may find this step too time-consuming or costly. Here's how you can build a strong brand for your nonprofit organization — and how to go about it without breaking your budget or wasting your time:
- Run very low, like $1/day, CPC (cost-per-click) ads that don't have conversion as the goal but one that gives value, explains, or engages.
- Cross-promote your social posts across multiple social platforms.
- Implement a custom hashtag for your nonprofit so that all media directs back to you.
- Increase your reach by writing blog articles for other sites in your industry. Be sure the article is shared with their followers to gain maximum exposure.
- Collaborate with influencers who have an active community behind them.
- Post interactive content that requires an action (like a question, survey, poll, fill in the blank, scavenger hunt, etc.)
- Host a contest, challenge, or giveaway.
- Stay consistent with publishing content.
- Ask people to like, comment, and share your social posts.
- Understand where your website traffic is coming from using Google Analytics or other traffic measurement tools so that you can post more frequently where it counts.
Grow Your Followers
The third step in nonprofit scaling is probably the hardest. Nonprofits are a vital part of society, but that doesn't mean each nonprofit will be instantly famous. Growing your nonprofit's social presence, and not for vanity purposes, can help you be seen as the authority in the nonprofit sector, which can help you fundraise, recruit volunteers, and keep a constant donor supply. Let's explore different ways to grow your nonprofit's following on social media:
- Have a personality. Online engagement statistics favor humor and organic personalities over stiff, overly professional personas.
- Put your social links on all email correspondences, website pages, and even print media.
- Don't be afraid to ASK your followers to subscribe to all your social pages.
- Create a membership program using gamification to reward users that take specific social actions.
- Embed your social posts on your website.
- Use tagging where necessary. You can tag other brands or encourage your followers to tag others who'd be interested in the post.
- Post relevant content that speaks to your ideal customer.
- Online crowdfunding will help increase donations and followers simultaneously.
And finally, once you've developed a recognizable brand, and one that is constantly spread about the social stratosphere, and your followers are in growth mode, you'll want to engage your clan by actively:
- Going live: Live videos get more engagements than images or video posts.
- Using Facebook Groups or another community forum: This allows your supporters to interact with each other and do a lot of the engaging for you.
- Creating a story around your fundraising: Users will be more interactive if you can grab their attention in a creative way that progresses over time and tells a story.
- Joining the conversation: You have to be and do what you want to attract. Start engaging in others' groups, forums, and platforms in a natural way. You'll find that people will follow you back to your platform to continue the conversation.
- Shouting out your followers: Make your supports feel special by making a post about them, their contribution, or their story. If you can make it a keepsake (like a card, dedication video, or other personalized items), they'll be eager to share their experience.
- Monitoring your social presence: Keep a close watch on who's talking about your brand online so you can interact with your followers when their attention is fresh. You can set up alerts using reputation management software or Google Alerts.
- Listing your participation in match-giving programs: Matching gifts are a perfect way to boost engagement and donations, and many companies already set aside a budget to match donations. This decreases the work you have to do in finding and engaging donors. Plus, the donor base is already secured, and the fundraising efforts are doubled automatically. Check out Double the Donation for corporate matching integrations.
Coming up with a plan to scale your nonprofit doesn't have to plague and defeat your organization any longer when you consider these four steps:
Recognition- Create a stunning, recognizable brand
Awareness - Constantly and consistently make people aware of your brand and causes
Growth - Grow your social media channels with interested donors
Engagement - Actively engage with your community