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WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER TO UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA GAME FOR YOUR NONPROFIT

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We have all been there, and it is Monday morning; you have been watching other organizations posting on social media throughout the weekend.

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You know you should be posting every day but who has the time, what should you post about, and how do you get people to share your posts? The best way to find new supporters and let people know about the services you offer is to have an active social media presence, but lack of funding, time, and other resources makes that problematic. By using social media correctly, you can promote your organization and its goals and find people to help you fulfill your mission. With more and more social media companies requiring organizations to "boost" or pay to ensure that your posts get in front of as many eyeballs as possible, how are you supposed to fulfill your mission? It is no wonder you feel overwhelmed and disheartened if things aren't going the way you were hoping. There are some ways you can create organic reach for your social media posts; you just need to be smart about it.

Create a Plan

First, make a plan around your social media. You know the old saying "fail to plan, plan to fail"? Well, IT IS TRUE. You need to start by defining what it is you are hoping to accomplish with your social media. According to a HubSpot Survey, most Nonprofits are looking to do seven things with their Social Media

  1. Fundraising
  2. Brand Recognition
  3. Donor recognition
  4. Sharing news about the organization
  5. Sharing information about the cause
  6. Volunteer Recruitment
  7. Employee Recruitment

Block out some time to think about which of these goals is realistic to accomplish in the next year. I guess that you will choose three top-priority goals; I am also guessing at least one of the goals is going to fundraising, and that is great because you can use all the other goals to feed the fundraising machine, which of course makes it possible to the work that you are doing.

Define Your Audience Next, define your audience, who are your donors who do you need to communicate with? Defining your audience will help you formulate the voice that you are writing from.

Pick Your Platforms Decide which social media platforms you will be using. A whopping 98% of all nonprofits are using Facebook.

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But with Facebook increasingly utilizing a pay-to-play format tying ourselves too closely to them may prove problematic. Instagram is a great way to reach your audience because it is designed to tell visual stories. Even without professional photographers using graphic images run thru the app's filters can make a real impact. Take the time to decide what social media platforms work best for you and your nonprofit. Start with one or two and create a strategy that you can stick to.

Let your followers know how you stand on issues. Although we, by necessity, avoid commenting too much on specific legislation when stories break about topics related to the work you are doing, interest will follow. It is a good idea to have built into your social media plan time to link to your audience's stories and articles that will be of interest. Set up “Google Alerts” for the name of your organization and for topics that are related to the work that your organization does.

Engagement is Key

Give your followers something to do, and engagement is the key here. Ask your readers a question, create a Facebook survey, Twitter poll or even ask your audience to share their own stories about how your nonprofit had affected their lives (or could have affected their lives if you had been around when they were in need.) Ask them to post pictures of what they are doing to help bend the arc of justice. Marketing experts agree that by creating interactive content, you will average a higher click-through rate and create a donor base that is more loyal to your organization. The best part of this is that your audience will help generate future content for you

Stay Consistent

Do not post and ghost! Remember, you are trying to engage your followers; if they have taken the time to respond to your social media post, make sure to

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respond to them. Like their comments and pictures, answer their questions, thank them for responding to your survey. To put it plainly, the best way to engage with people on Social Media is to engage with them. Make sure your board and staff are liking and sharing the content you create. Likes, shares, and comments help activate the all-important algorithms and get the content you have worked so hard to develop in front of more eyeballs. Don't be afraid to ask people to share your content. Do you have a couple of volunteers that are super dedicated to the cause? Send them a message asking them to help promote you. Even occasionally including the message, “please share” lets people know how important a particular post might be. Social Media is a powerful tool for nonprofit organizations, and it can help you to attract more donors, reach people in need of your services. A solid social media strategy can also allow your organization to stand out and keep you in front of those who need you.