Nonprofits survive on donations. What is the absolute engagement one could give to the industry? A mention on Facebook is helping, but what about the hard-pressing financial needs of a humanitarian-focused organization? Social media for nonprofits aims ever higher. To inspire, to motivate, and to overcome the ever-present financial limitations.

It can either be nonprofit organizations or other businesses, the idea behind social media marketing runs along the same lines.

In both cases, marketing is the tool through which the message is broadcasted to a mass audience. The strategies and tactics employed will not differ in essence. Fundraising campaigns have learned to target their audience on the online battlefield. Nonprofit organizations have thrown themselves into the battle with the same energy, diligence, and creativity as their more profit-oriented business counterparts.

Volunteering Social Media for Nonprofits

But other forces work behind the act of giving money to nonprofits: a recurrent feeling of generosity and the knowledge that one can make a difference.

One of the tools that respond to this very human need and empowers Twitter users to become a force of good is Charitweet, with other tools like Goodworld and SnapDonate popping out on the online scene.

Still, charity campaigns face a series of challenges in social media marketing. As opposed to other businesses, nonprofit organizations usually dispose of a limited staff. Keeping your social media following updated and constantly engaged in your cause is crucial. This is hard to achieve when there’s only one person in charge of news feeding supporters.

The concept sounds easy enough. Invest your story with emotional charge, spread the message on Facebook and Twitter, and wait for the flows of charity to wash over your campaign. In an online world where every user is a storyteller, this scenario becomes something of an impossibility.

There are some ways, though, to guide social media for nonprofits from shaky concept to successful completion. As we prove the value of social media to your organization, we will also provide a list of tips and models what will help you craft your own strategy.

If you want to improve your nonprofit’s marketing endeavors using social media, ask yourself these next big questions.

Social Media for Nonprofits: Tips, Examples, and Results

What is the role of social media in my content marketing strategy?

Social Media for Nonprofits

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn. These are all valid platforms on which you can amp up your online presence.

People tend to invest more trust and attention into products and ideas sold on their Facebook page rather than a printed newspaper. According to the Global Web Index 2015 report, the average person has five social media accounts on which he spends browsing almost two hours every day.

Clearly, the online landscape reveals a grim reality. Competition is soaring to the skies. Nowadays, you simply cannot throw a fundraising campaign into the social media cocktail and hope users will just fish it out from the mix.

How do I determine my key performance goals?

Your strategic goals have to align with the role of social media. To achieve the first step of the strategy, you must identify and understand not only your mission but how you plan to set it in the forefront of your social media tactics.

According to Beth Kanter, the author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media and an internationally recognized trainer in the nonprofit sector, donor retention and engagement are the top goals that fuel a fundraising campaign.

Closely linked to the two, other driving forces follow: acquiring new donors, generating brand recognition, volunteer recruitment, education about the mission and building initiative.

Social media, through its vast network of channels, is able to funnel in an impressive amount of support from a global community.

In order to measure the conversion and retention of followers, you can use some solid marketing metrics: the total number of visitors on your website, the number of new sessions versus recurring sessions, the bounce rate, or the lead to close ratio.

Most of these metrics you’ll find in Google Analytics. They will offer insight into the effectiveness of your strategy. For example, a Facebook post that garners attention in the high number of views is a clear indicator that you’re starting to raise awareness.

How does my audience look like?

We talked about the indispensability of an audience in strategies of social media for nonprofits. But an audience is not the general public. No marketer can address what doesn’t exist. The public is not a homogenous organism responding in unison to the same stimuli.

This is where the concept of personas comes in handy. In marketing, personas are fictional profiles of your ideal customer.

A persona goes beyond the definition of a ‘target audience’. In this case, the demographic and geographic makeup is not taken into consideration. Instead, creating online personas will give nonprofits a behavioral insight into the wants, needs, and demands of their audience.

Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest have all rolled out their native analytics tools. These will help further your ability to reach maximum community engagement.

Once you’ve gained insight into who your following is, you can further conduct opinion polls and interviews. They will come in handy as future marketing material.

How do I choose the right social media platform for my fundraising campaign?

The same advice goes here as for the target audience. Certain platforms may prove a better fit for your campaign than others.

Initially, you need to restrain your efforts to only 2 or 3 platforms. Nonprofits tend to outreach at first and flood multiple online mediums, only to realize in less than due time that they’re not successful on any of them.

Call your users to action in prominent places, but from where? Where do they congregate? Look for them in those networks you’re sure to get a gathering from. No use in squandering time and effort and spreading yourself too thin. Remember, quality reigns over quantity.

Some online networks shine over others. Of the entire spectrum of social media for nonprofits, Facebook remains a number one choice for users and marketers alike. Twitter and YouTube follow closely behind in trend, while Instagram is gaining ground fast and furious, especially with the millennials. Pinterest is ideal if you have a female client base.

Where do I go from here?

No matter where you are on your way to building a social media strategy, keep these tips and tools in mind. Donor engagement, supporter retention, and brand awareness are the pillars of a well-executed fundraising campaign.

A strategy in social media for nonprofits must exude trust, purpose, and above all, engagement.

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