Boost visibility. Drive engagement. Paid social media advertising is another way to accomplish these goals, and more.

Social media is a fantastic way to connect with your community, engage in conversations, and share blog content, news, and information your supporters will be interested in. It has the power to drive visitors, old and new, to your website. Paid advertising amplifies this potential.

Not only does it increase your reach, it allows you to choose who specifically you’re reaching. Increasing general awareness is great, but increasing awareness among the right kind of people is even better.

Like most things with social media, there are a ton options. But, rather than dive right into the nitty-gritty of each, we’re going to look at paid social media advertising–the big picture. You’ll want to know how it all works, and what it can do for your nonprofit, before you start investing your time and money in it.

Potential Benefits

There are lot of ways your nonprofit can benefit from paid social media advertising, but it all really points back to two central benefits:

  1. More people are seeing you
  2. More of the right people are seeing you

More people are seeing you

Your audience on social media is big. Paid social advertisements make it bigger. This is essentially what you’re paying for – an amplified message. Paid social promotion ensures that your posts are not only seen, but seen by a lot more people than just your normal community of followers. This means you’re not relying on those followers to share these posts quite as heavily.

More of the right people are seeing you

When you embark on the paid social promotion journey, you’ll have the opportunity to create campaigns. (I promise we’ll get to the details of these in a minute. Hang with me.) And, in these campaigns, you have the ability to identify exactly the type of person you want seeing your advertisements. You’re able to put your advertisement in front of the people you believe are most likely to respond to it.

How it Works

Campaigns. Paid social advertising centers around this concept of creating different advertising campaigns. You can create a campaign for essentially anything you want—to promote a new initiative, boost donations for a seasonal fundraiser, promote a new blog post. The choice is entirely yours.

Once you’ve decided on your campaign, you have the ability to target the type of people you want seeing these posts in their newsfeed. You can determine all sorts of demographics like age, gender, region and general interests. This added measure of control makes it easier to ensure that your campaign is on target with your overall marketing strategy.

For the actual content of the campaign itself, you have options. Most platforms let you choose between video and photos – visual content is big on social media, after all.

After you’ve got your campaign up and running, you can track it and measure your success with the platform’s analytics tools. You can adjust whatever needs adjusting to boost performance and get the sort of results you were hoping to achieve.

Popular Options

You can do paid advertising on just about any social media platform now, but that doesn’t mean you should. It’s always best to focus your social media marketing efforts on the places the people most likely to support your nonprofit are hanging out. This is where you’re going to see the biggest return on your investment. If you’re interested in getting started, below are the links to advertise on some of the most popular social media channels:

Does your nonprofit use paid promotion on social media? What’s your experience been? If you’re not, what’s stopping you? We’d love to hear from you.