We see lots of nonprofit communications folks struggle to stay relevant on social media, especially on top of all of the other communications campaigns and day-to-day duties on their plates. It’s tough out there, but a few tweaks and standard practices in social media for nonprofits can help your profiles look more professional and encourage engagement.
This post is not meant to help you build an elaborate and data-driven strategy to boost your goals for social media. Instead, let’s walk through some common nonprofit social media mistakes and how to [quickly] fix them.
Remarkably find a Friday afternoon with a little more wiggle room than usual? You can knock a few of these social media updates off your list.
Common Social Media Oversights
Let’s walk through some common issues on social media for nonprofits that you may have missed in all of the bustle and how you can remedy those issues fast.
How many accounts are you trying to stay relevant on?
Before we get too far in, let’s see if there’s room to cut things from your plate. There’s no need to stay active on six plus accounts when most of your engagement happens on two or three. This is especially true for our lone wolf marketers out there serving as the only communications staff at their organization.
Focus your attention on the accounts that get interactions and phase out the other accounts. If, in the future, you learn that more of your supporters are becoming active on those platforms (perhaps through an online survey), you can rededicate the attention and care it would take to revive them.
Is your branding consistent with your website and across accounts?
Your nonprofit social media pages should use consistent branding across accounts and on your website. That includes profile images, cover images and any sort of image templates that you regularly use to create images for posts. Ditch the outdated logos and replace them with the most current version.
Don’t forget the “About” text within your profile. While the options and prompts are different on each social media platform, be sure that you’re talking about your organization in similar ways across social media and other digital channels.
Are you using the correct image sizes on each platform?
In my humble opinion, image size recommendations change entirely too frequently on social media platforms. If it’s been a minute since you updated your profile or cover photos, check to ensure that they’re sized correctly for the platform. And replace those blurry images with the correct sizes for an instant boost in your page’s appearance.
Are your social media profile pages linked from your website?
If you’re able to within your website design, add links to your most active social media pages within the header or footer of your nonprofit’s site. If you’re not able to customize the header or footer with those links, you can get creative with how you weave links to your social media pages directly into page content, like on a Contact Us or About page or within the sidebar of certain pages.
On the flip side, you should also link to your website from the “About” information within each of your social media profiles.
Are they linked from your email newsletters?
If it’s not already there, add a link to your social media pages from your email newsletter template. That way, subscribers will have quick and easy access to your pages from every newsletter that you send.
Do you follow similar organizations and your most engaged supporters?
Following the other organizations in your nonprofit’s space is a great way to get content ideas, weigh in on the topics they discuss and develop partnerships. Have partners? You can follow them to stay up-to-date on what they’re doing.
Which supporters are consistently reacting to or commenting on your posts? Follow them to communicate with them on the platform as it makes sense to do so. For example, when they post about your organization during one of your campaigns, you can be sure to respond.
Do you post about your audience and engage with supporters on social media?
Now that you’re following them, don’t forget to engage with supporters on social media. What content has received reactions or comments in the past? What types of content do they post about your organization? Share content that interests them, encourage comments on your posts and be sure to respond to those that post a reply.
And just because you’ve already posted about something or shared it on another communication channel doesn’t mean you can’t post about it again. Check out our tips for reusing content on social media.
Do you take advantage of free tools?
There’s no shortage of social media tools to experiment with. I love using these tools in particular to keep our social media counts running smoothly.
- Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts for the day or week ahead of time
- Canva is great for creating social media graphics and graphic templates
- LinkTree allows you to connect posts with links on social media platforms like Instagram that don’t allow links within posts
- Headliner and VEED offer easy ways to create promotional videos for blog posts or campaigns
Do you include social media channels in your fundraising efforts?
Don’t leave your followers in the dark about ongoing fundraising campaigns. While it’s not a good idea to focus all of your posts on donations, weaving fundraising content into your posting schedule is a great way to keep donor (and potential donor!) followers updated on current campaigns and the impact of past campaigns.
Weave fundraising content into your campaign strategy and let social media followers participate, too. You might even bring them in as ambassadors for your nonprofit to help spread the word.
Improving Social Media for Nonprofits
Overhauling your social media accounts and building a social media strategy that works for your organization isn’t something that happens in an afternoon. It takes months and years of getting to know your audience, keeping up with the measurement and technology changes, and growing with your supporters to establish a strategy that achieves real and predictable results.
But there are quick and easy things you can tackle today that can make a difference for your organization.
Is social media for nonprofits your strong suit? What seemingly small improvements have you made to give your accounts a boost? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments.