HOW TO BE A SOCIAL MEDIA STAR FOR YOUR CAUSE
Imagine that you could make the world a better place with just one click. Would you do it?
If you’re like most people we know, you would say, oh yeah!
Thanks to tech, contributing to the social good is easier than ever before. Sure, you can still kick it old school and give in-person or over the phone, but let’s face it, today almost everyone owns a computer and a mobile device and they’re using them to make a difference and support the causes they care about.
The bottom line is, if you’re not on social media (or if you don’t quite have the hang of it), you’re missing out on a high-growth revenue stream for your non-profit that cannot be ignored. And, there are other clear benefits to adding new two-way conversation channels to your communications tool box.
Read on to learn more about how to be a social media star for your cause:
1) Define your goals
It’s not what you do, but how you do it.
Before you jump on the social media bandwagon, take a step back and think about your organization, its vision, its values, and of course its purpose. It may seem like this goes unsaid, but before you touch social media it’s important to determine why you’re there.
Do you want to raise awareness for your cause? Are you trying to become a thought leader on a particular issue? Do you need to mobilize a community of loyal supporters? Or are you really just trying to earn more funds?
While social media is a great way to share your message, at the end of the day, it’s just another communication channel. Before you start communicating, it’s important to figure out what you want to say and the best way to say it.
2) Choose the right platforms
Don’t just create a Facebook page because every charity has one. Think about your audience and how they consume media. Not sure where to start? Do some research! Determine the right channels that will align with your goals. Ask your donors, staff, and volunteers what social media platforms they’re on and where they think your cause should be.
3) Put your profile in the spotlight
Pick a username and keep it consistent across all channels (make sure it’s available before you commit). Use a properly sized, clearly visible profile and cover photo. Don’t skip the about us section, keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Make sure you’re posting regularly, otherwise you could deter potential followers who might think your profile is inactive.
4) Pick strategic content buckets
When it’s time to determine what to post – use content buckets. These are topics that align with your pre-determined goals. If you’ve been using social media and getting lackluster results, it’s most likely because your content isn’t goals-based. Choosing the right content buckets keeps your posts on strategy, otherwise, you’re wasting your valuable time.
For example, if you’re a food bank and your goal is to raise awareness about hunger, your content bucket might be food insecurity and your post could be an article about how food scarcity impacts big cities.
Trying to build a profile as a thought-leader? Post insights regarding your area of expertise. Looking for more donations? Try sharing stories about the impact of your fundraising efforts.
5) Don’t just sell, have a conversation
If you’re looking to increase donations, don’t just make direct fundraising asks. While having a clear call to action is important, people will get sick of you if you’re always asking for money. Think of your content as a charming conversation at a cocktail party. Try to engage your audience.
A good rule to maintain is to keep a 3:1 ratio of promotional messaging. For every three posts where you give something to your audience, you can ask for something in return. Try thanking donors, sharing stories, explaining where the funds go and discussing how to make a lasting change.
6) Get organized and schedule ahead
Phew! All of this social media work seems exhausting. How will you ever stay organized and on top of everything with your non-profit’s limited resources?
Creating a content calendar is your secret weapon. It’s a great way to organize your posts and give yourself a macro-view of your entire social media ecosystem. Use an editorial-style calendar to highlight key dates and holidays. Include a schedule that outlines every post before it goes out. Be sure to note the goal, content bucket, and applicable media (photo, video file, or link) for every single post. This will ensure your content aligns with your strategy. Build a spreadsheet or use an automated platform that also schedules your posts such as Sprout Social (paid), Co-Schedule (paid), or Hootsuite (freemium). We schedule posts two-weeks or a month in advance, but you may prefer to do so weekly.
7) Make new friends and grow your tribe
This is it, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Now that your content calendar is built and you’ve automated your social media posts, you have more time for what really matters.
Engaging with the people who are helping you make the world a better place. Start commenting, liking, following, and sharing. Build relationships, maintain donor stewardship, cross-promote with partners, and make new friends that will help you change the world.
Need some guidance on your social media strategy? Contact us.