The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

The Importance of Social Media in the World of Non-Profits

Non-profit businesses heavily rely on supporters and donations, and the best way to reach a broader audience is to utilize a multitude of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  Social media networks will allow you to not only reach people who will become interested in supporting your cause, but you’ll also reach potential clients and customers for your organization as well.

Let’s Get Social

1. Engage

As you build your social media presence across different platforms, it is very important to respond to comments, questions, and issues. Engagement with your audience creates a personal approach that creates a trust with your company, as opposed to profiles who never respond and ignore posts. This happens more frequently than you may realize, and it not only will make someone feel ignored, it will make your profile feel very stale overall. 

2. Post interesting and informative content

Make sure to post not only informative content that correlates with your business, but also post interesting content that will engage the reader. For example, if you are a non-profit that deals with environmental science, post pictures of being out on the field with information about what you are doing or talk about the history of that area with and include a vintage picture as well as a current picture. Make the content interactive so that the reader will want to engage, respond, like, and share the post.

3. Grow your following

The more you post and engage, the more your following will grow. Growing your following = growing the support for your company.

4. Use relevant hashtags

Very important when you are creating the content for your posts, is to make sure you incorporate relevant hashtags within the post itself. 

Trend Alert!

There are a couple of trends that you will want to keep in mind when thinking about your social media campaign.

1. Live streaming

People love live streams. I frequently see my own friends and family sharing live streams that they are watching at that very moment. Live streaming can be done for a multitude of reasons: updating your audience as to what is currently going on, if you are having an event or fundraiser, or if your company has some big news to share. Going live brings immediate view sand attention to what you are talking about, and the content that you are sharing.

2. Instagram stories

Instagram stories are used to share a brief moment in time, and those images or videos in the story will go away after 24 hours. Very much like Snapchat. Why would you do this? Just as live streaming, it brings a quick engagement and people like to see that blip in time to see what someone is doing today. As an example, I currently went to a non-profit event for a healthcare company and they would post pictures and very brief videos to their story about the event that was happening. Rather than posting 20 images about the same event on the regular Instagram feed, they were able to show the days event through that Instagram story with a multitude of images and videos.

3. Direct messaging

Direct messages are just another form of email or a phone call. Keep the line of communication open with your clients and respond when they message you. Not responding will make the client feel ignored.

4. User-generated content

See a post from a follower that is praising your company? Or referring your company? Or giving relevant information that correlates with your company? Retweet or sharing the post is one of the main ways of utilizing user-generated content.

Can Non-Profits Really Be Successful on Social Media?

Absolutely!  There are a number of non-profits on social media who have a very large following.  Here are a just a few of them:

National Geographic Society

40M likes on Facebook | 11M followers on Twitter


6M likes on Facebook | 5M followers on Twitter

Human Rights Watch

2M likes on Facebook | 2M followers on Twitter

Museum of Modern Art

1M likes on Facebook | 2M followers on Twitter

Of course, to get to this number of followers and likes takes time, dedication, posting interesting content, and engaging with their audience. However, people love to engage and love to share content that they like. Social media can impact your organization for a greater cause.

For more information, here is a great video on an introduction to social media for non-profits.

Category: Social Media Marketing 101

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