The world of social media marketing is a difficult one to navigate – even more now than it was before, thanks to COVID-19. As more people turn to social media for information and connection than ever before, nonprofits have an unprecedented opportunity to build their audience and come out the other side of this pandemic going strong.
It’s true that social media is a competitive landscape, and that you’ll be fighting to make sure your voice gets heard over both other nonprofits and for-profit businesses. It’s true that some of these businesses might have a head start in their social media campaign. But it’s also true that nonprofit social media is a unique opportunity to engage your supporters, share your story, and drive donations. And you don’t need a huge marketing budget or a giant team of people to make social media a success for you.
So, let’s talk about what you need to do to make your social media marketing plan successful:
- Know the difference between for-profit and nonprofit social media.
- Know your target audience – and which channels they’re most likely to engage with.
- Assess which platform will work best for you.
- Know what your goals are for your campaigns and why you have them.
- Create a consistent content strategy.
- Measure your campaign outcomes, choosing the metrics relevant to your goals.
1: Know the difference between for-profit and nonprofit social media
It’s easy to assume that all social media is the same, right? Everyone is trying to engage with potential clients, customers, or supporters. And ultimately, for-profit social media and nonprofit social media have the same goal: make money through that connection.
However, there’s a fundamental difference in how for-profit businesses and nonprofits make that money. For-profit companies offer a product or service that customers can buy or use. Non-profits rely on donations for their specific issue or cause. One provides a tangible benefit that customers can immediately see, like getting a new TV or great lawn care. Non-profits, however, often must rely on an emotional connection with potential donors and results-driven posts and information to keep people invested in their message. Plus, for-profit businesses may have a bigger marketing budget available, depending on their size; nonprofits often have to rely more on organic growth.
At its core, social media for nonprofits needs to be built around connecting and engaging with potential followers and donors. A nonprofit social media strategy has to understand that trying to market to donors in the same way you’d market to consumers simply won’t work. Understanding that vital difference will set the roadmap for your marketing strategy and inform who you target, why you target them, and what your goals for your campaigns are.