In this day and age, social media has become a potent tool for communicating and reaching out to people, which is why, non-profits should be well-equipped to harness its potential. Social networking sites can be used to encourage and forge vital relationships, which form the core components of the non-profit sector. What’s better is it’s entirely free to use and does not need any special expertise to operate.
If you don’t feel confident enough to get your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram rolling, here are a few tips which might prod you on the road to social media success:
Profile descriptions are the first things which most users see when opening a page, therefore, it is important to put in something which is engaging but informative as well. Most sites offer about 150-200 characters for this section, so the bio has to be short and direct. You only get a few seconds to make an impact, so write something which is sure to capture the audience’s attention immediately. State your purpose and highlight what work you’re doing to achieve it. Incorporate a call to action which will prompt an immediate response from a visitor. Additionally, putting in contact information like a website link, an email address or a phone number increases accessibility and potential volunteers or donors would find them very useful.
Create content which is captivating and persuasive. Posts should be relevant, informative, engrossing and genuine so as to draw in more audience. Framing it in the form of a story or presenting before and after transformations has been found to generate more engagement than long text filled statuses. Visual media has become integral nowadays and including images, tables, charts, videos and gifs goes a long way in making people effectively grasp your message. Most importantly, make content which is shareable and contains a call to action such as asking people to like and share it.
Regularity is a must if you want to enhance your engagement. Posting frequently emphasizes the urgency of a problem and prevents the audience from dismissing it from their minds. Moreover, your audience will come to expect periodic updates on your goals or missions. You have to prove to your audience that your organisation is continuously striving toward the betterment of society and is not a short-lived whimsy. It is, therefore, essential to develop a content strategy beforehand. If you’re too busy to post, you can even schedule posts to be automatically published, with the help of various apps.
It is important to keep in mind your target audience and shape your content accordingly. You should also consider your aim and mission. Is your audience scattered around the world or is it nationally concentrated? Are you primarily looking for donors and stakeholders or simply raising awareness about a particular issue? Modify your content according to the answers to these questions.
Having a horde of followers won’t help you if you can’t increase your engagement. Most social media sites offer ‘insights’ on how many people your post reaches. Don’t dismiss them as being useless. They provide very helpful information as to your followers’ demographic background and activity status.
Furthermore, don’t let your followers be passive onlookers. Urge them to participate and be active. They can cause a big difference by sharing your posts. The more shares and reposts that you acquire, the more people you reach. Stress on how they can make a difference through their efforts and work towards mobilising your follower-base to volunteer for you.
The non-profit sector is entirely predicated on the construction of relationships between the organisation, donors and volunteers. Therefore, it is imperative to reach out to your followers. Ask them for advice or their opinions, and take in valuable suggestions. Additionally, talk to similar organisations and figure out ways to collaborate and work together on projects. A new world of knowledge and experience is opened up with sustained interaction, so don’t forget to like, share, reply, retweet, repost and regram.
Your audience wants to know about you and how you’re improving the world. Introduce your team, show your followers what you do behind-the-scenes. Publicize the milestones which you’ve achieved and demonstrate that you bring in concrete results. Brand recognition matters in the non-profit sector as well.
Hashtags are influential in increasing exposure. Adding a particular hashtag to your post gets yours linked to the other posts with the same hashtag. Hence, someone interested in content under #A might stumble upon your post, also tagged with #A. Hashtags play an important role in connecting people with similar interests and so, should be used judiciously. Don’t cram in as many hashtags as possible; using too many might get your post marked as spam. Try to use words or phrases which are relevant to your cause, or might reflect the essence of your post.
Lastly, don’t expect your posts to go viral within a few days of creating your page. It takes time, a good follower base, and excellent content to become popular on social media. Changing the world takes time and so does conquering social media.
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