NCM Network invites guests to share their expertise on the NCM Network Blog. This post was written by Gina Schreck, based in Denver, Colorado, president of SocialKNX, a content marketing and social media management firm. SocialKNX works with for-profit and nonprofit organizations to build their brands. Gina also runs the DIY social group on Facebook for anyone wanting tips and tools for marketing success. Connect on Twitter @GinaSchreck or any other social channel.
We often hear people complaining that social media doesn’t seem to get results for their nonprofit. They spend lots of time posting and promoting but no one seems to see the content or engage with it. So, to assist you with your nonprofit’s social media marketing, here are five tips to help you connect with your target audience and grow your social community.
1. Clarify your purpose
Many times you understand what the purpose of your nonprofit is, but is it articulated clearly enough for the outsider to feel a desire to connect? What is your organization doing? How does it help? What mission am I plugging into if I join you? Really, get clear, and simplify the message so people FEEL the need to get involved and to share that vision with their social media friends and communities.
“Helping to Honor Veterans” is not specific enough. Do you “bring awareness of the physical and emotional needs of our veterans so our community can plug in and meet those needs?”
This purpose needs to be clearly communicated on your social media profiles as well as within posts that you share. Don’t forget that someone may be visiting your social media channel for the first time today. Keep that in mind as you plan your content. A one-page scan should have a mix of content but not lose purpose.
2. Connect with people – don’t sit and wait for people to find you
Most of us saw the movie “Field of Dreams” and still believe “If you build it, they will come.” But sadly on social media, that is not the case. If you build a social media presence, no one will know about it unless you tell the world…over, and over again.
If you want more fans and followers, you must go out and walk in your “digital neighborhood” making friends. Connect with 20-30 new people each day on Twitter. Comment or retweet something they have shared. This will get their attention and they just might come to see what your organization is all about.
On Facebook, you have to find other business pages that are attracting the same type of person you are interested in connecting with and engage there. Like and comment on things posted; even comments by other people. This leaves a notification showing them who commented or liked their post. It could lead them to your page.
3. Use hashtags and keywords to draw more people in
Find and use the hashtags that your ideal community follows. If your nonprofit is a financial services organization, use tags like #money #trading #banking #investor #investing.
You can look up your industry and find some of the most popular hashtags used at https://top-hashtags.com. Put two or three (depending on how many will fit in a Tweet) on your Twitter posts and even a couple on Facebook will help people, who curate content based on keywords and hashtags, find you.
4. Ask for people to take action on your social media posts
It’s great to share interesting and informative content on your social media channels, but you must not forget to ask people to take some sort of action. Indicate where to share something; download a list; sign up here; or donate now. You need to ask for people to take action. Don’t assume they will do so without your coming right out and saying these words.
If you are trying to build a mailing list to reach potential donors or volunteers, simply create one-page downloadable PDF lists that people would want and find valuable enough to exchange their email address for. You put the value-offers behind a landing page/lead capture box or something like LeadPages, then promote those on social.
Perhaps you have “The Top 10 Tips for Consumers to Save Energy in 2017,” or “10 Apps Every Parent Needs to Download” or “10 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent the Next Time You Speak.” You get the idea. Come up with your own top 10 list of things to do or avoid and create a value-offer that people will want.
If you want people to get involved or donate, ask them. Ask people to share a post with their friends and family members. Tell them why it’s important. If people are behind your cause, they will want to help. So, make it easy for them. Provide the link or the numbers so they can.
5. Be consistent
Lastly, you can’t post once or twice a week and expect that to work. You must post daily. Be consistent and know that to grow your community is like building any relationship. The more you communicate with someone, the closer you become. Set time aside each day to nurture this online community and they will, in turn, make time to help you spread your mission.
What else are you doing to build your nonprofit’s social media presence?
The views and opinions of authors expressed on NCM Network’s website do not necessarily reflect those of NCM Network. It is the intention of NCM Network to provide users with information to better understand PR, communications, social media, philanthropy, and more.