If you’re running a nonprofit organization, no matter how big or small, you might be wondering whether your nonprofit needs to have a social media presence the same way a for-profit business would. The short answer is yes—nonprofits do need to be on social media. In many ways, a nonprofit will run its social media presence the same way a business would. But there are a few key differences.
Yes, Nonprofits Need a Social Media Presence
It might go without saying, but pretty much any organization needs a social media presence in today’s society. Social media is how the public knows about you. It’s a means of marketing as well as a means of contacting you. In short, it’s a way of establishing your brand and building trust with your followers, and that’s something that’s just as important for nonprofits as it is for for-profits.
Without a social media presence, people won’t know about you. Although word of mouth is effective, as well as an analog presence in the form of things like print media, these old-school methods don’t give you the opportunity to reach as many people as social media does. Social media allows you to reach thousands of people with just one post. Additionally, advanced algorithms are able to show your content to the people who are most likely to be interested in what you do.
Social media is also a way for you to interact with those people who are interested in you—it’s a chance for you to answer questions, provide information, and ultimately build trust. All of these are key for a nonprofit organization.
How It’s Different from a Business Social Media Presence
Where a nonprofit’s social media presence differs from a for-profit is in the goals you have when building these relationships. With a for-profit business, you want to build that know, like, and trust factor so they are willing to spend money with you and get something in return. On the other hand, the relationship you establish with your followers as a nonprofit organization is a chance for you to show them the impact you have. It’s a way for you to encourage them to participate in your mission, whether that’s through donating, volunteering, or simply spreading the word. Yes, you are encouraging them to buy into what you do, whether that’s through their time, money, or energy—but in this case, they aren’t getting anything for themselves (besides the good feeling of supporting a worthy cause).
Therefore, your social media presence needs to convey:
What your mission is and why people should want to be involved?
This includes the extent of your impact, as many people want to support the organizations that have the potential to make the biggest change.
How people can get involved?
This should include calls to action, such as making a donation or taking on a volunteer role.
Ready to start improving your nonprofit’s social media presence? Here are some methods you can use to extend your reach in ways that are interesting and effective.
Tips for a Strong Social Media Presence for Nonprofits
1. Content Calendar
Create a content calendar of what you’re going to post and when. This is a best practice observed by many for-profit businesses, and for good reason—it ensures you’re consistently putting content out there and never missing an opportunity to share important information with your followers.
2. Vary Content
Remember to vary your content. Social media users are visually minded. They like photos and videos, and these types of media are a great way for you to show them exactly what your mission accomplishes. Provide interviews of profiles or people who benefit from your mission, or show off your volunteers so followers can see just what kind of gratification people get from being involved.
3. Post Events
Does your nonprofit have a big event coming up? Facebook Events are a feature that helps you create digital calendar listings with all the pertinent information—date, time, location, price, and contact information. People will also be able to RSVP to Facebook Events, and the Facebook algorithm will show your event to people who might be interested, including friends of people who plan to attend as well as people who like your page.
If you’re fundraising for a specific project or purpose, you can create a Facebook Fundraiser, allowing people to donate directly through Facebook without having to pull out their credit card information for a third-party platform. Your supporters can create their own personal fundraising pages that will direct money straight to your organization. And because these fundraisers are through Facebook, you’ll likely notice the algorithm favors your shares of these pages over links to outside fundraising platforms. In some cases, such as special occasions like Giving Tuesday, Facebook will match donations made to your organization.
Remember, above all, social media is worth the investment for your nonprofit organization. Don’t think that you’re too small, or that your volunteer efforts are stretched too thin already, that you can neglect to have a digital presence. It’s a way for you to connect with your community and promote your message.
If you need help managing your social media presence, or if you are lost for ideas and need help brainstorming, reach out to our team at by calling .