Three Social Media Mistakes that Cost Nonprofits

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – SEPTEMBER 24, 2014: Social media brands printed on sticker and placed on keyboard Apple laptop.

A few years ago, a Georgetown University study found 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media pages will take some sort of action. To make sure your audience connects with you there are a few basic mistakes you will want to avoid.  Here’s how to avoid those issues and continue using Social Media to raise money, find volunteers, and get your message amplified.

Not Having a Personality for Your Nonprofit

Humans want to make a connection with an organization. To do that organizations, including charities, need to have a single personality. This is usually done through branding and creating a “voice.” You want to make sure you are consistent with that voice in all of your social media platforms.

For instance, if your nonprofit is about saving abandoned animals, most of your images are going to be the animals being saved and adopted. What if “the voice” of the social media brand was one of the “saved dogs”, “saved cats”, or “saved farm animals”? Creating the voice as one of the animals taken care of by staff can be emotional, endearing, or funny. An offshoot of this would be taking a look at the platforms you use and using a different animal voice for each; Facebook could be a cat, Instagram could be a dog, and Twitter could be a bird (pun intended).

If you haven’t created a personality or gone through a branding process, you are hindering your ability to market your organization in a way that will draw people into your message.

Not Knowing Your Nonprofit’s Audience

Just because “everyone” is on social media doesn’t mean you are getting your message to “everyone” nor should you be trying to do that. Messages should be tailored to your core followers based on basic demographics. Always be sure to look at the analytics pages of your social media platforms and notice where the audience lives, as well as their age, gender, and what times of day they are on social media.

You also should look each month at the content that received the most engagement. Posting everyday helps, and posting more than 5 times a day on Twitter is a must for organizations, but posting just for the sake of posting misses the entire reason for using social media to begin with. Knowing what your audience wants to say will help you think more intelligently about the types of posts you make AND can determine the different posts needed for each social media platform.

Not Having a Social Media Strategy for Your Nonprofit

We just mentioned “posting just for the sake of posting”, which essentially shows you might not have a social media strategy. First, and foremost, you need to have a reachable goal in mind when using any social media platform. Secondly, does that strategy include a call to action? Lastly, is that call to action sending people to the right place on your website?

When it comes to fundraising on social media, you must get very “granular” to turn followers into donors. You need to use all the tools available on the platforms or others, such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social, that allow you to dig deeper into your audience’s likes or dislikes. Taking the time to analyze your followers and cross reference them with donations or volunteering and then finding their like-minded friends on social media can increase followers and donors.

In November, our Virtual Breakfast with Benefits will feature a social media content creator who will discuss how to leverage paid advertising on social media to help raise more money and he will discuss some of these topics as well.

Sign up for the Virtual November Breakfast with Benefits here and we hope to see you online next month!

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