Social media is one of the most powerful and affordable ways for non-profits to reach donors and recruit volunteers. Even while there are a wide variety of available tools, many non-profits are still struggling to make the most of social media.
Social media for non-profits is not the same as social media small business but there are many social media tips and tricks that can help non-profits mobilize supporters. Here are just a few ideas for marketing for non-profits on social media and examples of non-profits who are crushing it on social media.
1. Use a common hashtag
Hashtags are crucial for raising awareness and spreading a cause. The Boys & Girls Clubs use the hashtag #GreatFuturesMovement to share academic achievements of the thousands of children that it impacts. It uses this hashtag to connect the many individual branches and individual supporters. This way, no matter where their supporters are, they can connect with one another and witness the impact.
2. Use influencers
Using influencers for social media might not be exactly like using influencers for business but influencers who are passionate about your charity can help increase awareness. You can use influencers with large followings for general awareness or to promote a specific fundraising goal or event. The non-profit charity : water raised over $10,000 during their 10k on 10/1 to support clean water in India. They idd this by hosting Google Hangouts with thought leaders and entrepreneurs and having individuals purchase seats to these hangouts.
3. Put a face behind the movement
No matter what your non-profit supports, there are probably real humans, faces and stories behind the mission. Social media is a perfect way to showcase the people who are directly impacted by your efforts. City of Hope, a leading nonprofit cancer research center does this by featuring profiles of individuals who have conquered cancer using the hashtag #LastChemo. The Joe Niekro Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting the research and treatment of brain aneurysms, AVMs and hemorrhagic strokes ignited the #SurvivorSelfie campaign to show survivors of the fearless individuals who have survived and remind donors why they should continue to fight for a cure.
4. Get your supporters involved
Social media is social! You don’t need to be the only one sharing your mission. Ask your donors, volunteers and supporters to get involved. The Dana Farber Institute is a leader in leveraging social media to support the fight against cancer. They have PDF versions of signs that they encourage their followers to download and post with their own message of “How, why or what you #DiscoverCareBelieve.” This sharing and spreading of messages is exactly what social media is about! Social giving for non-profits depends on the influence of others. Seeing others share your message can inspire supporters to get more involved.
5. Make it lighthearted
Social media doesn’t have to be boring or dry, even if you are spreading awareness about a difficult topic. There can be fun ways to get others involved. For exampleThe Field Museum created a Twitter account personifying SUE, the largest and best preserved T. Rex in history. The account has nearly 10,000 followers! Another example of lighthearted campaigns would be the ALS Ice Bucket challenge which went viral a few years ago.
Social media gives you direct ways to reach audiences and give them an inside look at your non-profit. Use these tools to connect little by little with each donor, support and volunteer. Be open, transparent, fun and engaging and you will see growth through social this year!