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How to Use Social Media as a Nonprofit

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How Do You Use Social Media for Nonprofits?

There’s so much work going on behind the scenes at a nonprofit that they sometimes forget to show that work in the front, where volunteers and donors are. If you’re a nonprofit on social media, these are 4 things you should be doing.

1. The most important by far is making everything mobile friendly.

According to Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind, and 77% of those are smartphones. In previous posts, I’ve mentioned things like having a responsive website. If you don’t know what that is you can read about how a responsive website puts you in the good graces of Google. Want people to donate? Make it easier for them with good donation forms. Having a mobile-friendly website and content is key. Make sure everything that is posted follows the image, video, and size limit of the platform you are posting on. Take advantage of the space that is available to you. Properly utilizing the available space will make your posting look clean and tailored.

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2. Know how Tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts are supposed to look.

Social media is always changing, by the minute it seems, so keeping up to date on how the platforms work is important. Know where and when hashtags are used and not, how linking works, and the tone for each platform. Almost everything that is shared on social has a picture, video, GIF. So when sharing a post, have something in mind to attach to it. Tweets are short and simple and they have more of a leeway when posting about subjects. Instagram and Facebook are platforms that are a bit more serious. Of course, if your nonprofit is known to be a funny organization then it won’t matter too much the tone and type of postings that are done.

One thing is for sure. Hashtags need to be used sparingly and correctly on all platforms. On Twitter, I follow the rule of thumb of no more 3 hashtags. Facebook, almost never use a hashtag. If you do, only use one. Facebook isn’t really meant to search things via hashtag so posting with them won’t really make much of a difference to gain attention. Instagram on the other hand, you can post as many as 30 hashtags. They’re expected on an Instagram post. 2-5 hashtags on the post itself are fine, but then the rest should go as a comment. If you want more information on how to do that, let me know!

Links need to populate correctly, work, and the page that they are linking to should also work. Preview how links work before posting and do any debugging that needs to be done. Nonprofits have to keep updated on social media practices too.

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3. Showcase Events.

Is your nonprofit working on an event? Take pictures! Take videos, short or long! People like to see quick updates of how things work behind the scenes of their favorite event. Having trouble deciding on a color, name, theme, or something else? Run a quick Twitter poll. Having donors and potential donors input on what you do can excite them to bring other along to see what they contributed to. After the event is done, post pictures and ask people to tag themselves or their friends and share them. This gets people excited for the next event and it serves as free promotion for your nonprofit.

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4. Use different, free methods to gain new followers.

A simple and great way to increase social media following is by asking those who have just completed a donation online to click on the ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button on your social accounts. Or ask them right from the get-go. Add a social sign-in to your forms! Once they do that, you have their information to connect with them. There are always weekly Twitter chats within different sectors. Have your nonprofit participate with the nonprofit handle in one of those weekly chats and benefit from the free exposure while also learning about other nonprofits and methods. Finally, one of the simplest and quickest ways to gain exposure and followers is by asking those who work within to like, share, and follow all the social media accounts and posts.

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