A new year means many new opportunities for nonprofits, but it also brings the reality of less volunteers. People typically want to help on holidays, but tend to forget about the needs after the giving season is over. What can you do to raise awareness for your organization and your volunteer needs? The content you share on social media could be a huge help! How?
Who should you share content with?
If you’re posting without doing any paid ads, you’re only posting to your followers. That’s perfectly fine, as those are the people that are bought in to what you’re doing and they’re your primary audience.
If you choose to do paid ads, be sure to utilize the audience targeting options. This is a great way to find new people that are interested in your cause. Having a lot of followers is great, but remember it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the engagement with your followers.
What content should you be sharing?
First, you should define what you want to accomplish with social media, if you haven’t done that already. Most nonprofits don’t have a large budget, if any budget at all, for social media. If you don’t have a budget, using social to support your brand doesn’t cost anything but a little bit of time.
If you do have a social budget, you can do a lot more with social to promote and market your organization. You could hire a social media manager or you could outsource it to an agency. Either way, here are some content post ideas that will help you.
Simply letting people know that you have volunteer needs can go a long way. Also, communicate what the requirements are and the time commitment. Sometimes, volunteer positions can seem intimidating. And what if it’s not a good fit for me? Let people know the details and let them know they try it out for a period of time.
Everyone has a unique set of gifts and talents. The best example I’ve seen of this is my hairdresser friend, Steve. He went to an orientation at a local shelter, but just didn’t feel like any of the listed positions were a good fit. I suggested he tell them he’s a hairdresser. He’s been doing hair there for about 7 years now. (I may or may not have been the person referenced in the article.)
Highlight a volunteer each month.
What better way to show what people are doing in and for your organization? These stories can be very inspirational. Be sure to include a “call-to-action” so people can sign up to volunteer.
I love seeing what my money can do. Knowing it can feed someone or help a child learn something new seems like a great way to spend it. Also, seeing what a couple of volunteer hours can do in the life of another human being will most likely inspire people to want to volunteer their time.
I’m much more apt to give money to an organization is I know it’s going to do good. We know nonprofits still have to run like a business, and there are overhead costs, but when people can see their dollars at work and they know you’re not taking off on your yacht for the weekend, they’ll feel much better about giving. Authenticity is key.
If you have any events coming up, utilize social to promote them. Create an event on Facebook and invite people. Use a hashtag so people can post and follow your event on all social platforms.
This is important to create awareness for your specific needs. I know of an organization that listed out all of the things they needed to help the shelterless homeless such as food, toiletries, and clothing. Then they added to the bottom of the list, “Oh yes, and we need a van.” They got a van donated. Make the ask. You increase your chances of receiving something you ask for by 100% when people know you need it.
Facts and statistics.
Post interesting things about your organization that will peak people’s interest. This is a great way to educate people about why you do what you do, showing them your vision, and teaching them your mission. These support all of the good things you’re doing in the world and helps to show the scope of the issues your organization is helping to resolve.
We live in a digital world where everyone is walking around with a computer… uh, phone in their pocket. Make it easy for people to give. Share links to your online giving page, tell them why it’s important, and thank them.
Post links to your volunteer webpage. Whether it’s an email or a (simple) form to fill out, show people how easy it is to get plugged in with your organization.
If you do volunteer orientations, social is a great place to promote them. It makes it easy to share with others as well.
If you’re not doing a year-end report, now is a great time to consider doing one. You can pull information from it all year long for social posts and use as a tool to show people what you’re all about.
Evergreen content is content that is not dated and it has no shelf life. You can use it over and over again on different social platforms. Be careful not to post the same thing back to back in your feeds, but post regularly when it’s a logical time.
Post your goals for the new year. Does your organization have any new year resolutions? If so, put them out on social. Ask for help to achieve them.
When should your share?
There are many posts about what time to share on each social platform, however the most important thing is to share consistently. You can do this by scheduling your posts. HootSuite and Buffer are probably the best options for nonprofits. They are reasonably priced and will get the job done effectively.
Both of these platforms still require an extra step for posting on Instagram, so I like to use Grum for that. Using Buffer and Grum will set you back $20 per month, an investment well worth it!
Using a social posting calendar is very helpful. It can be as simple as having a monthly focus and scheduling events or being very detailed with posts for each platform.
Where should you share your content?
Your nonprofit should be on all of the major platforms, but you don’t have to be on all of them. Most of your posts can be modified to go on any platform with a little tweaking. Start with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Then Google+ (for SEO rankings), LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. Do the ones you can do well.
Are you ready for the new year?
The bottom line is that the majority of people in our communities use social media, so use it to your advantage. Go where your people are. Post relevant information, post consistently, and engage with people, making it easy to get involved with your nonprofit.