Enhance Your Nonprofit's Online Presence: 4 Ways to Humanize Your Social Media Campaign
A strong social media strategy can be a fantastic tool to enhance a nonprofit’s online presence. Authenticity is critical when using this platform, because social media is about connecting donors and prospects with the organization’s mission. Nonprofits need to humanize their social media message, so the audience can effectively connect with your organization.
The burning question about the use of social media is whether nonprofits are maximizing the potential of this tool and using it effectively. Nonprofits typically misstep in their use of
social media, because they use it to promote themselves—this is not the most effective use of this online platform.
Nonprofits typically tweet links to their press releases or post them on their Facebook page. Those that hijack their social media pages as an official communication channel often do not get the best result or outcome. Social media is the perfect tool for public relations when the emphasis focuses on connecting the mission to a personal story or uses a human face. Putting a human face on social media campaigns humanizes your organization and your mission, which drives a deeper resolve from the donor. Here are four key ways to humanize your social media and tell a great story.
Connect the Message
Adding a face to your social media campaigns humanizes your message and gives your donors a direct and personalized connection to the mission. It is perfectly OK to use your organization’s logo as your profile picture. However, add real-person value to your social media presence by including a image of someone who has benefitted from your organization’s good work.
Maintain professionalism in your images, so they represent your organization well. Rotating new photos regularly is also great way to keep your donors and constituents interested in what is happening within your organization. You can show the personality behind the logo by adding “behind-the-scenes” photos of that upcoming gala, work you are doing in the community or a smile on the face of a benefactor of your work. Sharing these messages through
pictures will bring a human element to your organization.
Tell the Story
Use your social media platform to feature someone in your community that your organization engages with, such as donors, beneficiaries of your work and local businesses that support your mission. Seek out someone that can answer the questions: Who cares? Why should this matter to me?
Remember that stories are about people, so feature the people who matter to your cause. Highlight impact and post on your social media platforms. Let your volunteers drive the message and how it’s delivered. If you haven’t told your audience why you do what you do, it’s time. Tell the story about your passion and your mission. Make the connection. This is an important element of your social media strategy.
Share a Testimony
Think about how your supporters can help tell your story through their experiences. Invite them to talk about your work and how it has impacted their lives and community. Encourage volunteers to become your reporters and ambassadors.
You can show your appreciation by retweeting their message, acknowledging them publicly and thanking them for sharing their story. If you incorporate this approach into the volunteer
experience, you will get more genuine language from people. For better social media engagement, show the work of your nonprofit through the eyes of those that have been positively impacted. Allow them to share their story.
Have a Conversation
One of my favorite things about social media is that it acts as an equalizer in a way that no other communication channel does. Unlike writing letters, calling an office or emailing a support team, social media can give you access to donors, constituents, volunteers and those amazing people who make your work all possible.
Use this to your advantage. By interacting with your audience, you have already taken the first step in humanizing your engagement. Generate a discussion about mission-driven projects or initiatives and allow your audience to ask questions, make suggestions offer perspective. Be sure to interact in the right way, share the right message and acknowledge feedback.
Editor's Note: This article appeared in the July/August issue of NonProfit PRO. Click here to view the entire issue.
Tarsha Whitaker Calloway serves as vice president of philanthropy for Tessitura Network. For almost two decades, Tarsha has helped nonprofits develop fundraising, board governance and fundraising strategies to further their mission. Tarsha has directly led efforts to raise more than $50 million for the nonprofit organizations, including the Woodruff Arts Center, Emory University and the American Cancer Society. She frequently presents locally, regionally and nationally on fundraising; organizational and board development; and diversity and philanthropy.
Outside of work, Tarsha has a monthly column in NonProfit PRO magazine and is actively involved in her community, including board of trustees for Destination Imagination, board of directors' executive committee for Leadership DeKalb, board of directors for National HBCU Hall of Fame and former board chair for Atlanta Shakespeare Theater. Tarsha holds a master's of business administration in international business from Mercer University Stetson School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and theater from Texas Southern University. She also holds certificate in current affairs fundraising from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and a certificate in diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace from South Florida University.
Tarsha resides in Atlanta with her husband and son.