Social Media for Nonprofits, Part 2: Strategies for Instagram, LinkedIn and More
Social media can help nonprofits connect with supporters, volunteers and donors more easily. You can leverage social media marketing strategies to boost your engagement — but the best tactics differ from one platform to the next. Each platform has different features, tools and engagement opportunities, as well as different demographics you can take advantage of if you know how to use them. Here's is an overview of the top five social media platforms for nonprofits.
Many organizations struggle with engaging their followers on Facebook because the owners of its business pages generally have to pay to see any engagement boost. However, Facebook is still the top name in the game, with 2.74 billion monthly users. Additionally, the platform reaches 59% of the world’s networking population, with a majority of its users between the ages of 18 to 34. If you have a good following on Facebook, it is wise to continue to post, though it might not yield the organic engagement other platforms can provide. Video will always win out in engagement since the algorithm favors it, especially when you post it natively on the platform rather than as a link.
Instagram is a great platform for nonprofits because it’s easier to raise awareness and grow your audiences. Hashtags are a powerful tool that make your content discoverable to new people.
Other considerations for Instagram include:
- Instagram is a visual platform and strong visual can capture an audience’s attention. However, a compelling caption with a call to action can have a significant impact on your results. Write up to a paragraph when you have something important to share.
- Instagram also has several ways to add video content, including Stories, Reels, Live, and IGTV. You can share quick video updates on one of your projects via Stories, or go live on Instagram from a fundraising event. Your videos can be simple, such as showing one of your programs in action or featuring a short testimonial from a donor or beneficiary. Use stickers and graphics in videos as well.
LinkedIn isn’t only for businesses and individuals looking for jobs. Nonprofits can see strong engagement on LinkedIn and portray themselves as thought leaders in their field. Use LinkedIn to stay top of mind with donors and partners, and raise your profile by sharing valuable articles and research related to your work.
When putting together your LinkedIn marketing strategy, consider these tactics:
- Look at other nonprofit pages for inspiration. If there are organizations you want to partner with or respect in the field, share their content and that will also motivate them to share yours.
- LinkedIn now allows organizations to share articles from their pages to highlight thought leadership. The pandemic spurred a huge increase in the amount of thought leadership. To stand out share your own, unique thoughts and provide a new way of looking at the challenges your audiences care about. Add your perspective on a trending topic that users might not see elsewhere.
- Utilize LinkedIn hashtags the right way by using your branded and niche hashtags that have a good mid-size following to help your content get noticed.
TikTok is not for every nonprofit, but if your audience is among the platform’s 800 million active users, it’s time to take a look. TikTok’s appeal has grown beyond younger users, with the platform gaining more attention from users in their 40s, 50s and 60s. If the short video format fits with the message you want to get across, then you can make it work for you. However, don’t simply join TikTok just to be on another platform.
Consider these tips if your nonprofit is on TikTok:
- Create a hashtag challenge related to your organization.
- Educate your audience with informational videos.
- Post your TikTok videos to Instagram and Twitter for maximum reach.
Like Facebook, Twitter makes it hard to reach followers with an organizational account. Since Twitter moves so quickly, you can only be competitive on this platform if you post multiple times per day. A single post every other day gets lost on Twitter.
If you are committed to posting often, and your target audience seems to be on Twitter, you can use these strategies to boost engagement:
- Share content from similar organizations or like-minded individuals and tag them.
- Tweet more than once about the same article, highlighting different aspects each time.
- Live Tweet your events with constant updates.
- Make it easy for people to tweet out content from your blogs or articles using Click to Tweet.
Social media marketing for nonprofits is clearly not a one-size-fits-all situation. But if your content plan is targeted with these strategies in mind, you should begin to see more engagement on social media — and that can work wonders for the good cause you serve.
Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part series on Social Media for Nonprofits. Read part one's "9 Ways To Maximize Your Approach for Greater Impact."
Leeann Alameda has more than 20 years of experience in directing and implementing best practices in marketing, branding, communications and advertising in both the private and nonprofit sectors. She is the founder and principal consultant of Alameda Marketing Solutions, which provides marketing strategy and branding services for nonprofits, foundations and mission-driven businesses.