How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Nonprofit - dummies

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Nonprofit

By Stan Hutton, Frances Phillips

Because social media can swallow up a lot of time, especially if you’re distracted, you should develop a plan before jumping into promoting your nonprofit through social media channels. Knowing what outcomes you want to achieve through social media helps you post or tweet information that is useful to both your organization and your followers.

Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself:

  • What is your primary goal? Do you want to make more people aware of your services? Do you want to recruit volunteers? Do you want to raise money? Do you want to drive people to your website?

  • How will you achieve that goal? After you determine your goal, set an objective. For example, you may decide to recruit ten new volunteers over the next three months.

  • Whom will you target? If your nonprofit is a community theater, for instance, you want to look for people who enjoy the dramatic arts, either as audience members or performers.

  • How much time can you spend implementing your plans? Can you spend an hour each day? Three hours a week? Do you have volunteers who can help?

It isn’t necessary to create a formal plan document, but the more specific you can be about your goals and objectives, the more successful you’re likely to be.

It’s important to track visitors’ activity on your website and social media networks so you can see how you’re doing and make adjustments as necessary. Google Analytics can help you do this. As you use these analytics and observe which features and posts attract the most attention on your social media pages, you can shape future content and campaigns to reach maximum numbers.

You also want to keep an eye on qualitative information, such as whether influential people follow you on Twitter, whether your contacts share and re-tweet your material, and whether the comments you attract are thoughtful and well-informed.