Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Nonprofit? - dummies

Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Nonprofit?

By Stan Hutton, Frances Phillips

Social media can be a powerful tool for promoting your nonprofit organization. It’s unlikely that anyone has been successful in developing a complete list of all social media applications because so many exist and because new ones are being launched almost on a daily basis. Here are three that can’t be ignored.


For a company that is barely ten years old, it’s amazing that Facebook can be called the granddaddy of social networking. If you do nothing else, create a Facebook page and begin collecting fans and likes. The company claims more than one billion users worldwide. Although it’s unlikely you’ll generate interest from more than a tiny percentage of users, it’s the best place to find the niche for your nonprofit.

Facebook provides advice, including a resource guide and examples of how nonprofits are using the platform to advance their work. Visit Facebook’s Nonprofit Page to find good ideas that you can adapt for your nonprofit’s page.

Keep your organization’s page separate from your personal account. Facebook provides a handbook to guide you through setting up a page for your nonprofit.

Facebook used to manage a “Facebook causes” feature that can now be found on a discrete platform, Causes.com. Causes.com guides its users to organize boycotts, raise money, and build volunteer involvement.


Twitter has fewer users than Facebook, about half as many according to estimates at the time of this writing, but it can be a powerful driver for traffic to your website and Facebook page. Your tweets are limited to 140 characters, so don’t plan on publishing any essays on Twitter. However, it’s perfect for writing a snappy headline and including links to the essay or blog post on your website.

You build Twitter followers more quickly if your tweets have an authentic voice that sounds like a person who wants to have a conversation with followers — not someone who’s reading a news release or shouting slogans.

Re-tweeting Twitter posts that you want your followers to see is an effective way to participate in the Twitter community. Don’t forget that photos can be a part of your tweet and can be a fine way to promote a program or event. Check here for a guide for nonprofit use of Twitter.


LinkedIn is frequented by business folks and professionals, and who could be better to network with, especially when you’re looking for potential board members or corporate connections? You want to create a company page for your organization. Remember, this is a professional network, so, you know, keep it professional.

LinkedIn groups can be a good way to exchange information with people who share your interests. You can even open your own group for your board members and volunteers. While you’re at it, encourage those board members and volunteers to identify their participation in your nonprofit in their profiles. Declaring their affiliations with your organization can be a subtle but effective way to introduce their professional associates to your work.