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February 21, 2023

How to Develop a Nonprofit Social Media Strategy

SW_How to Develop a Nonprofit Social Media Strategy


You work hard: we get it. And half the battle is finding ways to reach out to potential donors.


A solid social media strategy can elevate your organization.


Did you know that as of October 2022, 59% of the world's population is using social media? That's 4.74 BILLION users. 


According to a global NGO technology report, 44% of nonprofits have a social media strategy in place. Still, only 27% track their performance to know if their actions garner results. We want to show you how to create a plan and measure its success in a few simple steps.


Writing the Strategy Itself

Taking the time to write down your strategy is the hardest part, and sometimes you get stuck because you don't know where to begin. Let's go over the steps you can take to get it done quickly and efficiently. 


Ask yourself: what are your goals?

This simple question should be the first thing you ask yourself as you define what you want your social media campaigns to achieve throughout the year.


Examples could include:


• Increasing online awareness of your brand

• Improving community engagement with your organization

• Generate leads, whether that's email subscribers, event attendees, volunteers, etc.

• Convert the followers you do have into new donors


Next question: who is your ideal donor?

Are you hoping to reach Millennials? Gen Xers? Knowing your target audience will allow you to understand what platform to use and how to tailor your content.


Pro tip: don't try to be everywhere. If you want to reach different donors—Millennials and Generation Y, for example—then only pick one platform for each and ensure the content you create will resonate with them: don't use the same messaging for both.


Thirdly: what do you want to post?

You know your organization best: what makes it stand out? What do you want new and existing donors to know about what you do and what values you stand for?


Break it down to a handful of topics, 3-5 max, which could be as simple as the following:


• Information on the problems that you are offering solutions to

• Success stories

• Events and volunteer opportunities

• Staff and Donor Highlights (people like knowing who they are working with and what brought them to support the organization)

• Your core values and how you exemplify them


Fourth: How can people recognize your brand?

Anytime you publish something online, you want to ensure that your branding is consistent across the board. Consistency is critical in generating brand recognition.


Examples of this include your logo, avatars, bios, colors, taglines, the typography you use, and the cadence of your brand voice.


Your organization should have brand standards that everyone can access, especially those in charge of your social media presence.


Fifth: what are you able or willing to spend?

Depending on the size of your organization and the resources you have at your disposal, you may want to utilize some tools to make managing your social media campaigns easier.


Examples of what you may want to invest in include:


• Scheduling and analytics tools, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Airtable.

• If you don't have a graphic designer on staff and are looking for cost-effective solutions, you can invest in web-based software such as Canva for generating content and work with professional graphic designers via Fiverr.


Sixth: what content do you plan to share?

Content marketing is vital to any successful social media campaign. But what should you publish? We listed topic ideas earlier, but here are some more concrete ideas to flush out those topics.


• Blog posts

• News articles

• Photos

• Communications from executive staff

• Graphics that have a call to action

• Video/Webinars

• Impact reports/Infographics


Now that we've gone through the main things to consider, you'll want to create an editorial calendar with due dates. Your posting cadence is up to you and what you feel is manageable for your organization, but we recommend at least one post a week, ideally two or more.


Tracking and Reporting: How To Do It

The best strategy in the world means nothing if you don't know how it's performing. Tracking your campaigns is crucial to see what works and doesn't to pivot accordingly.


Use the following steps to look at how your social media campaigns are performing regarding the goals you've set for yourself.


• Schedule one day a month/quarter to view your performance. If you use scheduling software, it's easy to pull this information into an easy-to-read report.

• You can review your website referral traffic via Google Analytics to see how well social media is working to drive people to your site.


To close, here are the key things to take away from this post:


Know your audience - what they like and where they like to get it

Come up with a plan - know what content you plan to publish and where to publish it

Check your stats - look at performance analytics monthly 


To stay up-to-date on digital marketing tactics for your organization, we encourage you to follow The Buzz: a LinkedIn page that focuses exclusively on nonprofit education, best practices, and tips.

The Buzz - Nonprofit LinkedIn Showcase Page


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