Digital marketing is necessary for nonprofit marketing and pretty much everything nowadays.
In fact, according to Nonprofit Tech for Good's 2023 report, 87% use social media platforms as part of their nonprofit social media strategy and fundraising campaigns.
Of those nonprofit organizations, 96% use Facebook and 73% use Instagram to help target the right people on the social media channels where they spend the most time.
Today we will discuss how to set up Facebook and Instagram accounts to help you reach your nonprofit goals and teach you the best practices for both social platforms.
We all know that Facebook is currently the largest social media platform, with 2.96 billion users worldwide.
When we look across all industries that market on Facebook, the average engagement rate is 0.064%. For nonprofit organizations? 0.11% - which is almost twice that.
But how do you see that kind of engagement? Publish regular, quality content that speaks to your donors and the audience you serve. Let's go over what that means for your social media posts.
Remember that the numbers we will share with you are for larger-sized nonprofits with a dedicated social media marketing department.
If you don't have a team, you can still utilize these practices but will want to scale back the amount of social media content you're producing so you can keep up a steady cadence without getting burnt out.
Business Suite is the built-in scheduling software for Facebook and is a free service that you can utilize when planning your social media digital marketing content calendar.
Pro tip: You can link it with your Instagram account to cross-post relevant content and schedule your Instagram posts separately from long-form Facebook content.
Depending on the size of your organization, you'll want to publish a minimum of 2 social media posts a week and a maximum of 5.
So, what should you post? Here are some social media ideas:
• Blogs and industry/company news that complements your mission, discusses the programming you offer, or directs them to educational resources
• Photos - especially if you can direct the viewer to further relevant content or increase brand awareness
Pro tip: take advantage of photo alt text. Web crawlers and e-readers use alt text when mining your social media and other digital content. Including relevant information, especially keywords about the subject matter, will help your search engine results when people search for that specific content.
• Stats and quotes on engaging visual content that look like an inspirational post — an excellent option for creating shareable and educational content
• Call-to-Action graphics for a specific pledge campaign or event
• Fundraising campaigns
• Video content to create brand recognition
Social media ads don't need to be a considerable expense to make an impact on your social media fundraising efforts. Here are three ways you can advertise on Facebook, from the simplest to the most involved:
If you have existing content you'd like to share with a broader audience, boosting a post is quick and easy. Putting as little as $50 towards a boosted post to your target audience can raise money.
Ad in Business Suite
If you want greater control over your online ads and where it's going, you can create a campaign using Business Suite. If you're unsure how to set up a campaign, Meta offers a free program to teach you how.
Seasoned digital ad professionals can set up an ad and tracking URL utilizing Facebook Pixel to collect robust analytics on campaign performance.
If you're unsure how often you should advertise on Facebook, save your marketing dollars for bigger campaigns like promoting events or raising awareness.
Facebook has created an easy way to make peer-to-peer campaigns on its platform.
According to M+R benchmarks, the average gift for new donors with Facebook Fundraiser in 2021 was $35.
Signing up for their fundraising tools is simple and can be done at socialimpact.facebook.com.
Things to know before you sign up:
• The application process takes 2-3 weeks
• Facebook pays for donation processing fees
• Requirements and approved countries are listed
• Meta Pay is used to process your donations via direct deposit every two weeks
• The donation form collects the email addresses of donors who opted-in
After signing up and being approved for Facebook's fundraising tools, you can add a "Donate" button to your page.
You can also add a "Donate" button to your Facebook post that reflects what you want to raise online donations for. We recommend you only do this a couple of times a month, so not every post is an ask.
Using Facebook's fundraising tool, you can create a specific campaign for different fundraising opportunities. Examples include Giving Tuesday, unexpected needs (such as natural disaster relief), or match campaigns to raise funds.
Facebook even allows you to add "Donate" buttons to your interactive content, such as Facebook Stories and Live Streams, although both require a large following to be the most effective.
Instagram differs slightly from Facebook, although many best practices are the same.
On average, nonprofits post on Instagram four or more times a week, seeing an engagement rate of around 1.04%. Experts agree that the ideal engagement rate is 1-5%.
To get the most out of your Instagram account, you must set it up as a Business Account. Why?
By having your profile set up as a Business Account, you:
• Can create Ads to increase engagement
• Can sell products (such as swag)
• Can utilize Fundraising tools
• Can get access to Insights
• Add the category of "Nonprofit Organization" to your profile
As we mentioned with Facebook, your posting cadence should be 2-5 posts weekly. To get the most out of your posts, you'll want to ensure that your captions utilize 500-1000 characters. You want to tell a story with your content: don't limit it to just a few words.
Hashtags are essential, but you don't want to use up your character length by filling it up with them. Use them sparingly, especially if you have created unique hashtag campaigns for your organization or are using ones associated with other organizations or events. A good rule of thumb is to have 3-5 max and include a hashtag of your location, such as #Minneapolis.
Make sure you utilize the link option in your bio to direct donors to your website, and whenever possible, integrate emojis into your messaging to draw the viewer's attention.
You can also pin up to 3 posts to your profile. Ways to utilize this feature include a post about a specific fund you are trying to collect donations for or to raise awareness of your fundraising campaign.
Pro tip: Rotate your top three pinned posts regularly for your digital marketing strategy.
As we mentioned above, you can use Business Suite on Facebook to schedule your posts ahead of time and also to respond to any comments on either social media account.
Like Facebook, you can repurpose a lot of your content for Instagram. Examples include:
• Stats and quotes on engaging imagery that look like an inspirational post — an excellent option for creating shareable content
• Call-to-Action graphics for a specific pledge campaign or event
• Fundraisers and other online resources
• Videos (Instagram stories and other visual content)
Like Facebook, you must set up your account to add Support buttons on your profile. You can do this through your Facebook Page.
Your nonprofit needs approval to do the following on your Instagram profile:
• Add support buttons
• Utilize Feed Fundraiser
• Attach Donate stickers to Stories
• Accept Live donations
Here is a breakdown of the key nonprofit digital marketing takeaways on Facebook and Instagram social media platforms:
• Schedule your content using Business Suite on Facebook, which is an essential tool for your social media strategy
• Set up your nonprofit account to set up fundraising campaigns on both social media accounts
• Have a consistent posting schedule: post shareable content, encourage followers, and raise funds
• Repurpose existing content and boost as needed to increase engagement amongst social media users
Join us next month when we discuss other social media sites and the type of social media campaigns you want to use to complement your marketing strategy.
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.