There’s nothing worse than stumbling upon an organization’s social media page and seeing that the last post they made was five years ago. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic but it’s still pretty bad. 77% of the US population is on social media. When you abandon your social accounts, you’re missing out on a bigger audience that could be supporting your mission.
Let’s retrace your steps. Why did you give up on these social pages to begin with? More often than not, lots of nonprofits struggle to find where their audience lives. Social media takes time. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram all have a specific set of users, and it can be daunting to figure out which platform works best for your nonprofit. A lack of engagement and content might also be the culprit to why you turned your back on social. These issues can easily be resolved, but let’s take it one step at a time.
Step 1: Spiff up outdated images and content
Since your break up with social, you’ve most likely changed your branding, or given it a fresh update. Your social pages should reflect this change to keep up with brand standards and consistency. Nix those old profile and cover photos and edit your about section. Once you apply these updates, followers will take notice and realize you’re still there!
Make sure each channel’s cover photo and profile photo are the correct size for that platform. Social media is a visual representation of your brand! You don’t want to make a grand reappearance with wonky pictures. It seems like the rules of social change daily (because they do) so keeping up with image sizes might fall to the wayside. Luckily, Sprout Social created an ongoing up-to-date image guide for us all!
With its new facelift, your social profiles are ready to make new friends! Invite people to like your page. If a low number of page likes is what got you discouraged in the first place, I have a bit of advice for you: you have to reach out and engage to receive engagement! You wouldn’t expect someone to know who you are if you don’t introduce yourself — treat social the same way.
Step 2: Minimize clutter and limit the number of social profiles
If you’re anything like me, you probably get completely disoriented seeing multiple open tabs on your desktop! The same idea goes towards managing too many social pages. You are your own expert at understanding your organization’s audience. Does Pinterest or LinkedIn seem to fall on deaf ears? A great way to know where to reach your audience is through social listening tools. Instead of taking a shot in the dark, strategically plan out content. The only way to be effective is to know what your audience wants to hear and know, and where they’re at. Being your own expert means analyzing and staying on top of trends in your industry (and the nonprofit industry as a whole). Cut out the noise and extra stress of managing tons of social media profiles if the audience just isn’t there. This way, you’ll have the time and resources to focus on what is working and be on your way to social success!
What’s great about social is that it’s possible to measure that success (or, unfortunately, the lack of). With built-in analytics on each business profile, tracking what works and what isn’t is a breeze.
Step 3: Organize and plan social posts in advance
*Gasp*, it’s time to post for the first time in months, or even years! While this is exciting, it’s also intimidating because you might not be sure what that first post should be. My next piece of advice: don’t sweat it, just start.
Not having a plan is what stumps most people. So, what might work best for your organization is to use a social media scheduling tool like, Buffer or CoSchedule. Sit down with your team (unless you’re a one-person show) and plan out content even if it’s just a week at a time. Now, go ahead and imagine me screaming this next part. DON’T cross-post the exact.same.thing. on every platform!!! Sometimes, the same bit of information is appropriate and a must to share on each social media channel, but not EVERY time. If you must, switch up your wording, images, anything so that it doesn’t look like each day you copy and paste your posts. Why shouldn’t you do this? Because, truthfully, it doesn’t seem personable, nor does it seem like you know your audience. Facebook and LinkedIn are two very different platforms. Your language and content should vary slightly when posting to them. Social media is like an ongoing science experiment since it’s constantly evolving, but you’ll eventually get into a smooth rhythm.
To obtain better visibility on your posts, you’re going to have to spend money. Doing this won’t break the bank by any means, but promoting posts is a necessary part of running your social channels. Part of your planning process should include a targeting strategy. Each post might vary based on the content, but generally you know who you want seeing your posts. A great example of a group to focus targeting on for Facebook would be “Nonprofits of Facebook”. Simple enough, right? Spending a little money goes a long way in boosting visibility on your once lifeless social feed.
With so much noise to combat on social media, it’s easy to want to give up. But it’s a disservice to your organization if you do! This is your opportunity to personally engage with your supporters in ways you can’t otherwise. A nonprofit’s mission is paramount, but so is brand representation. Personally, if I go to an organization’s Facebook and it’s nothing but crickets, it makes me think they’re not too invested in their supporters. It also makes me feel left in the dark about the work they do, and I won’t be as tempted to make a donation. Dust off those once-forgotten social media accounts and open the possibility to shiny, new donations!