May 1, 2024

6 Social Media Strategies for Nonprofit Success

In a world where things are always changing, social media is no exception. And while you’re hard at work for your nonprofit organization, the last thing you have is extra time to keep up with it all!

At PHOS, we’re always searching for ways to maximize impact without sacrificing budget, especially for our nonprofit clients. We have a few tips that may help you level up your nonprofit social media game. Let’s jump into a few strategies!

1. Monitor Your Metrics

Let’s talk about metrics. How often do you look at your social media metrics? Tools like Meta Business Suite and LinkedIn insights will help you have a pulse on your performance. Understanding important metrics is a key way to measure the success of your social media strategies.

An obvious, top-of-the-funnel metric to monitor is followers. Are people joining or leaving your online community? We recommend recording your follower count in a spreadsheet at the beginning of every month to capture historical data and observe trends.

If you want to measure how often your audience is interacting with your content, you’ll want to review the engagement rate. Having a large amount of followers is great, but if the engagement rate is low, that is an indicator that the quality of your audience is low. For reference, the industry average engagement rate for NGO’s is 0.2% on Facebook and 1.07% on Instagram.

Lastly, checking your website’s data analytics like GA4 will allow you to see how many sessions and users originated from social media. Ultimately, you want your social media profiles to lead people to your site so they can get to know your cause more and donate.

Strategy tip: Utilize UTM links whenever you post a link on organic posts or paid ads so you can track exactly how many people clicked on a link.

2. Become a “Stories” Superstar

About half a billion people watch Instagram Stories daily. Stories swiftly stole the spotlight from Snapchat, making Instagram a one-stop destination for community. Stories are timely, quick, and can enhance your still-photos performance. Make sure you’re not missing out on this way to engage!

Stories are wonderful for encouraging engagement with your audience. Do so by posting polls, multiple choice and free response questions, reposts, donations, links, stickers, music…the list goes on!

On Instagram, stories and personal bios are the only unpaid ways to share a link. That’s why stories are so important! If you’re promoting donations to a certain cause, having an easily accessible link removes barriers to an audience member donating.

Strategy tip: We recommend reposting new grid photos and reels to your story as often as possible.

3. Create a Community

The original intent of social media was to create a readily accessible online community. While the uses have grown tremendously, the heart is still the same. Your nonprofit can utilize social media to create its own online community, and a great place to start is by following other nonprofits, thought leaders, and companies that possess similar values to you.

As your community grows, interact with others’ content by liking and commenting consistently. Answer your DMs and comments so your audience knows you care about them.

Encourage your audience to repost your content. This strategy can reach an exponential amount of people! Also, encourage your audience to make content of their own, such as a photo of them volunteering. Consistently monitor the posts that you are tagged in and, when appropriate, ask the user if you can share their post. This helps your audience to see that their engagement matters!

Strategy tip: Remember, everyone you follow, every comment you post, and every picture you like will be a direct reflection of your nonprofit, so follow, like, and comment wisely.

4. Use the Boost

When you have the room to allocate ad spend to social media, boosting posts can yield a high impact for low cost!

Paid media can help you reach the layers in your funnel. Need to meet top-of-the-funnel goals, like increased followers? Use a Facebook Likes ad. Need more donations? Utilize a Facebook pixel with a traffic campaign, and track the donations as they come. Want more post engagement? Boost a one-time post or run an engagement ad. The possibilities are almost endless!

Plus, Facebook’s targeting option is a powerful way to reach those most likely to be interested in your cause. Don’t be afraid to utilize look-alike audiences, upload retargeting lists, target specialized interests, and pinpoint geographical areas.

Strategy tip: Always use music in the background of your ads—for still photos and videos—to help increase engagement!

5. Mix Up the Media

While short-form videos are dominant in the social media world right now, there is still a place for still images and carousels! Don’t be afraid to mix and match your media. This provides variety for your audience so they don’t get bored with your content offerings.

Not only should you mix up the types of content but also messaging. Not every post needs to have a call to action. Make sure you have a healthy mix of emotional stories, informational posts, facts and statistics, quotes, fun posts, etc.

Strategy tip: Still images are great for graphics, especially for event announcements! This way, your audience can see the announcement by simply looking at your grid—no caption reading is required.

6. Candor over Curated

With resources such as Unsplash and Pexels, it’s easier than ever to curate a super aesthetic social media grid that features only stock photos. However, for a few different reasons, we advise against this.

We’re not against stock photos, but we recommend using them in moderation. An excess of stock photos— whether they are on your website, social media, or in emails—is a quick and easy way to deteriorate trust with your audience. Your audience members want to know and see who they are giving their money to. Trust is everything when it comes to social media strategies for nonprofits.

Make it a priority to post real-life pictures and videos of your staff and the people, animals, or environment that you serve. Your weekly staff meeting pictures may not be as aesthetic as a “modern conference room” from Unsplash, but it will mean much more to your audience.

Strategy tip: Post a monthly employee spotlight that highlights an employee and shares their story.

We’re Your Nonprofit Social Media Maestros

Now that you’ve read up on our recommendations, are you ready to put our social media strategies for nonprofits to the test? Better yet, let us execute our proven strategies for you so you’re free to focus!

At PHOS, we love helping nonprofits flourish. We ourselves are a digital marketing agency that exists for a greater purpose focused on people, and our team is ready to stand with your nonprofit’s mission. No matter where you are in your marketing journey, let’s chat and put together a plan handcrafted for your organization.

Caitlin Petros

As an Inbound Marketing Executive, Caitlin strives to fuse creativity, fine-tuned communication, and strategy to ensure our clients’ goals and needs are exceeded. Growing deep relationships is at the heart of Caitlin’s mission, and she believes that everyone has a story to tell.

Outside of PHOS’ studio, she spends time in her own studio, painting and playing the trumpet. Her favorite place to be is outdoors, preferably on a lake in the North Georgia mountains. Her other hobbies include spending quality time with friends and curating an ever-growing collection of plants.