As traditional methods of charity-supporter communications become less effective, many are turning to social media to connect in positive ways with their audiences.
Social media has the power to reach thousands of users to help expand campaign awareness and build engagement with supporters and fundraisers through a variety of methods, including: Facebook groups, Instagram Stories and the sharing of User Generated Content (UGC).
Sprout Social recently reported on the most actively used social networks; including:
- Instagram: 1 billion active users
- Facebook: 2.7 billion active users
- LinkedIn: 738 million active users
- TikTok: 100 million active users
- Snapchat: 265 million active users
Despite Facebook offering the highest number of active users, this does not necessarily mean that your charity should focus on this platform alone or utilise traffic as a benchmark for platform activity.
We recommend utilising platforms that are suited to your audience, as explained in greater depth below.
More traffic can often mean more competition with nonprofits competing for engagement, making it more difficult to get your charity’s content noticed.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your content is unique, innovative and stands out from in busier than ever social media feeds.
The important question is, how can you leverage these platforms to your benefit and that of supporters?
And what social media features should you be using to grow reach, engagement and donations?
In this blog we outline our top five tips on how you can ensure your charity reaches more, relevant, engaged users by harnessing the power of social media.
Set A Design Standard To Stand Out In Busy Feeds
It is crucial in the world of social media that your content reflects your charity’s values, including the look, feel and tone-of-voice.
If your social media content lacks authenticity, originality and doesn’t match brand identity, users may be less likely to engage.
Create outstanding, thumb-stopping campaigns every time by providing educational, unique, informative content to draw in users and inspire them to take action.
Follow these tips to set a standard for your social media campaigns:
- Use the same colour palette across all pieces of content. We recommend using only three to five colours to ensure there is consistency. According to Shutterstock: “Colour psychology has become an increasingly important part of branding and identity as each shade has a specific psychological impact on the user they are targeting”.
- Stick to the same family of fonts and preview content before it goes out, ensuring that text in images are easy to read and that captions are concise and relevant. .
- Avoid spelling or grammatical errors by leaving content a day or so before proofreading again.
- Scale your images correctly for each platform. Trynot stretch images out of proportion or use images which are blurry, check out this guide for the latest sizes for all social networks.
- Align your images and text coherently. Do not place images or text out of alignment.
Below is an excellent example from Barnardos who have utilised these tips:
Choose The Right Platform To Reach Relevant Audiences
It’s important to understand who your audiences are and which platforms they utilise to ensure that your content gets the recognition and engagement it deserves.
Tools like Buffer (below) offer a breakdown of audiences so you can pinpoint what platforms they are most active on, including:
- Age range
- Top cities
- Top countries
For example, LinkedIn is often associated with older users as the platform is primarily used to connect career driven professionals to share industry news and trends.
WhereasInstagram, TikTok and Snapchat are prodomitaley used by younger users as the platforms are regarded as a fun, light space for them to showcase their creativity. According to Entrepreneur: “Younger people tend to love intensity (loud music, bright lights) and it’s no wonder they find TikTok appealing”.
To help you identify the most effective platforms for your charity, we have included key statistics from Sprout Social outlining the different age ranges for various networks.
- Largest age group: 25-34.
- Gender: 44% female, 56% male.
Before starting new social media campaigns take a look at existing platform activity and audience insights. Is Facebook working for you to reach older audiences? Should you be utilising TikTok to help raise awareness and donations from younger, switched-on users?
Create Thoughtful Content That Inspires Action
As a charity it’s important to create content that is thoughtful and inspirational.
A great way to do this is by sharing stories of those who the charity has helped, an example of which can be seen below, posted by Cancer Research on the 12th January 2021.
These patient stories in particular highlight the positive impact fundraising can have and create a community spirit amongst followers.
By opening up, sharing behind the scenes videos or interviews helps to raise awareness of what goes on within your organisation, creating a more personable and approachable feel to your content.
Cancer research has inspired action on its social platforms by sharing Kate’s cancer journey on its Instagram. Social media managers can do the same by letting its supporters do the same, showcasing a personable and thoughtful insight into the charity.
Social Media Best Practice For Perfect Posts
With new social media tools and features being announced almost everyday, it’s more important than ever, to understand how to please algorithms and keep users engaged.
Here are our recommendations to creating engaging posts, everytime:
- Incorporate hashtags guidelines – Hashtags can be a great way of increasing the reach of posts, and overall engagement, when they’re used effectively. Each social network will utilise hashtags in different ways, including how users interact with them. If you’re using Facebook you may want to include 2 or 3 relevant hashtags, the same goes for LinkedIn. Whereas over on Instagram, we recommend adding a mix of unique and broad hashtags, provided by a service like All Hashtag.
- Share user-generated content – Connect with audiences by sharing user-generated content to your story or feed. This can help to create a community spirit and encourage users to tag your charity account in their posts. Perhaps offer an incentive to tag, for example ‘become our supporter of the week by sharing your fundraising efforts’.
- Create stories – Use the Story feature on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to increase engagement from existing followers and new, interested users. Incorporate features such as polls, questions and quizzes to make your content interactive and enjoyable. Don’t stop there, be sure to watch other people’s Stories as well to boost your algorithm score.
- Post daily – Try to post every day. Most social network algorithms will reward you for regular content and display content to wider audiences. The more people that engage with your content, the more likely they will see your future posts.
- Respond to all comments – In order to keep followers interacting with content it’s important to respond to comments and queries. This is an essential part of building brand-consumer relationships. Social network algorithm scores can be increased by regularly responding to all comments, pushing posts into the feeds of other users.
Be sure to diversify your content, experiment with a network’s latest features and explore relevant charity trends to ensure that your content gets the recognition and engagement it deserves.
Create Or Join A Community Through Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are another great way to extend content reach, as they enable you to share your content with invested audiences.
By creating your own Facebook Group you’ll be able to:
- Keep your supporters up to date with recent fundraising events.
- Share recent achievements or fundraising goals.
- Provide behind the scenes clips video footage of people who are in charge of the charity.
- Connect with your supporters on a more personal level by starting a discussion or answering their questions.
Or why not join and post into other relevant Groups? This will enable you to:
- Create new conversations with other people in the charity community.
- Provide and read about relevant news within the charity sector.
- Share your fundraising events or blogs that you have written which others may find useful.
- Connect and get inspired by others and celebrate their achievements.
Below is an example of a Facebook group for nonprofit (non-governmental organization) workers and professionals. This group is a place for those in the charity sector to ask questions, share important information, provide and receive advice on nonprofit challenges.
Start using social media today and create a virtual space for your followers to come together and support each other.