With more emphasis on digital content than ever before, nonprofits have a huge opportunity to expand through effective usage of social media. The multitude of platforms and the variety of content they support allows organizations to market like never before- next to free. Hootsuite found that 84% of those who have access to the internet utilize social media. That’s nearly 3.84 billion people across the world. Social media is a tool that, if taken seriously, can change the game for any nonprofit.

But where should they start? It’s important for nonprofits to first understand the advantages and utilizations of different social media platforms in order to effectively use them for marketing strategies. Three of the most-used applications are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Although they have similar qualities, they have different focuses and it is vital for nonprofits to recognize this before they begin to share content.

Facebook

Of the 3.84 billion social media users, 2.5 billion of them are monthly Facebook users. This makes it the most popular application offered. Such a huge community gives nonprofits the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of people. The social enterprise Classy recognizes that fundraising is an incredible use of this platform. Facebook features links to fundraising in a way that captures donors attention through a visual photo, short description and the ability to create a post explaining the fundraiser. Nonprofits can then update followers on their progress, respond quickly to comments and tag contributors.

Facebook is also a great tool to schedule and share upcoming events. The platform allows event creators to update specific times, locations, etc. for the occasion. Users can utilize an RSVP function or express their interest in attending, thus sharing the event to their personal feed. This is a powerful tool to not only notify existing contributors but also broadening the event’s exposure to the contributors’ friends.

Another feature of Facebook that keeps nonprofits successful is their Facebook Messenger app. This tool allows users to directly message the nonprofit with specific questions or concerns. A one on one conversation will give people a better understanding of the organization, a stronger sense of community and give the nonprofit the ability to establish their brand. It’s a great way for nonprofits to connect with their contributors in a way that is meaningful, building trust and relationships.

Twitter

In response to national lockdowns, Kantar has found that Twitter has seen an increase in their daily usage of 23%. These users tend to be looking for daily updates and quick stories. Twitter is a fantastic tool to share these updates with an invested audience. Nonprofits can post short reads to keep their audience engaged and coming back for more content on a daily basis. This way nonprofits can establish a posting schedule that readers can rely on.

The slightly more informal platform can also be a great way for organizations to share behind the scenes content. Consumers can then get a better idea of how the organization works, the processes they go through and the events they host. It’s an easy way to allude to future projects or reflect on past works they have completed.

Finally, Twitter has become the platform for companies to firmly establish their brands. Accounts run by organizations like Wendy’s and Netflix have aided in forming their respective voices. It also acts as a way for their audience to share posts that they find funny or identify with based on the tone and content. Nonprofits can take a similar approach to set themselves apart from others, whether they have existed for decades or are startups that haven’t yet released any projects.

Instagram

Following behind engagement for Facebook and Twitter is Instagram. This media-based platform sees over a billion users each month. Consumers’ feeds are filled with photos and videos posted by friends, family and now businesses. Their following presence is exponentially growing with businesses averaging an increase in followers by 2.5% a month. By registering the account as a business, Instagram provides accounts with analytics on their posts. This allows nonprofits to have a more organized and convenient way to understand the success of their respective posts.

Instagram has been known in recent years for their multitude of features, ranging from IGTV (a section of the app that allows users to upload lengthier videos) to Instagram stories (comparable to Facebook and Snapchat stories). Organizations can take advantage of this variety by posting on one topic in several different formats throughout the app, boosting their chances of exposure. This way users can decide their favorite form of media and stay informed through that specific channel.

A last advantage from Instagram is known as the ‘Explore page.’ This tab is curated for each individual based on their likes, follows and hashtag usage. It is a great way for users to discover new accounts. If nonprofits are able to create eye-catching posts and utilize the power of hashtags, this could provide a new level of exposure that they would not be able to access otherwise.

Interested in other online platforms that can be of great use to nonprofits? Check out our article here on software that can ease the transition to a more online centered work environment.

Civic Champs' Mission is to deliver the most intuitive and impactful volunteer management and engagement software for nonprofits and their champions