How To Get More Nonprofit Social Media Engagement in 2018

How Nonprofits Can Get More Social Media Engagement in 2018

Julia Claire Campbell Marketing, Nonprofits, Social Media, Strategy Leave a Comment

How To Get More Nonprofit Social Media Engagement in 2018Nonprofits small and large dived into social media last year, and some found huge success – but many did not get the results that they expected.

I hear these social media laments all the time from nonprofits:

“Social media algorithms have killed our engagement this year.”

“It’s so hard to cut through the noise and clutter on Facebook.”

“Do you really have to spend a ton of money on ads to reach people?”

Before I provide some tactical advice on how to get more social media engagement, we need some real talk on algorithms.

Specifically – what are they, what do they do, and why do they exist in the first place? 

Thinking about using Instagram this year to raise awareness for your nonprofit? Join me for a live Instagram 101 webinar to create your step-by-step plan!

What the heck are social media algorithms?

Social media algorithms are a way of sorting posts in a users’ feed based on relevancy instead of published time.

All of the largest social media platforms use algorithms to prioritize which content a user sees in their feed first by the likelihood that they’ll actually want to see it.

Posts are not chronological anymore (and haven’t been for a long time).

This is a main reason why you will NEVER annoy your fans and followers – most of them won’t see the majority of your posts.

Why do they exist?

It’s pretty simple really. Social networks are BUSINESSES and they are focused on the user experience and keeping people on their site.

If you log in to Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, etc. and do not see posts that you find interesting or relevant, you won’t spend time on the site.

Thinking about using Instagram this year to raise awareness for your nonprofit? Join me for a live Instagram 101 webinar to create your step-by-step plan!

 What can we do?

There are 4 strategies that I recommend for nonprofits who want to win the social media algorithm battle.  

1. Get outside of your content comfort zone.

I’ve written about this before. The only way to succeed in digital marketing and social media is to have a strategy in place to consistently post interesting, relevant, valuable content that is focused on the needs and interests of your audience.

You cannot continue to post whatever you want to post. You cannot continue to use social media like a billboard or a one-way advertising platform.

Yes, ads have a big place on the site, but your regular, daily content must be audience-focused.

Resource: How to Create Your 2018 Nonprofit Content Strategy in Just 2 Steps 

2. Post more video.

The proof is in the pudding. Video is by far the most popular form of content shared on social media, on all platforms.

Check out these statistics:

Livestream surveyed customers and discovered that:

  • 80% of respondents said they would rather tune into a live video than read a blog post.
  • 82% of respondents were more interested in watching live video from a brand than reading social media posts.

Thankfully there are many free and low-cost tools that nonprofits can use to create, edit, and share more video on social media channels.

Resource: How to Use Your Smartphone to Make a Donor Thank You Video 

3. Experiment with paid social media ads.

While there is still a lot that you can do with free content on social media, nonprofits need to begin experimenting with paid ads to get even more reach and exposure for certain posts.

With over 1 billion daily active users sharing 4.75 billion pieces of content every day on the social network, launching a Facebook Ad campaign can set you apart and help you reach a targeted audience.

You can boost posts or tweets that have already been posted to give them added exposure, or you can execute stand-alone advertising campaigns around a specific call-to-action.

Resource: The Nonprofit Facebook Ad Planner   

4. Stop automating your posts.

Each platform is completely unique, and automating all of your content across platforms doesn’t work anymore (not that it worked well even just a few years ago).

Beyond character counts, each social media platform has its own culture, etiquette, language, and structure.

Sure, you can schedule a few tweets here and there, but continuing to use HootSuite or Buffer to automatically populate your social media feeds will cut your reach and decimate potential engagement.

Resource: 3 Engagement Crushing Mistakes Nonprofits Are Making On Social Media – And What To Do Instead

What are the trends that you see in terms of nonprofit social media in 2018? Let me know in the comments! 

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