Social media is often an afterthought for nonprofits. But, when used effectively, it is an excellent way to enhance your organization’s mission and increase fundraising dollars.

Everyone understands the extensive reach of social media platforms. Worldwide, there are 3.78 billion social media users, a 5% increase from just one year ago. So, it’s logical to assume that your constituents are using social media. Notably, 29% of online donors say that social media is the communication tool that most inspires them to give. 

Sharing your mission and story through social media has never been easier. Storytelling is an effective way to generate interest and awareness of your nonprofit’s mission. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Tell a specific story. Don’t paint broad strokes on your social media accounts. Profile a specific person (or animal or whatever applies) who has been positively impacted by your organization. This is because of the “Identifiable Victim Effect,” a psychological concept that indicates that people are more likely to donate to a cause when they are presented with a single “victim” than when presented with a group of “victims.”  
  • Emphasize Authenticity. Expressing your organization’s passion for what you do is an effective way to relate to your audience and can be contagious. But this needs to be done in an honest and transparent way and in a way that establishes trust. Be straightforward about your needs and lean on your case for support for ideas as to how to tell this story. 
  • Use video when possible. As we discovered during our recent podcast conversation with marketing expert Eric Brown, video is king on social media. Video has an engagement rate of 87% compared to static images, which has an engagement rate of just 14%. Don’t let video intimidate you, however. Your videos don’t need to be professional quality. Using your iPhone to shoot a quick video can lend itself to establishing authenticity and relatability. But do be sure that your lighting is good, and audio is clear.
  • Consistent Content. Create a content calendar for your organization and plan ahead. According to marketing experts, publishing about three pieces of content per week is ideal. This can be a short video, a quick graphic related to your cause or a story highlighting one of your donors or someone who has been impacted by your organization. Also, re-posting content from others is a great way to keep your audience engaged and continue to provide meaningful content.

When used effectively, your social media efforts
should do three things:
*Promote Awareness
*Share Impact
*Inspire Action

For more information on using social media, listen to our latest episode of Philantherapy, Tales from your Fundraising Therapist: