5 Questions to Answer in Choosing the Best Social Media for Your Nonprofit

I had the recent pleasure of interviewing expert Daniel Rivera owner of Grindstone Coworking and Trigger Media on the topic of Social Media for Nonprofits.  Daniel shared some great nuggets.

First, use reverse engineering to determine which social media platform your nonprofit should focus on.  Answer the question what is my goal? Then, answer will this social media platform help me reach my goal.

If your goal is to drive more traffic to your site but you don’t want to spend any money, then platforms like Twitter may be for you. If you don’t mind spending money on ads, Facebook will help you reach the largest audience.

If your goal is to increase visibility and awareness of your nonprofit Instagram and/or YouTube might be right for you.

Secondly, the next question you should answer is, “Does my target audience live on this platform?” If your audience doesn’t use the platform, you are wasting time and money.

So be strategic in choosing the best social media for your nonprofit.  Don’t try to promote your services on every platform.  This can lead to wasted time and effort and not so great results. So, here are five questions you need to answer before you dive into the wild west of social media.

1. Where does my audience live?

It’s important to focus your social media efforts on the channels your target audience spends time on.

For example, if you’re focused on older donors 30+, you likely won’t want to bother with social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram because they primarily use Facebook and YouTube. But if you are looking for young hands-on volunteers Instagram is where you want to focus your energy.

Don’t be afraid to ask your target audience what social media platforms they use most often. A quick survey is a great way to gather this data from visitors to your website, an existing social media profile, or an email newsletter. Or just pick up the phone and ask them!

2. Is the platform designed for the content you create?

Instagram is focused on image content. YouTube is focused on video content. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are more text-based.  However, Facebook Live videos are now popular.

Regardless of the platform you choose, content is KING.  You must spend time creating and crafting your content.  Once perfected, don’t forget to repurpose it on other social media platforms.

3. What is the likely organic reach of each platform?

For the most part, succeeding on social media requires that you have followers or subscribers, with a few exceptions:

  • Google indexes YouTube videos, Twitter Tweets, and LinkedIn Articles. This means people can discover that content through a general Google search.
  • Google also indexes profile pages/channels for social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

However, individual posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are not indexed by Google.  The only way to get those posts in front of an audience is to either publish it for your network or get others to share it to their networks.  A discussed, it is hard to get people to share if your content is not creative and engaging.  Again, this is why content is king. Don’t be afraid to look at what your competitor is doing.

Additionally, algorithms can play a role in whether your posts are seen.  This can affect your organic reach.

4. What advertising opportunities does each platform offer?

You can overcome low organic reach by investing in ads. Each social media platform offers advertising opportunities.

Facebook and Instagram are the most cost-effective.  It is strongly encouraged that a minimum of a dollar a day is set aside for Facebook ads.  That is $365 a year.  These dollars should be invested in ads and not boost.  These ads will keep your nonprofit visual and ultimately make it easier to fundraise.  People will feel like they have a relationship with your nonprofit via social media.

On other platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn ads are more expensive.

5. How much time can you allocate to social media consistently?

By answering the first question you can narrow down your platform to one or two.  Don’t make the mistake of creating a profile on every social media.  This can create an unfavorable perception of your nonprofit if multiple sites are unmaintained.

However, if you choose to create profiles on multiple social media platforms, you can use automated apps like Zapier, Buffer or Later to automatically post updates to different channels.

So, there you go.  A recap of Sipping Tea with Sabrina Topic: Social Media for Nonprofits.

I hope this helps. Your feedback is appreciated.

If you are a CEO or ED of a nonprofit organization and want to learn from me and others join the Supporting World Hope Facebook Group.

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