Guest Blog: How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Nonprofit

Editor's Note: this guest blog was written exclusively for YNPN Atlanta.
By Sherman Standberry, Atlanta-based social media expert and cofounder of LYFE Marketing. Find out more about Sherman.

SocialMediaGrowth.pngDo you know how to use social media to grow your nonprofit?

According to nonprofits social media marketing data, 98% of all nonprofits are on Facebook, but only 48% of them view the results of social media as valuable. This hints that many nonprofits are unfamiliar with how to use social media marketing to grow their organizations. It also represents an opportunity for those nonprofits who do utilize social media effectively to rise above their competition.

After working with numerous nonprofits and churches at LYFE Marketing, we have developed a definitive strategy that have worked for many nonprofits over the past few years. Here is an exclusive strategy for YNPN nonprofits to implement today:
Develop a concrete plan: Why is your nonprofit on social media? Answer this question before doing anything. Define your main objectives for using for social media and make sure that every post, engagement, follower, etc. is relevant to your main objective. Analyze your audience and understand which social media platforms your target demographic is spending the most time (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). Once you have pinpointed your target audience on social media, the next step is to grow a strong presence that attracts them to your nonprofit.

Grow your audience: Growing an active follower base appears to be one of the largest barriers for nonprofits we’ve noticed. Here are some quick tips to help you get around it.

  1. Design and branding: The design and feel of your nonprofit must be captivating to the audience you are hoping to reach. If not, you’ll spend a lot of time and see few results. Use free design editing resources, such as PicMonkey, to give your nonprofit the best appearance possible.
  2. Create great content: Many nonprofits go wrong with posting too much about themselves and not enough about the actual cause or reason for their existence. Post informative, educational, and engaging content first. Generally, the more educated your audience is about your cause, the more likely they are to get involved. Use your social media presence establish trust, build your brand, and start the conversation.
  3. Join the conversation: Use platforms such as Twitter, and Instagram to connect with people on a more personal level. On Twitter, you can leverage their search tool to find people who are targeting about topics relevant to your nonprofit and inform them on what your nonprofit plans to do. On Instagram, you can illustrate your nonprofit’s cause through images to visually appeal to the main demographic you are aiming to reach.
  4. Follower Growth: All of the above contributes to growing a larger audience on social media, but there are a few more direct ways as well. Use hashtags in your posts to reach a broad, but very specific group of people. Follow hundreds of targeted people who you think may be interested in learning more about your nonprofit. In addition, liking and sharing the content of other organizations and targeted people can help people connect with your nonprofit as well.

Convert your audience: As your audience is growing, think about how you can convert your nonprofit’s social media traffic into something tangible. Whether your goal is to increase donations, attendance, or involvement, take the necessary steps to get your followers closer to reaching your goal. Here a few strategies that we have seen work for nonprofits:

  • Incentives: Your followers on social media may be somewhat interested in getting involved with your nonprofit, but need some type of incentive to get them to take action. Think creatively about what your organization can offer that will get people to act on taking the next steps with your organization.
  • Blogging: Blogging is a great way to convert social media traffic into website traffic. If your social media presence is growing with targeted and relevant people, blogging will surely work in your favor if done correctly. Create good titles, select great imagery, and place call-to-actions on your blogs to keep your visitors bouncing around on your website.
  • Leads: Create landing pages or survey forms to capture people’s information from social media. If someone is interested in getting involved with your organization, where do you send then? They may be get lost on your website and never contact you. Landing pages and surveys are precise ways to quickly collect people’s information and measure the effectiveness of your social media presence.

Tweak your nonprofit organization’s social media strategy with these tips and you’ll see results in no time. Remember, plan first, grow second, and convert last. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have along the process by tweeting me @ShermStandberry or visiting www.lyfemarketing.com



Short Bio Below
Sherman Standberry, Lyfe MarketingSherman Standberry is the cofounder and chief operating officer at LYFE Marketing, a social media management company. Under LYFE Marketing, he has worked with over 100 businesses and helped them to gain more exposure with social media marketing and website design. Sherman spends most of his time analyzing the results of social media campaigns, testing new strategies and methodologies, and preparing educational content for small businesses to learn social media marketing.