Social Media For Non Profits: Which Channels Are Worth Your Time?

By now you’re aware of the importance of social media for non profits. You’re also aware of the tons of channels at your disposal.

With so many social media platforms to choose from, you might find yourself a little confused on where to be and where not to be.

Effective social media for non profits is more than just creating a Facebook or Twitter account and expecting to succeed at it. You need to first understand which platforms work best for your organization and where your target audience spends most of their time.

So how do you choose the best social media channels for your non profits? Here are some pointers:

1.  Follow Your Audience

The main point for social media for non profits is for the organizations to be able to reach out to their target audience. It therefore makes sense that you should be on the social media channel where majority of your target audience are most active.

If the people you are trying to reach aren’t seeing your message, your efforts will be a waste of time. When deciding where your audience is, don’t just focus on the big popular sites, also take a look at the smaller ones that may be unusually popular among your audience as it will create a more personal connection.

To know where your audience is analyze how the various social media platforms work and who uses them most. For instance, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are more popular among young adult women while more men use Twitter and Reddit more. Snapchat and Vine on the other hand are more popular among younger users aged between 18 and 24.

Analyze your audience to learn their online behavior to gain insights on the social channels they prefer and the type of online content they interact more with. So if your cause is targeting women then you’re more likely to successful reach out to them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram than on Twitter.

2. It Gives You a Unique Way of Reaching Your Audience

Social media is always changing and online users are always looking for better ways of accessing information. If a social media platform presents you with a unique way of reaching your audience, then go for it.

The The P.INK Foundation for instance, uses Pinterest as its main website and does a marvelous job of making use of visuals to communicate its mission and goals.

social media for non profits


3. It Aligns with Your Social Media Strategy

If you have a social media strategy in place then you’re well aware of your goals. The social media channels that you settle for should help you reach these goals. Every time you feel compelled to join a new platform, always refer to your strategy to see if it will help your cause in any way.

Also, if you realize that you organization is not getting as much as it should be from your social media efforts, then you may consider checking out sites that are not already in your strategy and replace them with those that you think are not performing well.

Now that you have an idea of which social media platforms you should settle for, let’s take a look at the most popular channels for non profits.

4 Top Social Media Channels for Non Profits

1. Facebook

Facebook is still the most popular social media platform with over 70% users. Engagement on Facebook is ever increasing and the social network also continues to expand and improve the features available to non profits on social media. Recently it launched a Donate Now button that makes it easy to raise funds directly on Facebook.

The WWF is a good example of a non profit making good use of the Donate Now button.

social media for non profits

2. Twitter

Though Twitter has fewer users than Facebook, it’s a powerful tool to drive traffic to your website as well as for audience engagement. Twitter is also great if you want to create brand loyalty. 85% of Twitter users “feel more connected” to a business after they follow them on Twitter. If you use great content on Twitter you can elicit follows and retweets increasing your reach and awareness about your organization.

@UN uses Twitter to raise awareness for all its causes.

social media for non profits

3. Instagram

Visual storytelling is helpful in connecting with donors and engaging with all your stakeholders. Instagram, being a purely visual platform, allows non profits to share compelling imagery with their followers.

You can use Instagram for charities to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at all  the great work happening at your non profit to encourage them to join in.

WaterAid has gained huge popularity on Instagram through its captivating visuals of its activities.

social media for non profits

4. Pinterest

Visual imagery is Pinterest’s main feature and is great for generating leads and drives traffic to other content such as your website. Pinterest for non profits is great at inviting immediate or future Call-to-Action responses.

The ASPCA uses Pinterest as a way to thank its sponsors through a dedicated board.

Pinterest for non profits

Being on too many social media channels can affect your productivity and consequently your success. Choosing the right platforms to focus on will help you maximize your social media success.

Do you use social media for non profits? Which platforms do you find most useful and why?