Social Media Strategy: The 6 Step Plan For Your Non Profit
The number of social media channels is increasing every day and a good social media strategy will always come in handy to help you define ahead of time what channels to target and what to do when you are there.
A strategy allows you to select the tools that will help you successfully accomplish your goals as a non profit.
It’s common to see non profits on social media that continue to remain active on multiple networks their target audience doesn’t visit or posting material that doesn’t interest their audience creating no benefit to the organizations.
Social media without a strategy will definitely invite a social media tragedy. It’s extremely important that any non profit that hopes to succeed in its social media efforts, creates a social media strategy.
This article will help your non profit develop a solid social media strategy. If you already have one, I hope this advice will help you review it so you can make sure it’s up-to-date.
The 6 Important Parts of a Winning Social Media Strategy for your Non Profit
1. Come Up with Social Media Goals
The first step with any strategy is coming up with a goal. Ask yourself “Why are we doing this?” Think about your organization’s mission and goals and make sure they align with your social media goals. At the end of the day, you are hoping to achieve your organization’s mission and goal no matter which marketing effort you use.
For your social media marketing efforts to pay off they have to contribute to the goals the organization hopes to achieve. So ask yourself how social media is going to help you achieve this. When your goals are clearly defined at the onset, you will be able to follow a process to accomplish those goals.
Goals could include engaging your community, reaching out to donors, creating brand awareness or building thought leadership.
Once you’ve determined your social media goals, list them clearly in your social media strategy. Always review your goals time to time to determine if you are achieving them.
2. Define and Understand your Audience
Once you’ve determined your goals, the next thing your social media strategy needs is a defined audience.
Not everyone on social media will help you achieve your goals. You need to know who is important to your cause and what their needs are. So define your target audience.
Again, depending on the goal of your organization, determine who you want to reach out to. Do you want to reach out to all your stakeholders, that is, volunteers, donors, program participants, or do you want to reach out to a specific stakeholder through your social media channels? What kind of actions are you hoping to see your audience take?
Whoever your audience is, understand their demographics, their behaviors on social media, the
Once you pick your audience, consider what your communities want, their social media habits and what you will offer them on your social media channels.
3. Choose the Appropriate Platforms
There are so many social media platforms, but this doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. Once you have identified your target audience, study them to find out where they are most active online, and focus your efforts on those networks.
Choosing the appropriate platforms is important because it means you are where your audience is and therefore your message is receiving maximum reach and not getting wasted on a platform that only a handful of your target audience is using.
If you have limited time to spend on social media, like most people do, don’t worry about being in every network that comes up. Instead, pick two or three networks that your audience uses and be great in those.
Source: Quality Matters
4. Create an Editorial Calendar
To keep your chosen networks going, you have to provide your audience with valuable content that is entertaining, educational and informative. Creating good content takes good planning.
To be able to create good content, have an editorial calendar in your social media strategy that will guide you on what good content is. When creating your editorial calendar, focus on storytelling as a way to get your message across. People love good stories, people share good stories, so give them that.
Your editorial calendar should define the messages that you want to pass across, how you are going to share them (type of content) and how often you are going to share these messages (daily, biweekly, weekly etc.)
You can have content categories for your social media that you can use on a regular basis, such as highlighting volunteers, testimonials or how-tos. An editorial calendar guides your daily activities on social media and helps you to manage them effectively without having to spend all your time on the platforms but still keep your audience engaged.
5. Determine what to Measure
With every effort there must be a return on investment. It’s important that you also know how well your social media platforms are performing. Measuring the performance of your social media platforms will help determine whether they are useful at all, if they are helping you achieve your mission or if you are just wasting your time.
Measuring performance also helps you gain insights on any new trends on social media and determine how each platform is performing to help you decide if you need any new platforms or the ones you choose are perfect for your organization.
Measurement is also important because you get to know how people are interacting with your messages and if you need to make any changes in your content strategy.
To effectively measure your charity’s ROI, you have to first determine what you will measure and how you will measure it. In most cases measurement takes the form of followers, likes, views, comments, fans, website traffic etc.
When determining what to measure, set measurable goals that will help you learn if your social media activities are helping you achieve your overall organizational goals. Think in terms of brand awareness, engagement, actions taken such as donating and so on.
6. Experiment and modify
Lastly, make some room for experimentation and modification. Social media is subjective to new trends so allow yourself some room to test new things to see what works. Experiment with different approaches and see what works for your audience.
Monitor how your current strategy is performing and make changes where necessary. This way you will always be able to improve your strategies for continued effectiveness.
Social media will continue to be one of the most significant ways that non profits can drive engagement and fulfil their mission. So go on, give it your best shot!
What social media strategies can your nonprofit use that will create change? I’d love to hear.