I don’t follow very many non-profits on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but the ones I do are great at engaging audiences with their story. I came across a blog that listed the top content marketing campaigns, which included charity:water, an organization I follow very closely on social media. The organization includes stunning visuals and inspiring messages of their clean-water projects in 24 countries on all of their platforms. The blog looked at charity:water’s creative videos in honor of its five-year anniversary, which left its audience with a “call to action” to start campaigns of their own. It was successful, and charity:water has become popular among young people who want to make a difference and can persuade their friends to get involved, too.
Now, the organization is celebrating 10 years of providing clean water to 6.4 million people across the globe. I am very much interested in pledging my birthday to a campaign next year because charity: water has compelled me with their stories and the amount of engagement they receive through these campaigns.
Inc.’s “Top 4 Examples of Effective Social Media Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations” includes another list of great non-profit social media, with many of the same organizations that were represented in the other blog. The Inc. columnist says winning social media makes it easy and convenient for users to take action-support, donate, advocate, share, etc. The Human Rights Campaign did this with their ‘Picture Equality‘ that turned the internet red with social media profile pictures of their logo. This was an effective visual that supported the HRC’s movement in marriage equality. Other organizations also made the strategic move to use available trending hashtags to create buzz about their message.
How does an organization or non-profit achieve this sort of social media awesomeness?
I found two interesting infographics from the Content Marketing Institute about the different content marketing tactics employed by non-profits. They hone in on social media, eNewsletters, in-person events and articles to drive their message to audiences, but in-person events, visuals, eNewsletters and videos are the most effective tactics. The two examples given above used the most common and effective tactics, and they will be remembered as top-notch campaigns.
A concise list of best practices was published by Dunham+Company-a strategic marketing and fundraising counsel service. The tips that are the most important to follow as a social media manager are:
- Pick the best social platforms for your organization. The blog states, “It is better to be on fewer sites and deliver good content and responses, than to be everywhere and not pay attention to any of your social media sites.”
- Be conversational and genuine.
- Monitor all mentions of your organization (hashtags, Google Alerts, etc).
- Respond quickly: one hour for Twitter and two hours for Facebook. Be known as accessible and consistent.
- Follow the 80/20 Rule. “80 percent of posts should be centered on the user—offering value to them, giving them something for their benefit…20 percent should be focused on asking them to do something for the organization, such as donate, sign up, share, etc.”
- Social media can lead to valuable social connections, but only if you send messages as if you are talking one-on-one with another human.
- Have a plan/strategy, set some goals, and stay in line with the vision of the organization. If social media does not achieve the goals of the organization, then you might want to reconsider the platforms currently in use or consult someone for help.
You won’t be the best at social media at the very beginning, but that’s why it is important to track and analyze your social media content, and adjust your strategy as you go. It’s a cycle that will be helpful for our upcoming social media assignment.
-Erika D. Castañon