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Social Media for Not-for-Profit Organisations

November 7, 2013 | Not-for-Profits, Online Strategy, Social Media

Social Media for Not-for-Profits

In the ever-changing arena of not-for-profit organisations, social media is an important tool to utilise. But many not-for-profits don’t know where to start. So I’ve created an easy how-to guide to social media for not-for-profit organisations.

Step 1 – Define your audience

Who is your audience, and where do they spend time? Every not-for-profit is different. Some will be more visually oriented, so Pinterest or Instagram might work well. Others might be more suited to the fast pace of Twitter. Have a think about the age ranges of your audience, and what social platforms they might use the most.

It’s a good idea to focus on just two social media platforms – and do them really well – rather than spreading yourself too thin. Pick your top two, and go with them!

Step 2 – Set your goals

Why do you want to use social media? Is it to share your organisation’s stories with your audience? Is it to get more donations? Is it to grow awareness of your cause? Knowing WHY you want to use social media will help you get closer to achieving these goals. Make sure the goals are realistic, and create a strong strategy around achieving these goals. To achieve these goals you may need to consider your resources. But before you think about that…

Step 3 – Secure your online spaces

Don’t let bureaucracy get in the way of securing the right domain name or facebook url, get in quick before they run out!

Step 4 – Resources

The biggest resource you need for social media is time. Think about who might already possess the right skills for running your organisation’s social media account. It might be worth investing in getting these people trained up in good social media management.

It’s always a good idea to develop a social media policy to ensure that everyone understands what is acceptable on your social media channels. Every organisation is different, so policies can vary quite a lot, however each policy should at least include some guidelines for best practice, including tone of voice, types of language and frequency of posting. If you’re struggling to pinpoint exactly what needs to go into your policy, there are some decent templates available for free online. If you get really stuck you can always¬†contact Gidget Media for help.

Step 5 – Content

Content is often the biggest struggle for any organisation. Getting enough content, getting good enough content, it’s a constant challenge to keep up. A good way of getting around this is to keep a content calendar. Schedule any special events you may have into this calendar, along with relevant holidays, awareness days and similar events. Keep an eye on what others in your industry are talking about, and join in the conversation! Be as creative as you can (without stepping on anyone’s toes!) and after some trial and error, you should soon find out what your audience responds to. If all else fails, why not ask your audience what content they would like to see?

Step 6 – Keep it up!

We’ve all seen websites that have been left for dead, and they don’t leave a good impression. Whatever you do, once you’ve started with your social media, keep it going. You may not see results quickly, but consistent and persistent attention to your social media profiles will ensure that your organisation has a solid online presence, and a place for people to engage with you, share with you and connect with you. After all, that’s what social media is all about!

Gidget Media offers social media training, policy development and strategy assistance for not-for-profit organisations around the Melbourne area. To find out how your organisation can benefit from social media, get in touch.

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