Creating a Social Media Strategy Guide for Your Nonprofit

So, you heard your nonprofit organization needs to be present on social media. At first, things were probably going pretty well. You shared a few posts, gained a few followers and started growing on social media. But then, things slowed down. And now, you have no idea what to post anymore. Worse yet, you forget to post, or no one on your team has the time or capacity to take it over. So your accounts just sit there, with no one monitoring them.

Does this story sound familiar? All too often, nonprofit organizations try to jumpstart their social media marketing, but after just a few short months, keeping up to date falls to the wayside. How can you ensure your social media accounts stay active, engaged and keep promoting your cause? Simple—through a social media strategy guide.

Outlining a strategic plan will boost engagement on social media, make sure posting gets done and increase fundraising efforts. Unsure where to start? We have you covered.

1. Write things down.

Your team cannot simply think about a social media strategy guide and hope to put it into effect. No, a real guide offers an actual vision for your social media marketing and how you can grow your cause. The first step to accomplishing this is to simply write it down. When you write down your plan, you can stick to it, rather than hoping to accomplish your goals along the way.

Create a shared document for your team where members can add, edit and collaborate on your strategy in order to make it as effective as possible. As you go through the guide over time, you can continue to edit and adjust it to fit your current goals most effectively.

2. Audit your current presence.

Get started in writing down your social media strategy guide by auditing your current presence online. What does this mean? Audit means to examine and inspect. So, putting this into your social media presence means to check your stats and record those details. For example, record what social media platforms your organization has an account through. How many followers do you currently have? How many average number of likes do you receive on posts?

What other similar organizations exist, and how do they act on social media? These serve as important questions to ask and record the answers to, because once you know where your NPO starts, you will be able to establish more realistic goals for the future.

3. Establish your goals… and how to get there.

Next up, clearly outline and establish the goals you have for social media. If you currently have 100 likes on Facebook, perhaps you want to reach 300 likes by next month. Whatever your goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T.

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-bound

When your goals are SMART and you clearly outline your plan on achieving them, you will be more likely to accomplish them and grow your social media presence. And remember, you write down all of this in your social media strategy guide.

4. Create a timeline.

With your SMART goals, you should establish a timeline. Set an end date you want your major goals to be accomplished by… say, six months from now. With this day in mind, set up a timeline for the next six months with smaller, easier goals to accomplish which will lead you to your ultimate objective.

For example, if you currently have 100 Facebook likes, but want 1,000 in six months, then you need to gain about 150 likes per month for the next six months. 150 happens to be a lot easier to add than 900, right? Create an overall timeline, then establish how you plan on getting there through a weekly calendar.

How often will you post? What do you plan on posting? Consider the platform. It’s much more common to post on Twitter multiple times a day than on Facebook or Instagram that often. Construct a weekly calendar your team can work from. Perhaps Mondays at 8:00 a.m., share a motivational quote across all your accounts. Or Wednesdays at 12:00 noon share an article which relates to your mission. This serves as a “content calendar.” Once you have this to work from, coming up with ideas on what to consistently post becomes easier.

5. Choose your tools.

Next up, choose the best social media scheduling tools for your nonprofit organization. Perhaps you simply want to go into your accounts themselves and post. This can definitely be an option, but can become tedious when you constantly have to remember to “go to Facebook at this time on this day to share this post.” Instead, you can use online tools which link to your account and can schedule automatic posts out in advance. Some of these tools include apps like Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social. For an idea of where to get started, check out this article here.

6. Assign the job.

Finally the last, but maybe most difficult, step: assigning the job to a team member or volunteer. If you put your social media strategy together, but do not have anyone to make sure it goes into effect, then your chances of it actually being successful are extremely low. Be sure to assign one person or a team to the task of actually creating the social media content and scheduling it. This way, you can be confident your social media presence will be a consistent priority.

Social media marketing may seem like a daunting task for your nonprofit organization to accomplish, but with enough planning, your NPO can create a strong social media strategy guide to use in the implementation process. Try it out and watch as your social media presence strengthens and your cause expands.

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