I often am asked to give advice for non-profits and charities on how to use the various social networks to promote their cause or raise more funds. I don’t have the secret sauce, but there are a few things any NPO can do to improve its chances.
What the NPO Staff Can Do
- Provide good content to the person running your accounts. That means pictures from events, quotes from volunteers, testimonials from clients, etc.
- Like/follow your own pages. Seems like a no-brainer, but it happens more than I can tell you.
- RT/Share/Like your own organization’s content. See note from #2.
- Invite your friends to like/follow the organization.
What the Board and Volunteers Can Do
- Provide good content to the person running your accounts. That means pictures from events, testimonials, articles of interest.
- Like/follow the organization’s pages. Seems like a no-brainer, but it happens more than I can tell you.
- RT/Share/Like your own organization’s content. See note from #2. Liking and sharing is especially important on Facebook. You need to engage with your organization’s content to make Facebook see that it’s important to you. Once Facebook sees it is important to you, then it will start to show it to more people. The more you engage with your organization’s content, the more people will see it. Engagement begets engagement on Facebook, so like away!
- Invite your friends to like/follow the organization. From my experience in local NPOs and fundraising, it’s the board and volunteers who have the most influence in the community. Some boards like to think it’s the staff, and in some cases that may be true, but generally speaking, YOU have the power and the more influential friends. That’s just the way it is. Volunteers generally have an easier time selling tickets than staff.
- Talk about your organization, it’s programs, campaigns, successes and failures. If you hang out in circles that spend $200 on fundraising dinners regularly, you can help just by promoting your organization’s next event to that group of people. And I don’t mean only when there are tickets to be sold. Talk about the government funding that didn’t come through. Share the letter to the editor that your Executive Director wrote. If this organization is important to you, be proud of it and share with your friends.
- Follow/connect with local reporters. They often tweet/post when they’re looking for people to interview about certain topics. If you can help them out by connecting them with your organization, you both win!
I know I have a lot of readers from the Halifax NPO community… here’s your chance. What would you add to this list? How can your staff and volunteers help you in social media?