Part 2: Tell, Share and Connect

by: Smith and Howard

February 16, 2016

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In our previous article, Don’t Let Your Donors Give and Go, we discussed how certain social media platforms can help enhance your nonprofit’s brand awareness and perception. In part two, we are covering Instagram and LinkedIn and continuing our conversation on an effective content calendar.

1. Instagram

Including Instagram in your strategy requires commitment. This means posting photos regularly, tagging effectively and interacting with your sponsors, donors, employees and the general public. Instagram is all about the visuals, but what is a visual worth without strong engagement?

First, your organization should focus on building followers and engaging these followers with photos, 15-second videos or even a hyperlapse. Don’t post to post. It is important to balance consistency with quality. Consistent posts keep you top-of-mind with your followers. Share compelling images that show how your organization is impacting the community. That said, tell a story.

When posting photos, make sure to use a location, tag the company or individual in the photo or video and update your account with information about your organization in the bio section (this is also a place to post links). Feel free to update your bio section with links that pertain to a specific post. For example, if you are posting an image to encourage donations, put the link to the donation page in your bio.

2. LinkedIn

While most nonprofits enjoy the benefits of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, many do not view LinkedIn as a powerful platform. Establishing a presence on LinkedIn can be beneficial in many ways, so consider these tips.

If you have not already done so, create a company page and establish a solid network. Connect with sponsors, donors, employees and volunteers who will serve as your community.  A company page lets you post and share content that encourages and promotes involvement with your nonprofit. This can help increase brand awareness.

In addition to posting and sharing content, it is important to join groups or even start your own. LinkedIn groups can be pretty useful. Groups are a great space for engaging in meaningful discussions and exchanging advice or stories to help other nonprofits excel. If your nonprofit has started a group, share content within the group that can generate conversation among group members. In the end, this can increase support and involvement within your nonprofit organization. Be active in the groups that you join.

3. Become a blogger

One of the most effective ways to tell a story is through a blog. Storytelling allows nonprofits to connect individuals to your cause through articles, photos and comments. Not only should your blog share compelling stories, but it should be a place for communicating with your readers and supporters.

Tell, share and connect. Create blog posts that highlight personal and compelling stories and if you can use a video, even better. However, if you do not have videos, a touching post with photos will work just as well. When brainstorming posts, try to incorporate how donor actions are making a difference by using numbers. Data tells all. Donors love to know where their donations are going and how their donations are making a difference. All of your blog posts can be shared across all of the social media platforms previously mentioned.

Posting consistently can become an issue, especially if generating content is not a top priority. If the topic is timely and relates to your volunteers, donors or staff, act on it. To help ensure the quality of your work it is important to research upcoming dates and brainstorm potential article ideas that are applicable to your audience. Store all of you content ideas into a content calendar and determine authors appropriately.

4. Content Calendar (continued from part one)

So how exactly do we plan all of this? In the previous social media article, we discussed the importance of preparing a calendar to schedule upcoming posts on the platform of your choice. If done in advance, these social media posts can also help drive content generation. For example, January is National Mentoring Month and January 21st was Thank Your Mentor Day.  We took advantage of this by having our Managing Partner write a blog post about what it is like to be a mentor and mentee. This was not a spur of the moment idea. The content calendar helped us plan out this post.

We recommend having a content calendar for the current year as well as the upcoming year. This is helpful because if you miss an opportunity to make a post, you can place on the upcoming year calendar and plan accordingly next time.

Instagram, LinkedIn, blogs and a successful social media content calendar can help leverage brand awareness and recognition. Nonprofit organizations need to engage their audience and there are numerous ways to do so. If you have any questions about your current social media presence, please feel free to contact Julie Barnes or Nancy Hogan at 404-874-6244.

How can we help?

If you have any questions and would like to connect with a team member please call 404-874-6244 or contact an advisor below.