Your non-profit relies on volunteers to provide direct services, help raise funds, promote campaigns, and more. Volunteers come from many walks of life, so organizations need a multi-pronged strategy for recruiting. But are you making the most of social media?
In the U.S., 70 percent of people use at least one social media platform. If social media is not part of your organization’s recruiting strategy, you’re missing the chance to reach a huge pool of potential volunteers. Use these tips to turn your profiles into effective recruiting tools.
Your organization’s potential volunteers are probably on social media. Do you have a strategy to reach them?
Highlight current volunteers.
Showcasing the efforts and impact of current volunteers is a great way to attract new ones. There are many engaging ways to highlight your supporters on most social media platforms.
Instagram a picture of a volunteer with their bio in the caption, or post a photo from an event with a caption about the volunteers who participated. Create a Facebook post with photos of volunteers and information about what they’ve accomplished. You can even create a Pinterest board dedicated to pinning photos of volunteers.
Use your existing supporters.
When you’re ready to post a call for volunteers on social media, engage your existing volunteers (as well as donors, ambassadors, and other supporters) to spread the message by sharing it on their own profiles.
Whether it’s a Facebook post, a pin, or some other form of social media, make it easy and attractive for your supporters to share it. If you’re running a specific campaign – like asking people to tag a friend on Instagram, answer a question on Facebook, or use a hashtag on Twitter – current supporters can help create momentum by participating. Use the platform, your newsletter, or even in-person events to ask them to get involved.
Track what works.
Most social media platforms provide in-depth analytics information, which shows you how many people viewed, clicked, shared, or otherwise interacted with each post. Check the analytics on your recruitment posts and see which types are getting the most engagement, especially clicks to sign up.
Current volunteers can also provide information about what works. Ask them how they found the organization and the specific volunteer opportunity, to get an idea of how many are coming from social media. You can also ask which platforms they use and where they follow non-profits, to understand which ones to emphasize.
Social media analytics provide a wealth of information about what works for engaging people on each platform. Combine that with input from current volunteers, and you’ll have plenty of information to help you recruit new ones.
Create engaging posts.
Even the most carefully crafted recruitment strategy will likely fail if it’s not implemented with engaging posts. Visuals are key on social media, and non-profits can post pictures of volunteers, recipients, events, or even interesting graphics. Infographics and videos, in particular, tend to perform well on almost all platforms. Organizations can consider making infographics that illustrate their impact and the role of volunteers or creating videos that highlight the experiences of volunteers and program recipients.
Focusing on storytelling is also a good way to engage people on social media. Posts that tell the story of a volunteer working with the organization or of a recipient who interacted with volunteers are likely to resonate with followers.
For social media posts that will attract potential volunteers, use stories, visuals, infographics, and even videos.
Try ad campaigns.
Most social media platforms have options for paid campaigns, whether it’s a sponsored Facebook post or a promoted Instagram photo. While non-profits usually don’t have a huge budget for volunteer recruitment, investing even a small amount of money in social media campaigns can yield significant results.
To get the most bang for your buck, promote posts that are already performing well and set up your targeted audience carefully. You’ll end up reaching people who are likely to be interested in volunteering and catching their attention with an engaging post.
Regardless of what your non-profit needs volunteer for, social media can allow you to reach more potential volunteers than almost other tools – and at a lower cost.