Basics of a non-profit social media strategy

Before you dive straight in and start setting up social media accounts on all the platforms you can think of, make sure you have a plan in place.

1. Define your Audience

The first part of your social media strategy is to define your audience. Who do you want to reach on social media?

Your audience could include journalists, potential donors, existing donors, members of parliament, the American public in general, other NGOs doing similar work…

Once we’ve defined your audience, look at which channels are the best to reach them. Are they currently on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? How engaged are they? Spend time on the platforms they use and listen to the conversations.

2. Goals

Set clear, and measurable goals. For example, your goal may be to increase subscriptions to your newsletter. Define this in numbers: do you want to achieve a 10% increase in subscriptions or would it only be worth your while to run this campaign if your increased subscriptions by 100%?

3. Choose your platform(s)

Look at your audience and your goals, and use these to determine which platform is best for you to use. A rule of thumb is to allow at least 2 hours per week per platform. Start off with one platform, rather than jumping into multiple spaces and trying to manage them all at once.

4. Plan

What are you going to do to reach your goals? For example, if your goal is to get the attention of a member of Congress on Twitter, you can start by growing a community of people who support your cause, and then run a campaign for your supporters to tweet that particular MP about your issue. Remember that social media campaigns work the same as any other campaign: you need a cause, a case for support, a call to action, and a clear definition of what you want the outcome to be.

5. Monitoring and Evaluation

Establish benchmarks and measure your success against your goals. Without measuring, you cannot establish if your time spent on social media is worthwhile, and you can’t revise and improve your strategy.

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