Social media represents an amazing opportunity for nonprofit organizations to expand their reach, increase brand awareness, build trust, and connect with supporters online. You can even find new donors, start fundraising challenges, recruit volunteers, promote events, and more!
Nowadays, many nonprofits have social media presence and post regularly, but few have an actionable strategy in place to measure progress and goal achievement. Rather, they publish updates as needed with no strategy behind them.
Social media should be part of your communications plan, as it can complement other marketing activities such as fundraising events, email campaigns, or your website, and, as such, it should be taken seriously with proper time and resources invested to implement it effectively.
If done right, social media can benefit nonprofits in many ways. But to be worthwhile, you need a strategy that clearly outlines the objectives as well as the actions you are going to take to achieve those objectives. Without a well-defined social media strategy, it will be difficult to determine what direction you should take, and whether or not it’s making a difference. After all, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Case Study: Discover Ability Network
Take as an example the Discover Ability Network (DAN), a program developed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to connect inclusive employers with job seekers with disabilities. They approached us looking to increase their brand awareness and expand their reach on social media.
DAN had no written plan or content strategy to guide their social media activity. That was our first task – to create a powerful strategy that reflected DAN’s identity and would set a foundation to achieve the goals envisioned for this project.
A social media strategy is a well-thought-out plan. The path to the goals you are aiming to achieve and a detailed summary of all the activities you will be doing to actually achieve them. Based on DAN’s input and our own audit findings, we developed a social media strategy that included DAN’s social media goals, target audience, brand voice, channel selection, content strategy, and key metrics to measure success.
On top of the strategy document, we provided DAN with ideas on how to use social media effectively and opportunities they may be missing based on industry best practices.
One of DAN’s needs was to increase brand recognition. Visual identity is very important in social media as it allows users to easily identify your brand through graphics, colours and typography. Well-designed posts that embody your brand elements and are executed consistently help build recognition and trust with your audience. With this in mind, and based on our content strategy findings, we designed various easy-to-use platform-optimized Photoshop templates for different topics and purposes that would allow DAN to create engaging and valuable visual content. We also created a visual strategy for Instagram, following a posting structure that made the profile grid look professional and visually appealing.
Our goal for this project was to equip DAN’s team with a structured plan and a set of tools and resources that would allow them to take their social media efforts to the next level. Our final task was to implement the strategy. We developed a two-month content calendar that helped the team get familiar with the content types and post structure before they started implementing the strategy themselves. The calendar was planned and scheduled in advance, so they were able to review and approve the content, images and messages before they went live.
After two months of implementing the social strategy we developed, DAN saw a 210.7% increase in engagement and a combined audience growth of 28.5%.
“We consider this a success as we’ve been getting a lot of written feedback on how helpful our posts have been.” Jeff Law, Project Officer, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. You can read Jeff’s full review here.
If, as the Discovery Ability Network, your organization needs a boost to improve your social media presence and get results, reach out to us. We can help you level up your social media by creating a custom strategy targeted to your organization’s goals.