Developing a Nonprofit Social Media Strategy for 2017

Social Solutions Blog

Developing a Nonprofit Social Media Strategy for 2017

When creating a nonprofit social media strategy for your organization, a lot of questions will come up. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram. What’s the best social media platform for sharing your message? What should we say? How do we gauge success? Start simple and build a strategy that aligns with your organization’s goals.

What is Social Media? Conversation.

Social media is a tool for generating conversation. It allows nonprofits to sharing their message with the “world”. Each platform works differently, but the core concept is the same. Engage with your audience and allow them to engage with you. The most successful organizations talk to their followers every day. Social media can be an important tool, but the without conversation it’s useless.


Every nonprofit organization has a specific goal (or goals) in mind. Try to align your social conversations with your organization’s goals. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of trends on Facebook and Twitter, but keeping a focused message ensures follower consistency. Straying too far off of your core mission can make people disengage.
Let’s break down this ‘Goals’ category a bit more, since everyone always says ‘Set Goals’, but fails to expand upon this rule.
Sample goals for Nonprofit social media outreach could be:
  1. Increase followers who are local to our area by 10% in 3 months.
  2. Increase engagements by involving ourselves in the conversation.
  3. Connect with other local organizations and individuals who could share our organization’s message.
  4. Engage our organization’s volunteers and team. Get our team excited!

Getting everyone involved

 Nonprofit organizations can range from a few individuals to large teams, but no matter the size, your team is your first point of contact! Encourage your team and volunteers to share events and statuses within their networks.
Your team doesn’t have to ‘retweet’ everything, but having them engage with your posts is important. It doesn’t matter how many followers your page has if no one within the organization’s reach is interacting. The other perk to having your team engaged is that it shows passion for the organization. The more willing your team is to share your outreach, the more likely others will join in on the conversation.

“Do and Dont’s” for your Nonprofit Social Media Strategy

Don’t mass follow.

 Follow organizations and individuals that align with your mission. As users engage with your organization, follow them.  People often mistake more followers for more results, but this is a fallacy. Unbalanced Follows and Engagement more often than not hurts your organization’s social outreach. Your followers should be a reflection of your organization’s reach. If you only service within a city, try to make sure a majority of your followers/following live or work in that city.

Don’t waste time.
Set a schedule. Make sure you post every day within these windows. Interacting with real people is more valuable than just posting your latest event. Balance ‘ads’ with meaningful engagements. Try not to ignore outreach. Your page should be a reflection of your organization. A new visitor should be able to scroll and quickly determine what your organization is about. Remember, conversation is key! Failure to engage in the conversation can make your page look automated, even if you’re spending lots of time on it every day!
Don’t be afraid to post about your organization
Sharing photos, outreach and resources that your organization has developed is important! There’s a human element to nonprofits and your nonprofit social media strategy should incorporate that human element. Photos and videos are a great way to highlight the work you do and are easily shareable!
Do experiment
By simplifying and starting with broad goals, you’ll guarantee a base set of social results. Each month (or quarter), go through your most popular and least popular posts. Analyze your data metrics and engagements. After comparing, you’ll be able to see a pattern in what a successful social engagement looks like. With a baseline established, you’ll be able to reconfigure your social media goals to align with the new data.

Setting Goals and Producing Consistent Outcomes

The beginning of the year is a great time to start focusing on positive changes for your organization. There are many tricks and tips that go along with successful implementation. These crucial steps can transform your interventions and take them to the next level. We’ve created a new, free guide Producing Consistent Outcomes to Ensure Successful Interventions, to help with your organization’s planning this year!

Did you know?

Apricot’s reporting platform allows you to create and share reports securely within the system. Reporting happens in real time so that you can monitor results and be responsive when it matters.

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With Apricot, your data is right at your fingertips in a cloud-based solution that gives your organization freedom from paper files, spreadsheets, local hardware, and monthly maintenance downtimes.

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Apricot is hosted on a best-in-class Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment so your data is secure, backed up, and compliant. User-based permissions and audit trails further enable secure access to data.

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Apricot allows you to easily track volunteers as well as clients. Utilize guest user modules and webforms to further engage your constituents.

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Track, report, and assess your organization’s mission! Apricot allows you to track clients, volunteers, services, and more.

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