5 Social Media Tips to Boost Engagement for Nonprofits

Jeanine Amella
by Jeanine Amella 02 Mar, 2016

A fledgling nonprofit has a lot on its plate. It needs to develop fresh, innovative ways to get up and running and to keep gaining momentum both online and off - all of which is difficult to do without incorporating social media.

Here are some tried and true ways to get in the social media game and ensure that your nonprofit comes out on top.

Create a hashtag.

In 2015, it was estimated that there are over 3.2 billion people online. Plenty of businesses use email to promote themselves, but that's an old hat at this point. Create your own hashtag, and you'll instantly generate more attention from those you want it from most.

You won't flood anyone's inbox with dozens of messages they won't read or care about, but you'll catch them for a quick nod on social media - and they'll be grateful you were conscious of their time.

Move those images.

In the past few years, video has become a staple in our lives and will soon surpass the written word for the most attention-grabbing media out there. There are, on average, 700 YouTube video links shared on Twitter every minute, and 500 years worth of YouTube videos watched on Facebook every day.

Creating your own innovative, visually pleasing video can push your nonprofit to household name status - especially if you make it go viral.

Set up a blog.

A blog is a fantastically interactive way to promote yourself, further develop your brand and network with other professionals. An estimated 81 percent of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs, and as a nonprofit, a trustworthy, authentic and telling image is exactly what you need.

Spark Social Media Sweepstakes.

We all know that the drive to win motivates us to do things. A 1993 study illustrated that when given incentives, mail survey response rates reported a large effect on final response rates: up to 15 percent - and this was with snail mail.

If you offer an incentive on social media to retweet or share, you'll see engagement spike instantly. People don't share unless they either care about something or can get something out of the action. Give them a reason to pay attention at first, and soon they'll be as invested as you want them to be.

Use Guerrilla Social Marketing.

The point of Guerrilla marketing is to use a large amount of energy and imagination, which is very aligned with a nonprofit's goals. You want to market yourself in the most personalized way possible.

Do some research on which social media outlets certain people are using the most, because the people you're targeting may be hiding in unexpected places. For instance, 68 percent of Google+ users are male, while 80 percent of Pinterest users are women. If your goal is to recruit or appeal to a certain gender, it helps to know these things.

By following these simple principles, you may just turn yourself into the next Greenpeace in no time.

Jeanine Amella is a staff writer at Fueled, the leading Apple Watch app developer in New York City, renowned for its award-winning mobile design and strategy.