By: Laurel Mintz, Founder & CEO, Elevate My Brand

Social media is a necessary evil that is here to stay. There is no longer an argument that can be made especially for nonprofits that they can eschew this critical medium of communication with their staff, volunteers and donors. The million-dollar question then remains: how can nonprofits better engage their target audience using social media, and even more importantly, how can they measure the success of their social media campaigns?

I’m so glad you asked.

Let’s start with the why. More importantly let’s start with your organization’s why. This is the most critical component to connecting with your audience. Telling your compelling story no matter what medium it's in is the fastest way to move from first contact with your organization to the ask. This is why social media is such an amazing platform. It allows you to tell your story to a global audience, opening doors to new donors, volunteers and users of your programs.

Of course this must be done the right way. Here are the top 5 tips to successful social media marketing:

  1. Know Your Story: As a nonprofit your story should be dialed in. If you don’t know your story, you aren’t ready for social media as your message will be muddled and your activities inefficient.
  2. Don’t Be Everything to Everyone: Make sure you understand your target audience. This will be critical in determining what social platforms you need to be active on and especially as you venture into social advertising. It’s much more effective to pick 1 or 2 platforms and focus all efforts on growing those then to try to be everywhere all the time. That’s exhausting and ineffective. Check out the difference here and make a decision.
  3. Just Do It: Otherwise called the Nike approach. I know social media can be a scary thing if you don’t understand it, but given the digital economy we live in, you most certainly can find an agency or consultant who can gently guide you through the process….no excuses!
  4. Consistency is Key: As with marketing on any level, consistency is key. Making sure that you have someone dedicated to daily communication with your digital audience is step 1. If you can’t afford an agency, try a young college-age volunteer and give them guidelines as to the voice/tone of your social media messages, do’s and don’ts, and make sure they understand and are passionate about your mission.
  5. A/B Test: Social media marketing, specifically social advertising is often an amorphous concept to nonprofits because you simply don’t understand the power and capabilities. Go to Facebook and walk through the process. You will be stunned at how simple the process is and how much you can drill down to your audience. More valuable is the ability to test your messaging and imagery. Try two $5/day campaigns and test the same image with different messaging or the same message with different images. Keep honing both by checking the click through rates. Ultimately your audience will tell you exactly how they want to be marketed to….if you listen.

The best way to look at social media is to ask the question: how were you reaching your audience before social media? Once you get into the process you will realize that it is a far easier and more cost effective means of communication. Happy tweeting!!

Elevate My Brand offers complimentary consultations to any nonprofit organization interested in learning more. Contact them to schedule a call. Or visit them at or Facebook or Twitter to learn more.