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The 4 Steps Your Nonprofit Can Take to Build an Engaged Online Community

Most of us are familiar with the social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, X, and Instagram. After all, they’re cost-effective and far-reaching platforms that allow nonprofits to connect with supporters and raise awareness.

drawing of a man and woman posting likes on social media

In a recent TechSoup webinar, Hootsuite shared some social media best practices for nonprofits. In this blog post, we'll look at some of these strategies. You can also check out the replay of the discussion below.

Review Your Social Media Accounts

As your nonprofit begins rolling out its social media strategy, you'll want to conduct a high-level audit of your social media accounts. By reviewing your past performance, you'll get an idea of what works and what doesn’t on your social media channels. This will help guide your strategy moving forward.

As part of your audit, you'll want to review platform analytics and content performance, evaluate audience demographics and engagement metrics, and align your findings with your organizational goals. You'll want to pay attention to the engagement on specific posts, posts that received a significant number of clicks, or posts that others are sharing with their followers. This will inform your content strategy and allow you to refine your digital strategy to increase visibility and impact.

Learn more about which metrics to track when auditing your social media accounts.

Pay Attention to What Your Audience Is Saying

Online listening is the act of monitoring social media for mentions of your organization, other organizations doing similar work, and related keywords. This practice involves examining online discussions regarding your organization and your work. It will provide valuable insights into your audience and enhance your understanding of their preferences.

If you aren't doing this already, now is a good time to start. By paying attention to the tenor of the conversation around your organization, you can better understand and respond to the needs, concerns, and feedback of your community. That way, you can better tailor your efforts to meet your audience's needs and grow your impact.

With Hootsuite, nonprofits can easily track conversations around different accounts and keywords. Learn how your nonprofit can get Hootsuite through TechSoup.

Plan Ahead for Social Media Success

Mapping out your social media content is another important step. By thoughtfully planning your social media content, you can maintain a more consistent online presence, share timely updates, and effectively manage your resources to build and maintain a loyal community of supporters.

Keeping a content calendar in place can save time by ensuring that you're prepared for upcoming holidays and campaigns. You'll have a better sense of what's coming, and you'll be able to plan accordingly. You can map out your content calendar in a spreadsheet, on your calendar, or using any other method that works for you.

A tool like Hootsuite also lets you schedule content across all platforms ahead of time to increase your posting organization and efficiency.

Track Your Performance

Finally, be sure to have a tracking system for your social media posts so you can measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, identify audience preferences, and fine-tune your content strategy.

By monitoring key metrics such as engagement, reach, and demographic data, you can strategically tailor your content and campaigns. This lets you foster stronger connections with supporters and adjust your social media strategy to achieve your mission-driven goals.

Hootsuite recommends that nonprofits take this one step further by embedding tracking across your content. You can do this using tracking codes, or UTM parameters — a way of encoding tracking information into the web page address itself. This makes it easy to see how success on social media translates to the success of your organizational goals. Learn more about UTM parameters.

Each social media platform offers its own in-house analytics to access, but there are a variety of different third-party tools that can allow nonprofits to dig further into their analytics. Hootsuite offers analytics tracking and reporting within its tool, making it easier for organizations to gather information from one place. Learn more.

Key Takeaways

Social media serves as a cost-effective and expansive avenue for nonprofits to connect with supporters, raise awareness, and drive engagement. With a social media strategy that includes audits, content planning, analytic tracking, and social media listening, nonprofits can enhance their visibility, engage effectively with their audience, and achieve mission-driven goals.

With Hootsuite, nonprofits can easily draft and schedule posts, analyze analytics, engage with audiences, and more. Through TechSoup, nonprofits can get up to a 75 percent discount on Hootsuite. Learn how Hootsuite can help your nonprofit manage social media effectively.


Additional Resources

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