In our social media marketing series of blog posts, we’ve written about Facebook pages, posts, and messaging. You can see the full series here:
- Using Facebook to Engage your Nonprofit’s Network
- Making the Perfect Post on Facebook
- Facebook Messaging
In our final post in this series, we address social media platforms other than Facebook. For each platform, it’s important to take into account the typical audience and the type of content that works best for that app or website. Your time is important, so it’s best to use it wisely by considering what content your nonprofit can provide for each separate audience. If you find a place that doesn’t seem to fit your nonprofit, don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s better to have one effective social media profile or page than ten non-effective ones.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media platform that is accessed almost exclusively via smart phones. While it’s possible to post to Instagram using Google Chrome, we recommend using the app on your phone to use Instagram for the best functionality and options.
On Instagram, users can post pictures, videos, and galleries. They can tag locations, use hashtags, and post to stories, which will disappear after 24 hours unless they’re added to the profile’s Highlights. The new Instagram TV offers a platform for videos longer than 1 minute.
Business profiles can also easily advertise on Instagram. Instagram is owned by Facebook, so you can link your accounts for easy cross-promotion.
Links are not shared easily on Instagram: the only place you can currently share a link is in your bio. If you have over 10,000 followers or you’re a verified user, you can also share a link to your story.
Is Instagram right for you? Instagram is a great social media tool for your nonprofit if you have a variety of programs that can offer enough content to share photos and/or videos frequently on the platform. Posting multiple times a week is recommended.
An active library could post pictures or videos of their events, reading programs, patrons, staff, and book or art displays. A larger humane society could post pictures of the animals they’re adopting out and items for sale in their thrift store. Content in the form of pictures and videos is key, though.
A few examples of nonprofits using Instagram effectively:
- Corvallis Public Library
- Oregon Country Fair
- Corvallis Farmer’s Market
- Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Twitter is a social media website and app primarily used for short text (up to 280 characters) and a place to share links, photos, and videos. Twitter is available both on smart phones and via desktop browsers, but users who are not logged in have limited capabilities on the website. The hashtag originated on Twitter, but users have yet to be able to tag locations. Twitter is a great place to share links and blog articles.
Is Twitter right for you? Twitter can be very useful for your nonprofit if you are a larger nonprofit with an existing audience or a popular blog, or if your mission is linked to political, environmental, or social change. From what we’ve seen, it seems difficult for small to mid-sized nonprofits to find success on Twitter. Posting multiple times a day is recommended, so an organization wants to make sure they have enough interesting articles, links, pictures, or videos to share.
A few examples of nonprofits using Twitter effectively:
LinkedIn is a social media platform that many business professionals, salespeople, and job seekers use. A company can have a page that operates very similarly to a Facebook page: you can post pictures, articles, and links, and receive likes and comments.
The power of LinkedIn, however, is in personal connections. A personal LinkedIn profile is a place to share your education, career experience, and skills. When you expand your network, you gain “connections” instead of friends or followers.
Is LinkedIn right for you? If your donor base and/or mission field are made up of professionals who are likely to be on LinkedIn, investing in this social media could be very beneficial for your nonprofit.
It could connect you and your organization with target clients and donors if you are operating a foundation, promoting economic development in your city, counseling businesses or entrepreneurs, or providing leadership training. We recommend operating a page for your organization and also having employees, volunteers, or board members build their personal profiles to make connections.
A few examples of nonprofits using LinkedIn effectively:
It’s harder to find successful LinkedIn pages since, as we said above, the power of this website is in the personal connections.
We hope this series of blog posts has helped your nonprofit target its messaging effectively and improve its social media presence. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!