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  • Alekhya Kasturi

How to implement a winning Nonprofit Social Media Strategy with low budget?

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

Why is social media strategy crucial for your nonprofits? Here are a few mind-boggling stats on social media:

  • 45% of the world's population uses social media. That's 3.5 billion users

  • 42% of world’s population are mobile social media users, which is 3.26 billion users

  • Each person spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networks and messaging.

  • 366 million new people started using social media in the past year. That’s more than a million new people joining social media every single day

A solid social media strategy can help your nonprofit boost its marketing performance. Below are some of the benefits you can reap from well executed social media strategy:

  • Increased traffic- Shareable content, blogs, hashtags, SEO and visual posts can increase traffic to your website considerably

  • Increased exposure and engagement-The more shareable content you produce on social media, the more visibility you bring to your organization. Given how easy it is to share content online, social media is a great place to create momentum for your organization and any campaigns you may be running.

  • Volunteer hiring- Social media platforms are great for marketing your organization to prospective volunteers. In today's digital world, your potential volunteers are researching online when zeroing on the cause and organization to support. There may be people who may not be looking to actively volunteer but may get inspired by your cause and work. Social media immensely helps create brand awareness and engagement among professionals which can help hire more volunteers.

  • Increased fund raising-55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking some sort of action and 59% of those people donate money (nonprofitssource). Social media has time and again proven to be extremely effective for non-profits.

While the importance of social media can’t be emphasized enough in the current digital world, one can’t help but wonder how they can implement a robust social media strategy for nonprofits with limited availability of financial resources and human capital. Good news is there are effective ways to circumvent these constraints and implement a social media strategy which can bring compounding returns to your nonprofit in short term and long term. Choosing a trusted nonprofit consulting partner like The CLASS Consulting Group which provides strategic consulting services in marketing and helps nonprofits achieve their goals in a budget friendly manner might be helpful. You can learn more details here.

Below are five easy steps to follow in order to develop and implement an optimized social media strategy with increased effectiveness:

1. Define SMART goals

Defining SMART goals can keep your efforts targeted, focused and trackable. These goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based. For example a targeted goal could be ‘to gain 1000 followers on Facebook company page in the next 2 months', which would in-turn increase brand awareness, engagement, traffic to website and help with lead generation.

SMART goals are critical to track and analyze the performance of the social media marketing efforts. Hence this is the first and foremost step of social media strategy which should not be skipped.

2. Define target audience

There may be multiple groups of audience being targeted by an NPO such as customers, volunteers, community at large and donors. Start by identifying your target groups and their characteristics.Then create buyer personas for each target group. A persona is a fictional character that communicates the primary characteristics of the target group identified. It captures the below about a user in the target group :

  • Age

  • Location

  • Job role

  • Interests/ Hobbies

  • Social media habits

  • Devices used for communication

You can download the free template for buyer persona creation here. The content and messaging needs to be customized and relevant to the target groups and hence identifying target groups and their personas is critical.

3. Creating ‘efficient’ social media content

Creating content may seem to be an arduous task but it is essential to build thought leadership in the target space, strengthen SEO, improve website traffic and lead generation. Employing smart methods can make your content reusable and repeatable and thereby save a lot of time and effort. Below are some ways in which you can scale your content repository in a fast and efficient manner:

  • Dig into all the content available in your organization such as that on website, case studies, blogs, testimonials, existing social media posts etc. and organize it into a repository

  • Repurpose and re-use the content from your repository into new forms of content. For example, a blog can be repurposed into an infographic and visual posts for social media

  • Repromote the content on social media with backlinking to original posts or website

  • Similar approach can be followed for other content such as emails, newsletters, case studies and white papers and can be promoted on social media

  • Create an content calendar to schedule and plan all your social content in advance for increased impact. You can download free template for social media content calendar here.

4. Prioritizing the right channels

Different platforms can be used for different purposes. Prioritizing and choosing the social networks to focus on can save effort and resources for your nonprofit. Your choice of social media channels should be based on:

  • Cause that your nonprofit supports. For example, an environment focused nonprofit may want to prioritize Facebook, Twitter or Instagram while a consulting nonprofit may want to prioritize LinkedIn and Facebook

  • Where is your target audience (identified in step 2 )

  • Type of content. For example, Instagram and Snapchat for visual content, Facebook and LinkedIn for written posts and Instagram and Facebook for live streaming

5. Using affordable technology for optimization

Using technology is inevitable to enable cost savings, increase scalability and efficiency of social media management. It can be extremely useful for managing, scheduling, monitoring and measuring the social media efforts such as posts, event promotion or campaigns.

Below are few budget friendly tools listed out for nonprofits to implement their social media strategy:

In the world with over 3.5 billion of internet users active on social networks, who spend at least 2-3 hours a day on an average on those social networks, social media strategy is essential for your nonprofits to fulfill their organization’s goals of growth and impact. Formulating smart goals, prioritization, doing targeted execution, content optimization and leveraging tools as discussed above can bring in great results for nonprofits on limited budgets.

About The CLASS Consulting Group

At CLASS we help nonprofits create a winning social media strategy. Our recommendations for implementation of the CLASS solutions will help the nonprofit boards avoid some of the common pitfalls in execution and ensure successful completion of the solutions.

The CLASS Consulting Group is a trusted advisor to the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership of Nonprofits. It is boutique management consulting firm headquartered in SFO- Bay Area that provides consulting services to senior management and Board of Directors of nonprofit organizations and offers community leadership opportunities to professionals. Since 2002 CLASS’s volunteers have been assisting nonprofit organizations in the SF Bay area and supporting the communities in which, we all live and work.

Interested? Simply request a meeting here and we’ll get in touch to tell you all about this opportunity and how our volunteer-run teams are helping nonprofits make the bay area a better place, one community at a time.


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