Welcome back to the Social Media for Nonprofits Starter Guide series. We’re back with more social media basics!
In part one of this series, we covered the big dogs of social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Now we’re taking a closer look at some other platforms. These platforms reach smaller numbers, but they’re great supplements to the social media platforms we mentioned in part one. If your organization has mastered the social media game and is looking for a new place to grow, these might be the networks for you.
Pinterest is for gathering and organizing all the things that you enjoy. If you use it strategically, Pinterest is a great place for sharing stories and marketing your products.
Depending on how you use it, you can show off your organization on Pinterest in a lot of different ways. P.Ink uses Pinterest as their website, creating a board for each “tab” you might find on a company site. charity: water utilizes Pinterest to share a picture of the day, charity: water gear and fresh fundraising ideas.
- Organize your boards into themes. Before you go creating to and fro, you should have a rough idea for some boards that will help expand your Pinterest presence. Create a purpose for each board that gives each user a takeaway.
- Use striking photos. Whoever is running your Pinterest account should have at least some artistic eye. The vast majority of the Pinterest platform is taken up by photos and videos. If your images fall behind on looks, they’ll fall behind in your followers’ feeds, too.
- Do your research. Find out how other nonprofits are leveraging Pinterest for their cause. Search for inspiration of your own by exploring Pinterest and pinning items that both you and your followers will find interesting or helpful.
- Give a little to get a lot. Your pins should provide value in some way. Whether you’re sharing ideas, selling products, spreading inspiration or telling a story, your pins should be useful. A pin that just looks good won’t do much for your organization in the long run.
Pinvolve. Pinvolve takes the work out of posting the same content in more than one place. This tool turns your Facebook posts into Pinterest pins and vice-versa. They offer both free and paid accounts with different features.
Piktochart. Infographics are one of the best ways to tell a story visually. Piktochart makes that job easier than ever by offering templates and tools to make infographic creation simple.
ReciteThis. On Pinterest, everything needs to be visual. Everything. ReciteThis makes plain text engaging by turning it into a fun image. You simply type in a quote, choose a graphic style and your image is ready to share.
YouTube is made for everything video—which is killing it on social media nowadays. Video lets you share content in the most engaging and dynamic ways. Creating it takes a little extra blood, sweat and tears, but it’s worth it in the end.
The YouTube Nonprofit Program is a useful resource that tailors YouTube to your nonprofit’s needs. 501(c)(3) organizations can apply to become a part of the program and to start taking advantage of its features. You can get access to their outreach toolkit and donation cards to boost your videos to top-notch status.
- Don’t know where to start? Try anywhere! You can use videos to share your organization’s story, testimonials and presentations that people may have missed.
- Share, share and share again. YouTube is made for sharing, so promote your videos through your other social media networks. You can embed videos on blog posts, too.
- If you don’t have the time or tools to create video, consider bringing in a student intern. Some students are looking for ways to beef up their portfolio, and this is the perfect opportunity to give them some hands-on experience. It’s a win-win!
WeVideo. If you’re looking for a tool to make video editing simple, WeVideo is the place to look. You can add photos, video clips, text and animations all on one user-friendly platform. WeVideo has free and paid options so that you can edit all kinds of videos on your computer, iPhone or Android device.
Powtoon. Like WeVideo, Powtoon also offers free and paid subscriptions. Here, you can create fun animated videos and export them to Youtube, PowerPoint and more. Their site is incredibly easy to use, letting you create animated masterpieces in a flash.
Pre-installed programs. If you want to stick to the basics, iMovie and Windows movie maker are great tools for entry-level videographers. Both let you trim video clips, add music and include transitions. Each program is usually pre-installed on Mac or Windows devices, so you can get started at the click of a button. If you don’t have either installed, Windows Movie Maker is available with a free download.
Snapchat has grown like crazy since its creation. Despite its growth, though, it still only caters primarily to millennials; 60 percent of Snapchat users are under 25. With that in mind, Snapchat might not be right for your nonprofit—that’s okay. If Snapchat does make sense for your organization, then it’s time to get those creative juices flowing.
- Create a geofilter. Snapchat lets you create on-demand geofilters for events and occasions. When Snapchat users are within your specified region, they can use your Geofilter as an overlay on their photos. Geofilters start at five dollars and are priced based on the size of the area where you want them to appear and how long you want them to run on the app. Try designing one of your own!
- You might not have the largest following on Snapchat, but it’s no biggie. Become a follower instead and take a look at what other organizations are doing. You can get the inside scoop on their company culture and strategies that might work for you. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our top nonprofits to follow on Snapchat.
- Have fun creating! You don’t have to stress over building an Oscar-nominated Snapchat story—it’ll disappear after 24 hours anyway. From the text and drawing tools to Bitmoji and fun filters, there are plenty of means to give your videos a quirky twist or an artistic edge.
- Don’t have the money for analytics tools? Track your own. Keep an eye on your audience’s engagement by story completion rate, number of screenshots or unique views.
Snapcodes. Snapchat creates these QR codes unique to each user. You can share your Snapcode across other social media channels or even put it on print materials. From there, it’s easy as pie! People just have to take a photo of the code with their Snapchat camera or take a screenshot on their phone to quickly connect with your organization.
Snaplytics. Snapchat doesn’t offer much on their end in terms of organized data. Based out of Copenhagen, Snaplytics lets you track metrics and insights all on one straightforward platform. Snaplytics’ services do come with a price tag, though. Give it a whirl with the free trial, then decide whether or not it’s something your nonprofit needs.
Spotify is a digital music service that lets you listen to music, find new artists, and share tunes with your colleagues. There’s not a lot of room for interaction on the platform though, so use it wisely. Have some fun with your team creating a collaborative playlist or send out a collection of songs with a common theme to your supporters.
There you have it: a complete starter guide to social media for your nonprofit. We’re excited to see how social media (and this guide!) continue to transform and grow in the coming months.
For now, take a good hard look at each of these platforms. Pick and choose the ones that are right for your nonprofit, and focus your resources on the ones that you need. Social media is always changing, so try things out, stick with what works and have a little fun along the way.