Marketing Insights

6 Things Your Non-profit Can Do To Step Up Its Social Media Game

Through channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, non-profits can engage their followers, build a community, and even encourage more donations. The key to success, as with any marketing strategy, is to have the right plan.

There are more than 3.6 billion people on social media as of 2020. 

By 2025, experts say that number will rocket even higher, to around 4.41 billion. 

So, what does that mean for your non-profit organization? It might be time to start leveraging social media content to your advantage. 

Through channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, non-profits can engage their followers, build a community, and even encourage more donations. The key to success, as with any marketing strategy, is to have the right plan. 

Today, we’re going to look at some of the most valuable things your non-profit can do to improve its social media strategy. 


Usually, when you first get started on social media, you’ll focus on a single platform. For non-profits with a highly visual brand, that channel might have been Instagram. For charities searching for a broader audience, the best option may be Facebook. 

As your online presence grows, you’ll discover that you can reach more potential patrons, and drive more of an impact if you’re active on more than one channel. Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same proprietor, which means you can easily publish posts on Instagram that appear on your Facebook page at the same time. Just go into your Instagram account page and log into your Facebook account. You can set your posts to automatically appear on Facebook too:

However, you can also look beyond the Instagram and Facebook connection. 

Maybe it’s worth adding your social media buttons to an email marketing strategy, so you can connect with people in their inbox, and remind them that you’re active elsewhere. You could combine posts on Instagram and create a Pinterest board, or share snippets from your latest Facebook posts on Twitter.

Engage Your Audience with Contests

Engagement is everything on social media. 

What better way to get people talking about, and interacting with your non-profit brand, than to run a competition? You can partner with a local company or group who’s willing to help you out for some free publicity if you don’t have any prizes to offer yourself. 

Beverly Main Streets Instagram Contest

To get the most out of your social media contests, think carefully about how you want people to engage. “Liking” your photo for a chance to win might be the easiest option for patrons, but it’s not going to drive a lot of immediate results. 

Altenratively, asking your followers to @mention a friend for a chance to win spreads your brand reach, and pulls in new potential donations. You can even ask patrons to post comments explaining why they chose to donate in the past. This is a fantastic way to gather user-generated content for your marketing campaigns. 

User-generated content is a great way to get future patrons off the fence when they’re not sure whether or not a donation is a good idea. 

Make Your Posts Visual

Just because you’re not posting on Instagram yet, doesn’t mean that your social media content shouldn’t be visual. Whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, or anywhere else, visual content has a more direct impact on the emotions of your audience

Worldreader post

Pictures are a valuable way to tug at your audience’s heart strings and help them understand the difference they’re making with a donation. What’s more, content with relevant images is 40% more likely to get shared on social media. Photos including faces get around 38% more likes too. 

There are plenty of free graphic design tools online like Canva that can help you to add great visuals to your social posts. Ideally, you’ll want unique, custom photos that feel as authentic as possible to your target audience. Don’t just grab stock photos. 

Remember that there are various ways to be visual too. For instance, you could post a quote picture on Instagram with a message that’s valuable to your non-profit, or get involved with a quick live stream on Facebook. 

Be Social

Social media is all about being “social”. You’re not just there to publish content and hope your audience responds. Around 83% of Facebook users and 71% of people on Twitter say that they expect a response within the same day if they send a message to your brand. 

Connect with your audience by responding to them whenever you can. You can access Messenger for direct conversations with patrons, and even set up automated chatbots to respond to common questions for you, like how to make a donation. 

If people @Mention you on social media, or give your non-profit a shoutout, recognize their efforts by mentioning them in return. This helps your community to feel more appreciated and heard. 

With tools like Facebook Live, you could even host live streams where you answer questions in real-time and raise funds at the same time. 

facebook live nonprofit donations

Show Followers They’re Making an Impact

People get involved with non-profit organizations because they want to make a difference to something they care about. If you post on Facebook telling people how much of a difference their donations are going to make, it’s also worth posting about the work you’re able to do, thanks to those generous donations. 

Boston Children's Hospital social media post

Frequent updates about how you’re using the money being given to you will remind your regular patrons that their money is supporting a valuable cause. You could even experiment with different kinds of social media content to see which has the biggest impact. 

For instance, Instagram Stories are a great way to show your audience brief insights into the kind of work you do each day, making your brand seem more authentic. 

Videos on YouTube are a wonderful way to publish content about some of the most significant things you’ve done lately. You can even publish monthly “update” videos on your Facebook channels and other social platforms to demonstrate what you’re doing right now:

The more active you are with this kind of content, the more your followers will believe in you, and the work you’re doing. 

Use Your Analytics

It’s easy to forget, but social media isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. 

The algorithms and your audience are constantly changing. That means you need to keep an eye on what’s really working for you. 

Many social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram, come with their own analytics pages for businesses. You can use this space to learn about where the majority of your patrons come from, what kind of age range you’re appealing to, and even when patrons are likely to be online. 

You can also use analytics to determine which of your campaigns are driving the most clicks through to your donation site. The more you know about your marketing strategies, the easier it is to ensure that you’re investing time and effort into something that really works. 

Step Up your Social Media Game

Social media platforms can deliver some amazing benefits to non-profits.

They’re a chance to connect with your customers, elevate your brand image, and earn more donations. You just need to learn how to use them correctly. 

Use the guidance above to step up your social media game, and see what you can accomplish online. 


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