This a guest blog post by Julia Campbell
When looking for great online content to share with your target audience on your nonprofit’s social media channels, always think back to their passions and their interests. What gets them up in the morning? What keeps them awake at night?
When you have a clear picture of who you are creating content for using online platforms such as your website, blog, email, and social media, you will be able to quickly brainstorm a list of content ideas and places to look.
When you begin looking for content to share on your nonprofit social media channels, keep in mind that content comes in a variety of forms! This can range from videos, to photos, to current events, to thank you’s, and even paid ads.
Finding and Creating Content that Will Get Shared
We all know that sharing is the gold standard of social media. Getting someone to take the time to share your Facebook post with their network, or retweet your tweet to their followers is how your organization gains exposure to a wider audience.
Sharing is the most powerful action a user can take on social media, engagement than passively, scrolling, reading or even clicking “like” on a post.
Here are just four tools that I personally use to find great online content and you can use them to find great content to share on your nonprofit social media channels:
- Daily by Buffer – they provide handpicked content suggestions daily
- LinkedIn Pulse – Customized stories and updates from those you follow on LinkedIn and those you are directly connect to
- Medium – Browse the collections and the trending lists for the most popular and widely shared content
- Twitter – Search on relevant hashtags and explore what influencers in your industry and cause are tweeting about
That leaves us with the million dollar question: How do we get more and followers to share our stuff? Getting people to share isn’t a cake walk, but it is doable, and many nonprofits do it very well.
Here are 6 proven methods to rock more social media shares:
1. Make it ALL about your audience.
Do you mostly share information that talks about how great you are? While sharing testimonials and success stories featuring the people that you serve works great on social media, constantly promoting your nonprofit’s accomplishments and achievements is not.
Pro Tip: People want to see their beliefs conveyed in the content they spread on social networks. Make sure you know your audience and what they stand for. Your social media content should reflect the values of your online community and help them see themselves within it.
2. Make it eye-catching.
Think about how you consume media – with 10 Google Chrome tabs open, while texting and scrolling through Facebook on your phone, maybe with the TV or radio on in the background. We are all distracted and pulled in 500 different directions. If your content doesn’t catch my eye while I am perusing the latest photos of my friend’s vacation or the latest tweets from my favorite celebrities, then you are out of luck.
Pro Tip: Post many different types of content (articles, photos, videos, text) to see what works best for your audience. Colorful photos of people always work best.
3. Make it emotional.
Nonprofits have a distinct advantage when they use social media, because their supporters are passionate about their cause. Think about the emotions elicited by watching Caine’s Arcade, Kony 2012 or any of the numerous advocacy videos that you have seen online. The emotion is what makes people want to share the post – because they want people to feel the same way they do, whether it be angry, sad, nostalgic, happy, entertained.
Pro Tip: Every single thing that you post should have some purpose, some reason to exist. It should spur people to action – it should make them so mad, or so moved, that they are compelled to act.
4. Make your fans look good.
People share content to prove something to their networks – it’s really as simple as that. Are they trying to be witty, funny, serious, academic, nerdy, hip, ironic?
Pro Tip: When posting a piece of content, ask yourself: If I shared this with my personal social networks, how would it make me look in the eyes of my friends, co-workers and family members?
5. Make it funny, helpful or useful.
The types of content that people share on social media are predominantly funny, helpful and/or useful. That’s because the way that we all want to be perceived by our networks.
Pro Tip: Sharing something humorous is pretty straightforward. Sharing info that is helpful or useful is where a lot of nonprofits get tripped up. The American Red Cross always does a stellar job of sharing helpful information with it’s Facebook fans.
6. Make it timely.
The Facebook News Feed, Twitter stream and the like all move at lighting speed. Trending topics take center stage on these platforms.
Pro Tip: Posting about a timely event or an activity with an expiration will encourage
more shares because people will want to do something in the moment to support it.
Remember, when creating and sharing content online, always consider your target audience’s interests and passions. Social media is all about forging a connection and sense of trust with your audience.
I hope you enjoyed these best practices that have been successful for me. Now you can find great content to share on your nonprofit social media channels!