8 Tips to Get Your Nonprofit Started with Digital and Social Media

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to dramatically change the ways you interact with and engage clients, donors, sponsors, and funders and advocate for your mission.

You may be expanding pre-pandemic digital marketing strategies. Or, digital marketing, including social media, may be new terrain.

Awareness vs. Action

First, let’s be clear about what you want to accomplish. Unless you have a budget the size of Coca-Cola’s, building awareness will be a never-ending battle.

Instead, you want to focus first on your goals and the specific action(s) you want your audiences to take. Beginning here sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many organizations just start cranking out content.

Take the case of an organization with two tremendous digital assets, two websites with active blogs, one targeting consumer audiences and the other B2B.

When I asked the communications director about her goals, she did a double-take. No one, it seemed, had ever asked her that question. Dumbfounded, she said, “I don’t know.”


Whether you’re the executive director or the marketing and communications director, this should never be the answer you hear (or say) to this question.

8 Tips to Get the Most from your Digital Marketing and Social Media Investments

Money and time are precious resources for every organization. Here are eight tips to invest yours wisely and achieve results.

  1. What are your goals?
    As a business, your core goals should revolve around generating revenue, based on your specific business model.
  2. Who are your audiences?
    Clarify as much information about each. Where they live, marital status, family size, occupation, shopping habits, household income, ethnic backgrounds—these are all details you’ll want to know.
  3. What content would be valuable?
    Now that you know your goals and who your audiences are, it’s time to decide on content. What format, what level of detail, what types of information are best?
  4. Where should you distribute it?
    Related to the types of content are the distribution channels. Let’s say you run an education organization. If you’re speaking to middle school and high school kids, social media that they use may be effective. Those same channels, with rare exception, however, would not work for the superintendent. To reach him or her, you may need to create a brief white paper, short video, webinar, or even a personal conversation.
    Be sure to use media whose audiences reflect your audiences.
  5. All Roads Lead…Where?
    You will have multiple pieces of content and visual or video assets that speak to multiple audiences.  Know how each piece works in your overall portfolio. Always provide a call-to-action (CTA). What do you want your customer to do? At the end of the content, tell them. Don’t assume they know.
  6. Amplify with social media.
    When you create the primary content, generate multiple engaging posts about it using important keywords in both. Get a little personal. Or be provocative, even contrarian. Use humor and images and memes. Get people’s attention while sharing bits of content that will intrigue and encourage readers to take action.
  7. Amplify with advertising.
    If your campaign is critical to revenue generation and worth the investment, amplify it further with advertising. Focus on the right keywords and audience segments. Consider using a landing page to track responses.
  8. Metrics
    By tracking metrics, you can see how your social media campaigns and advertising are doing to drive click throughs to your landing page and persuading current and new audiences. By adding a drip email campaign, you can build relationships and also track how engaged your new subscribers are with your messages. Ultimately, you can see what percentage take action.

While this process may seem extensive and overwhelming to some, remember the rewards.

  • Your marketing is more effective.
  • Your organization builds its capacity.
  • You will expand your audiences and engage more people in your mission.

What’s the next action you’ll take so that as we move beyond the pandemic, you’re in a better place a year from now?

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