10 Signs Your NGO Excels at Social Media

Social media changes so frequently that unless your NGO has a full-time social media manager who has the time to consistently research and adopt emerging trends, odds are your NGO is using social media in ways that are no longer effective. The webinar content below was presented by Heather Mansfield on September 19, 2017 to 1,175 nonprofit staff. It was the final presentation of the social media excellence webinar. To register for future free webinars, please see the Nonprofit Tech for Good Webinar Schedule.


1. Social media is integrated into your website and blog.

  • To grow your following on social networks, ensure that your NGO has prominently featured social network icons on every page of your website and blog.
  • Use a premium social sharing service for web pages and blog posts, such as Social Warfare($29/yr).

2. Social media is integrated into your email campaigns.

  • Email raises 26% of online revenue, but social media is growing in strength.
  • Convert email subscribers into social network followers by adding calls-to-follow in your email updates.
  • Convert social network followers into email subscribers by asking your followers to subscribe to your email updates.
  • In 2017-18, your number #1 priority should be to grow your NGO’s email list.

3. Social media is integrated into your online giving campaigns.

  • Online donors are increasingly citing social media as the communication tool that inspires them the most to give.
  • Add a prominent call-to-follow on your “Thank You” landing page and in your “Thank You” email.
  • If your NGO engages in peer-to-peer fundraising and crowdfunding, be sure to use a service that has integrated social sharing and social login because social media results in 1 of 3 of P2P donations.

4. Your NGO consistently creates written content.

  • Small NGOs should blog or publish news stories at least twice monthly. Medium-sized NGOs weekly and large NGOs at least twice a week. For example: Success stories, Campaign updates, Photo essays, Useful tips and advice
  • All blog and news content must have social sharing functionality, calls-to-follow, and an email update subscribe option.

5. Your NGO consistently creates visual content.

  • Create social media graphics for special fundraising campaigns and year-end fundraising campaigns.
  • Create #GivingTuesday graphics.
  • Create breaking news and call-to-action graphics.
  • Create powerful stat and inspirational quote graphics.
  • Use Canva to easily create social media graphics.

6. Your NGO has a visually compelling avatar that is used consistently on all social networks.

  • Donors and followers will associate your NGO with your avatar. Make sure it’s square, colorful, simple, well-designed, and includes very little text: Oceana

7. Your NGO is active on at least two social networks and experimenting with a third.

  • Facebook is a must for all NGOs. Your second social network should be based on the demographics and social media habits of your supporters and donors (U.S. data, Global data). The most likely choice for your second social network is Twitter or Instagram.
  • Your third social network should be one outside of the norm, but relevant to your supporter and donor base, such as a Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, LINE, etc.

8. Your NGO has claimed your LinkedIn Page and you post a minimum of once a week.

  • All NGOs have a LinkedIn Page and a clear sign of social media excellence is an NGO that regularly posts on their LinkedIn Page.
  • Compared to Facebook and Twitter, engagement on LinkedIn Pages is high.

9. Your NGO is an early adopter of digital payments.

  • Digital payments are going to radically transform how donors give to your NGO. Follow the trend closely in your country and become an early adopter.
  • Resource: 5 Digital Payment Systems That Could Transform Online Fundraising

10. Your NGO has a written social media strategy.

  • According the 2017 Global NGO Online Technology Report, only 32% of NGOs worldwide have a written social media strategy. A written social media strategy is essential for success.
  • How To: Write a Social Media Fundraising Strategy for Your Nonprofit.

Source: NP Tech For Good

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