Social Media Marketing Influencers
We reached out to social media influencers asking if they would share their answers to the following question:
What is your number one social media tip for nonprofits that want to grow and retain their audience online?
Here’s what they said:
Want to know what platform you should be leveraging to maximize your impact?
We’ve put together a list of the most up-to-date stats on how nonprofits are using social media to make a difference.
Let’s face it, there are a ton of resources online that claim to have the answers to your social media woes.
Often times this requires shifting through many useless articles in the hopes you’ll find one that will make an impact on your organization.
That’s why we’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation by curating only the best strategic marketing resources for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
Whether you need help planning a social media strategy, conducting a social media audit, or drafting reports to prove results to leadership, we’ve got you covered.
Our curated list of industry-leading templates is guaranteed to help with your next social media campaign.
Software development has exploded in the last 10 years giving way to an overwhelming number of free and paid social media tools.
Admittedly most tools are a waste of time and money, however, we’ve managed to track down a few exceptions to this rule and provide a brief overview of how nonprofits can leverage them to get results.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING INFLUENCERS
What is your number one social media tip for nonprofits that want to grow and retain their audience online? That’s the question we asked social media and fundraising experts.
Of course, we didn’t ask just anyone. We asked influencers who have built a successful online brand by leveraging social media to grow their audience in the tens of thousands.
Here’s what they had to say:
Julia C. Campbell, , 14.7K Followers
Author and national speaker writes:
Nonprofits need to understand that “social media” is not just a marketing tool that needs to be leveraged for their benefit. These powerful platforms have completely revolutionized and changed the way that humans consume information as well as the way in which they interact with each other.
Your traditional fundraising, marketing, and outreach materials cannot just be cut and pasted into these channels. You cannot put a square peg in a round hole. Social media content needs to be carefully, creatively crafted for the specific channel, ALWAYS with the audience in mind. Before posting, ask: What do they want to know more about? What kinds of stories are they craving? How can we get their attention and make a deeper connection?
Devin D. Thorpe, @devindthorpe, 44.4K Followers
Forbes Contributor, keynote speaker, and champion of social good writes:
Have a strategy for social media. Just posting a lot isn’t a strategy. You want to know what your goal for social media is. Your goal for Twitter should be different from your goal for Instagram. You can use a Facebook page in very different ways from a Facebook group. Have a strategy for using all of these tools (yes, the platforms are tools) for building relationships you can use to build your nonprofit.
Devin is a journalist, author and educator. He calls himself a champion of social good. He travels extensively as a volunteer doing service, as a journalist finding heroes and as a speaker sharing what he’s learned. As a Forbes Contributor he covers social entrepreneurship and impact investing, reaching an audience of over 1 million people. He’s produced over 900 episodes of his Your Mark on the World show featuring luminary change agents.
A bestselling author, his books—read over 1 million times—help people use money for good. He has helped nonprofits raise millions of dollars via crowdfunding. To tell stories, he draws on his entrepreneurial finance experience as an investment banker, CFO, treasurer, and mortgage broker. Previously he worked on the U.S. Senate Banking committee staff and earned an MBA at Cornell.
Like what Devin has to say? Want to learn more? You can! Learn social media in this beginners course!
Jay Frost, @GordonJayFrost, 17.3K Followers
Grantmaker, fundraiser, consultant, and serial entrepreneur writes:
Put Away The Megaphone! There are two fundamentals to all good fundraising. The first is to build relationships around the needs and interests of the donor. The second is to ask the right person at the right time for the right thing. This is made possible, of course, by having listened carefully and engaged actively with your supporters.
Unfortunately, many organizations just broadcast their needs and expect people to respond rather than engaging actively with current and prospective donors. But social networks are ideal for real interactive communication that can lead naturally expanded constituencies and growing revenues. On these platforms, we can identify kindred spirits, learn more about what motivates them, invite them to participate in activities of interest to them, and then, after building a relationship of trust, ask for their financial support of those activities.
That last step—the request for support—can and should be personal, just as all the gratitude we show must be real, immediate, and individual. The days of just hoping people will give to something that is important to our organizations are long gone. The rise of social networks has raised expectations for authentic, interactive, and responsive communications.
So, let’s make the focus to every communication the interests of our audience. Similarly, our crisis in donor retention can be addressed in large part by having substantial and authentic interactions with donors in their preferred environments. The rise of AI will help us in doing many of these things on a massive scale, of course, but it will never fully replace shaking hands, picking up the phone to say “thank you,” or sending a short video acknowledging a donor by name directly through Messenger, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
Let’s put energy into having real conversations. Let’s be willing to invite participation and financial support. Let’s be quick, enthusiastic, and generous in our public and private praise for those who make our work possible. And let’s remember that social networks are not a direct response tool but a place where human beings have chosen to live out a part of their personal lives. So, let’s put away the megaphone!
Over his thirty years as a grantmaker, fundraiser, consultant, and serial entrepreneur, Jay Frost has worked with thousands of organizations to identify and pursue billions in fundraising opportunities for thousands of charitable organizations around the world. Jay has been recognized as one of America’s Top 10 Fundraising Experts by Philanthropy Media, one of the Top Experts in Fundraising by Klout, one of the Top Eight Fundraising Influencers by Elevation Media, and one of the Top Thirteen Excellent Fundraising Consultants by Double the Donation. Jay is a consultant to nonprofits and an advisor to companies serving the philanthropic marketplace.
He currently serves as Senior Partner at Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners, an Advisor to DonorSearch, a Senior Consultant at Brian Lacy and Associates, and an Associate for the Resource Alliance. A popular speaker and trainer, Jay has addressed hundreds of meetings in the US, UK, Canada, Asia, and the Middle East.
Tracey Ehman, , 9.4K Followers
Host of Women Speakers Associations #SpeakerChat and social media strategist writes:
If you want to grow and retain your audience online you need to determine what they are looking for, find the right keywords that will attract their attention, and use them within your social media posts on their own or as hashtags. Not only will these keywords and hashtags help you grow your audience, they will also enable your audience to filter out information that is relevant to them.
Tracey Ehman, an Online Presence and Social Media Strategist, is the go-to person for enhancing your online presence, ensuring that you not only get “found” by your target audience, but that your website and social media efforts increase your revenues.
Tracey is also part of the Women Speakers Association (WSA) Executive Team, and host of the once a month WSA #SpeakerChat on Facebook LIVE.
Like what Tracey has to say? Check out her free report, which shares keyword marketing secrets that can help you be found online.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STATISTICS
Online giving to charitable organizations has continued to rise year over year, with an estimated $31 billion given in 2017, up from $28 billion in 2016.
Driving much of this growth is social media.
In fact, 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking an action, while 59% of those people make an online donation.
The statistics are more compelling when you dig into them by platform.
Facebook Statistics For Nonprofits
- Nonprofits share an average of 1.2 Facebook updates per day.
- In an average peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, 15-18% of donations are referred directly from Facebook.
- 84% of Facebook users share to show their support for a cause and highlight issues that are important to them.
- Facebook refers 29.4% of traffic to donation pages on #GivingTuesday.
- $45 million was raised by nonprofits through Facebook fundraisers on Giving Tuesday.
- VIEW MORE SOCIAL MEDIA STATS
Twitter Statistics For Nonprofits
- 36% of online adults ages 18-29 are on the social network.
- 80% of Twitter users have mentioned a brand in a Tweet.
- The last two years have seen a 2.5x increase in customer service conversations on Twitter.
- Companies using Twitter for customer service see a 19% lift in customer satisfaction.
- 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to.
- Twitter users send 700% more visitors to donation pages on Giving Tuesday than on a typical day.
- VIEW MORE SOCIAL MEDIA STATS
YouTube Statistics For Nonprofits
- 28% of nonprofits are on Youtube.
- 6 billion nonprofit videos viewed in 2016.
- 68% of nonprofit video watchers view similar videos within 30 days.
- Among millennials, YouTube accounts for 2/3rds of the premium online video watched across devices.
- The most viewed brand videos are on average 31–60 seconds long (32% of all views).
- 40% of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
- VIEW MORE SOCIAL MEDIA STATS
Instagram Statistics For Nonprofits
- Nonprofit Instagram accounts grew followership by 101% on average in 2016.
- 6 in 10 online adults ages 18-29 use Instagram.
- 75 percent of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at a brand’s post.
- 31% of Instagram users make more than $75,000 per year.
- Engagement rates on Instagram are 15 times higher than Facebook and 20 higher than Twitter.
- The amount of time users spend watching video has increased by more than 80% year-over-year.
- Instagram users are 70% more likely to make mobile purchases.
- VIEW MORE SOCIAL MEDIA STATS
Snapchat Statistics For Nonprofits
- 70% of Snapchat’s users are under the age of 24.
- 54% of Snapchat users log in at least once per day.
- Daily Snapchat visitors use the app 25-30 times per day.
- More than 50% of Snapchat users will open a brand’s story, and more than 85% of them will watch the entire story.
- Snapchat gets 6 billion video views per day.
- VIEW MORE SOCIAL MEDIA STATS
Pinterest Statistics For Nonprofits
- Pinterest was used by 28% of all adult internet users last year.
- 84% of people use Pinterest across multiple devices.
- 67% of Pinterest users are under the age of 40.
- 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest.
- 72% of Pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline.
- 93% of pinners shopped online in the past 6 months.
- 83% of Pinterest users would rather follow a brand than a celebrity.
- Over 5% of all referral traffic to websites comes from Pinterest
- VIEW MORE SOCIAL MEDIA STATS
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGIES
Click an icon to get started:
Leading the distribution of information for many nonprofits is social media.
According to one study from the University of Massachusetts’s Center for Marketing Research, 71% of charities and nonprofits say social media is useful for driving online donations.
However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hundreds of strategies, guides, tricks, and tips online.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation by aggregating only the best social media marketing resources available online.
These resources are perfect for beginners and veterans wanting to learn and develop their social media skills.
Facebook For Nonprofits
Facebook also drives some of the most effective online fundraising traffic, raising $45 million during Giving Tuesday in 2017.
The results are clear, but it’s the journey that sometimes gets muddy.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best Facebook marketing resources for nonprofits:
Continue reading below for more information on how to leverage Facebook’s marketing tools for your nonprofit.
Facebook Fundraising Tools
With Facebook’s fundraising tools you can add a donate button to:
You can also enable people to raise money for your nonprofit by setting up a dedicated page to share their story (and your mission).
The best part?
Facebook charges no fees for donations made to nonprofits.
For U.S. based charities to qualify for Facebook’s fundraising tools you must:
Live streaming is one of the fastest growing categories of video marketing, with 63% of people ages 18-34 watching it regularly.
Among all social platforms Facebook Live is taking the lions share of the views:
Nonprofits are leveraging the platforms reach to engage with Facebook communities as well as raise money.
San Diego Humane Society documented the rescue of #92Yorkies on Facebook Live, which kicked-off a major online fundraising campaign.
For 15 minutes the nonprofit conducted interviews with first responders and medical staff while providing live updates.
Because viewers felt they were part of the rescue effort they were more willing to donate online to the cause.
In total the San Diego Humane Society raised $100,000.00 using Facebook Live.
They even created a #92Yorkie Facebook community for members to share stories and continue engagement.
Facebook Messenger & Chat Bots
Facebook messenger hit 1.2 billion users in April 2017, according to the head of Messanger, David Marcus.
Engagement figures are impressive too, with an average open rate of 80% and a 4 – 10 times higher click-through-rate than traditional email.
WaterAid is using Facebook messenger, in combination with a chatbot, to share their story:
Using Facebook’s fundraising tools they’re even able to collect donations through Facebook messenger.
Creating your own chatbot for charity will require a little investment on your end, but it’s fairly painless.
Recommended social media tool:
Charity: Water is leveraging Facebook advertising in a big way by using storytelling to raise awareness of the global water crisis and inspire people to give.
By creating a video to share the team showed how bringing clean water to people in need impacts both those who give and those who are served by the water projects.
They raised $470,000.00 in annual recurring revenues, which is enough to provide 15,666 people with clean water for a year.
Get your next Facebook campaign launched using the resources below:
Facebook Ads – Setting up the basics:
Recommended social media tool:
Twitter For Nonprofits
With over 313 million users, especially younger generations, Twitter is the perfect social platform for creating meaningful relationships.
According to Adweek, 86% of charities and nonprofits use Twitter to share content, promote events, and interact with their audience.
CARE, an international nonprofit that fights against poverty by empowering girls and women, does a great job at sharing compelling stories and information that make a real impact.
CARE has manages to create engagement opportunities and even inspire action through the use of short videos on Twitter:
In many countries, sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t even illegal. You can help change that. Sign the petition today. https://t.co/vc6y6J6yRi #ThisIsNotWorking #March4Women #IWD2018 #InternationalWomensDay pic.twitter.com/0iBquf1cZz
— CARE (care.org) (@CARE) March 8, 2018
Does your nonprofit leverage Twitter to grow awareness and promote content?
How To Get Your Audience To Follow You On Twitter
One of my favorite Twitter strategies to grow your followership is to follow your audience.
I know it sounds simple, but it works.
To get started go to and enter keywords or hashtags related to your industry, the services you provide, or the name of your audience.
For my Twitter account I used nonprofit + marketing along with several variations:
Then filter the search to people or accounts:
Here you can choose to narrow the search further by selecting specific keywords in the account description by doing a simple control + f search in the web browser.
For example, my search might include nonprofit + marketing in addition to accounts that also have the word fundraising in their profile.
I recommend following 10-20 new accounts per day and keeping a detailed list of your interactions with each account in an Excel or Google spreadsheet.
One thing to avoid while building these relationships is invading your follower’s DMs (direct messages) unless you have something of absolute value to offer.
Messages should be custom and tailored specifically to the individual you’re reaching out to otherwise, you risk fracturing the relationship before it’s even begun.
Note: This Twitter strategy is not intended to be a “quick win” that will skyrocket your followership, engagement, or revenue.
The goal here is to naturally build a following of people in your niche who are most likely to engage with your content and that takes time.
Over the next 3 – 6 months focus on developing content that addresses or answers your audience’s pain points, knowledge gaps, or curiosity.
Twitter chats are a great way to connect with your audience while establishing yourself as an industry influencer.
A while back I joined #npchat, which is a question and answer chat focused on nonprofit marketing.
One of the questions asked us to share our favorite marketing tool for blog posts.
I shared CoScheduled’s Headline Analyzer because it helps to improve the quality of your blog titles:
Here I spoke with Carole about the tool and how we use it.
These are the types of engagements that lead to future collaboration projects like a guest post contribution.
Now that we’ve established rapport the next step is to reach out and lend yourself as a resource.
The worst case scenario is they ignore you or say no.
Best case you begin contributing on a regular basis and gain traction to your personal brand through guest publications.
Popular nonprofit Twitter chats
Views on branded video content have increased 258% on Facebook and 99% on YouTube since 2016, outperforming every other medium on social media.
Video also has the best return on investment of any medium, at least according to 52% of marketing professionals worldwide.
Nonprofits have taken note by investing in video marketing and YouTube as part of their content marketing plan.
For example, Rainforest Alliance’s “Follow the Frog” campaign uses humor to inspire action and show people how they can help.
5.3 million views and 10,000 subscribers later, Rainforest Alliance is still creating video content to bring awareness to their mission.
Thinking about giving YouTube or video marketing a shot?
Recommended social media tools
Instagram For Nonprofits
Did you know 70% of Instagram users report having looked up a brand on the platform?
And that 62% of users follow a brand just because they like it?
Truth be told, Instagram is one of the best social media platforms out there for growing brand awareness and introducing new products or services.
To Write Love On Her Arms, a nonprofit that supports people struggling with depression, addiction, and self-harm are doing just that.
TWLOHA are reaching their target audience through event photos, branded merchandise and original giphys.
Their hashtag #TankTopTuesday, for example, drives insane engagement, receiving over 10,000 views and several comments.
The combination of youth-centric media, video content to promote campaigns, and hosting live events on Instagram is really what drives their success.
Ready to engage with your audience on Instagram?
Snapchat For Nonprofits
It’s no secret that Snapchat is the most popular mobile app for people ages 18 – 34, reaching approximately 31% of them.
Service Works has begun to leverage Snapchat by documenting and sharing their impact as it happens:
Nonprofits can also share a few Snaps to Stories during events to generate awareness and attract new donors.
While there may not be direct fundraising capabilities – yet, Snapchat’s users have higher rates of engagement when compared to other social platforms.
After all, new studies show the average user will spend upwards of 42 minutes per day on the app!
Thinking about experimenting with Snapchat marketing?
Pinterest For Nonprofits
When it comes to sharable content Pinterest is KING.
According to one study, Pinterest pins are 100 times more spreadable than a tweet.
Operation Smile, a nonprofit providing safe and free cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgery to children around the world, is taking advantage of Pinterest to grow awareness to their cause.
Its Pinterest page includes patient stories, creative fundraising and displays of their impact.
Their New Smiles! Before & After Surgery board features before and after photos of children who have received surgeries through operation smile.
Ready to dive into Pinterest marketing?
HubSpot’s Social & Branding template explains the key elements to crafting an authentic brand strategy for your organization.
This toolkit is designed to create content that will resonate with your audience and, ultimately, convert into donors.
Here’s what you can expect:
SproutSocial has put together an in-depth guide on how to develop a winning social media strategy.
In this template you’ll learn how to:
Struggling to drive meaningful results in Facebook marketing for your nonprofit?
Check out this Facebook marketing plan template created by Pan Ann Marketing.
In it, you’ll learn how to develop:
Leadership has one idea in mind when they invest in marketing: make money.
The ability to communicate the proof your work is producing results is key to retaining their support.
Here are a few takeaways you’ll pick up from reading this template:
As social media becomes an increasingly crucial tool for growth and driving sales, you might be asking yourself:
How do I assess whether my social media strategy is working for my organization?
In this 7 step checklist you’ll learn how to:
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TOOLS
Email newsletters and Facebook are the two most preferred content promotion strategies used by nonprofits.
Botletter acts as an extension of your email list where people subscribe to your Facebook Messanger feed.
You can then schedule to send content, information on upcoming events, galas, and more.
According to Botletter’s site, Facebook messages average an 80% open rate compared to the 20% of email newsletters.
Click-through-rates are also 4 to 10 times higher.
This combination means Botletter will improve your brands reach and attract more visitors to your site.
The free version comes with 1,000 messages per month to trial the product.
Nonprofits are investing in Facebook advertising and it’s paying off.
In a recent campaign Save the Children raised 4X more donations and decreased their costs by 76% by testing conversion-optimized ads.
Much of online advertising is about collecting data, analyzing it, and making minor adjustments to ad groups.
Your goal is to identify your best performing ads as soon as possible to increase your ROI.
Of course, this takes time and the longer a campaign runs the more it will cost.
Enter AdEspresso, a platform built to manage multiple Facebook ad campaigns and provides real-time analytics and reporting.
Within the AdEspresso you can:
AdEspresso comes with a 14 free day trial and is worth checking out if you’re investing in Facebook marketing.
Creating stunning visual designs has never been easier than with Canva.
Gone are the days of complicated programs with hundreds of features that require years to master.
With Canva, the drag and drop tools make it effortless to design logos, presentations, and engaging graphics for social media.
Canva for nonprofits gains access to the paid platform including:
Applying for the nonprofit program takes 2 minutes, but make sure to read the eligibility guidelines.
Don’t worry if you’re ineligible; Canva’s free version is quite robust and offers enough features to tackle most projects.
HootSuite is a social media marketing management platform designed to make scheduling posts effortless.
Start by connecting your social media accounts in the HootSuite dashboard and then use the publisher tool to create a draft.
Here you can schedule your post, post it now, or select AutoSchedule.
The AutoSchedule button leverages HootSuite’s data to select the best time of day and post frequency for you.
By default an ow.ly short-link is generated, which provides useful data you can leverage to improve post engagement.
The analytics can then be converted into actionable reports for leadership:
I also recommend the Hootlet Chrome extension, which simplifies sharing down to a single click.
Once installed, hover over an image on any website, click the Hootlet icon, and a content box will appear to share to your social networks.
I find it to be a fast way to share other people’s content – perfect if you want to grow your followership.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to create marketing videos than look no further than Promo.
Here’s how it works:
At $45.00 per video, Promo may seem pricey.
However, these short videos are perfect for driving traffic and engagement from Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
The alternative is to outsource production for several hundreds of dollars or attempt it in-house.