Social media is one of the greatest tools your nonprofit has, especially with Giving Tuesday right around the corner. It can help you quickly reach millions of people directly on their phones and motivate them to give to your organization! However, not all social media content can grab your audience’s attention this effectively, especially with all the changes happening in the social media world.
Social media is constantly evolving to match what its users want to see. Different platforms receive algorithm updates, new platforms—like Threads—are created and gain popularity, and with the increase of content being posted, there’s been a decline in organic engagement. As social media changes, it’s important to change how you use it. As you prepare for Giving Tuesday, look into what changes you need to make to your social media strategy to make sure your content is seen by potential donors.
How NOT to use social media
Before you start planning your social media for Giving Tuesday, it’s important to know what’s not working. Here are five things to avoid when creating effective social media content:
1. Don’t post just to post
Most social media platforms have best practices about how often you should post content to boost your audience reach, but your posts need to be intentional as well as consistent. Don’t spam your followers with posts that don’t have a purpose. Remember, you’re posting to motivate your supporters to donate to your nonprofit.
Whether you tell a success story about someone your organization has helped or answer questions about the work you do, use your social media content to form personal connections with your supporters that will help your nonprofit raise more funds to further help your community.
2. Don’t go overboard with the hashtags
People use hashtags to find content that relates to their common interests online, similar to how the Giving Tuesday hashtag helps people find causes and organizations to donate to in November. But you should only use a few hashtags relevant to your posts, such as a hashtag for your cause, a hashtag specific to your organization, a hashtag for an awareness day or month, and possibly a hashtag challenge to raise awareness.
Going overboard on hashtags can restrict your reach on social media platforms because algorithms may read the excess of hashtags as spam content. As a best practice, you only want to add a few hashtags to any post, depending on the platform. For Facebook, use two to three hashtags; for Instagram and LinkedIn, you can add three to five hashtags; and for X limit yourself to only one or two hashtags per post.
3. Be strategic with your platforms
If you’re only on one or two social media platforms, you may be missing out on audiences who would love to support your organization. With all the different platforms out there, it’s best to choose a few with different audiences so you aren’t limiting your reach, but you don’t need to be on every platform.
In fact, to create effective social media content, you should limit the number of platforms you use based on your bandwidth to make sure you’re creating purposeful content. If you’re on too many platforms, you could be stretching your content too thin, which will lead to you posting just to post instead of creating intentional content. Choose your social media platforms based on your supporters’ demographics and the demographics of supporters you want to attract.
4. Don’t be generic
With the number of nonprofits that post for Giving Tuesday, you want your organization to stand out from the crowd. A simple photo with a generic Giving Tuesday caption in a sea of millions of similar posts won’t motivate people to give to your nonprofit over everyone else.
People are more likely to donate to causes they can connect with, so give your posts personal touches to help you connect with your supporters on an emotional level! Make your captions original and engaging to capture people’s attention.
5. Don’t rely on organic traffic
The popularity of social media means that there are billions of people posting content online. Social media algorithms are constantly flooded with content, making it more difficult for your content to appear organically on your supporters’ timelines.
With organic traffic down, your organization can’t just rely on regular posts. Most social media platforms have built-in advertising tools that offer you some way to promote your posts to be seen by more people.
5 tips for more effective social media
To start creating effective social media content for your Giving Tuesday campaign, here are 5 tips to help boost your engagement and get your content seen by potential donors:
1. Take advantage of social advertising
Since you can’t rely on organic traffic to make your posts visible to all of your followers, take advantage of social advertising for your Giving Tuesday campaign. Start using ad campaigns to raise awareness of your cause leading up to Giving Tuesday, and boost some of your posts on the day of to make sure people see your nonprofit.
You don’t need to spend a lot on social advertising to drastically increase the visibility of your posts! Many platforms have affordable options that will help you reach more potential donors.
2. Go live!
Livestreaming is an increasingly popular tool in the social media world because it gives you a great opportunity to interact with your donors and show them behind the scenes at your organization. You can easily host a Q&A or tour of your workspace right from your phone, direct to your followers!
Besides the interactivity of livestreaming, it also helps increase your organization’s visibility. Many of the social media platforms offering livestreaming, such as Instagram and Facebook, send notifications to followers when a page they follow goes live so your supporters will know when to tune in. Use livestreaming on Giving Tuesday to engage with your followers and remind them of the holiday outside of your usual posts.
3. Do more than post a graphic
Human eyes are usually attracted directly to visuals, making graphics a key part of any effective social media strategy. But random images won’t help you connect with your audience. To build that connection, your graphics need to tell a story.
If you have a powerful image to post, use the caption to tell your supporters why you find the image impactful. Or use a series of images to show progress on a project with before and after photos. You can even create fun infographics to update your followers on how your nonprofit is advancing your cause. Use your visuals in your Giving Tuesday posts to garner that emotional connection with your followers.
4. Use interactive media, like video
As social media grows, the type of content favored by algorithms changes to match what is getting the most engagement. Recently, that shift has favored video content. Posts featuring videos get more clicks, making video content a must for your Giving Tuesday social media strategy.
Your video content doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. You can make a short video of different projects your organization has completed over the years or record thank-you messages for your donors from the people you’ve helped. And don’t worry! There are many social media tools to help you edit videos without hiring a professional editor.
5. Interact with your supporters
The biggest thing to remember when creating effective social media content is the main purpose of social media: being social! The whole point of all these platforms is to interact with your community, and the more you engage with your supporters, the better your posts will do.
Answer comments from your followers to show your nonprofit is more than just a logo and a name asking for money. Create a hashtag campaign for Giving Tuesday and share your followers’ posts. Combine your efforts with other nonprofits and local leaders through content collaborations to foster change within your community. People are social beings, and the best way to connect with them is to talk to them.
Social media has seen some major changes over the past years, and to effectively use social media, you have to evolve your strategy alongside it. Make sure your social media is ready to go for Giving Tuesday to help your nonprofit maximize your fundraising efforts. Happy posting!