Nonprofit organizations of all sizes are using social media as part of their marketing and fundraising strategies, but (as is true in the for-profit world) not everyone is doing it well. The tools are pretty much the same across the board. They are easy to use, relatively inexpensive and available on multiple digital platforms. What is it that sets an organization apart from the pack and makes their social campaigns extraordinary?

It is simply not enough to optimize your social platforms, produce compelling content, and then try to amass as many followers as you can to blast it out to. Many organizations are still failing to grasp how the majority of people they are trying to reach actually use social media. While each social platform has its own unique environment, the one thing they have in common is that they were created to facilitate human interaction. The organizations that are owning in the social sphere are doing two vital things:  engaging in back-and-forth communications with donors, volunteers and other supporters on these platforms; and facilitating even more conversations between these individuals.

When individuals choose to support your organization, it is usually because your organization is addressing an issue or cause that affects them very personally. Your supporters have a vested interest in seeing your organization succeed, and that interest extends far beyond the walls of your programs and services. Using your social media as a platform for generating conversations and sharing of information between the people who are most affected by the issue also positions you as an expert on all things related to the subject. The byproduct of that, of course, will be that you become indispensable to the people most willing to support the work you do.

Additionally, by keeping your content focused on your organization rather than the issues you work on, you are missing a huge opportunity to engage with your supporters on a daily basis. Instead, try engaging on various aspects of the issue your organization is addressing – look at it from personal, social and policy perspectives. When you engage with your supporters about the issues on multiple levels, you are putting your organization at the center of a huge range of organic conversations happening every day online.

I’ve compiled five stand out organizations that can inspire your organization’s social media strategy. As you review them don’t just pay attention to the content—take note of the engagement happening around the content by other users.

Please feel free to share links to any of the organizations you know doing compelling work with social media in the comments!

  1. World Wildlife Fund on Facebook
  2. Charity : Water on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram
  3. TWLOHA on Instagram
  4. Oceana on Instagram
  5. American Red Cross on LinkedIn

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