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5 ways to improve your social media strategy


Social media allows organisations to promote themselves and their values, causes and services to a wide range of existing and potential members and sponsors. Facebook has over 10 million Australian users, YouTube has over 9.8 million unique Australian visitors and Twitter and LinkedIn each have over 1.8 million unique Australian visitors, providing an abundance of marketing opportunities.

Social media is a valuable marketing tool for organisations and setting up a social media profile is usually free, making it perfect for NFPs’ limited funds. However without a social media strategy in place social media use can be ineffective, resulting in unsatisfactory results and wasting time.

Creating a social media strategy and plan helps NFPs reach their members, tap into new markets and generate greater public awareness, all with minimal effort and cost. All it takes is five steps:

1. Consider your goals
Many NFPs scramble to gain more followers or fans, forgetting that this is not the most important aspect of social media. Social media is about building relationships and engaging with your audience to achieve a main goal. NFPs need to decide what they want to achieve by using social media. Your goal could be:

  • To raise awareness of your organisation
  • To attract donations
  • To increase your members
  • To create loyalty among your current members or donors
  • To create an online community for members
  • To exchange ideas on topics related to your organisation
  • To position your organisation as a leader in its field.

2. Define your audience
In order to achieve your goals you will need to know who you are targeting. The following questions will help you decide which social media is appropriate to reach your audience – Facebook is not always the best.

  • Who are you targeting? Are they members, potential members, sponsors, advocates or someone else?
  • What is their relationship with your organisation? Are they aware of your organisation? Have they donated to it before? Are they advocates?
  • How do they use social media? What motivates them to act? What sort of social media do they use? What do they value?

3. How will you engage your audience?
Once you know who your audience is you will know what content will interest them. The idea is to get your audience coming back to your profile so that they are in constant contact with your organisation and have a connection with it. What can you offer them to get them coming back to your profile?

Here are some ideas:

  • Announce events on social media
  • Organise events on social media, such as discussion forums
  • Have free giveaways. This could be a small item, anything to make your fans and followers feel appreciated.
  • Thank all new followers by writing on their wall (Facebook) or using their @profilename (Twitter)
  • Post photos of your organisation’s events and workplace, and encourage people to tag themselves on Facebook. This builds loyalty by allowing your audience to feel involved in your organisation.
  • Ask questions and conduct polls to encourage involvement
  • Post updates on news that affects or interests your audience
  • Post exclusive content.

4. Set a specific time to focus on social media
Allocate a time to engage with social media based on your goals and audience. Knowing how frequently you use social media will help you manage your day and result in more effective social media use.

5. Integrate social media with other marketing communication
Make use of your other content to minimise the work that goes into maintaining your social media account,. For example:

  • Include a Facebook or Twitter link on your website to drive people to your social media page and build your followers
  • Announce new articles that you have posted on your website and provide a link to drive traffic to your website
  • Tell people about your advertising campaigns
  • Post updates about your organisation, including any new staff or publications.

By planning, implementing and adhering to these five steps your social media strategy will be purpose-driven and a valuable marketing tool for your organisation.

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