Best Social Media Management Tools For Nonprofits – We all have hundreds of ideas for content to post on social media… until it’s time to actually post something on social media. And as New York City Ballet co-founder George Balanchine once said, “My muse must come to me in time for the union.” We’re willing to bet that the NYCB Digital team feels the same way, especially when it comes to getting the right content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or any other social media marketing platform (we won’t judge you if you’re still trying to make Friendster).
However, if your muse is stuck in traffic, here are some of our favorite social media post ideas to get you started. The key to all of these ideas is being human and looking at your analytics to see what works. Create strategies that lead to engagement and discard those that don’t.
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Create a template using Canva that you can use and reuse with multiple iterations for inspirational quotes. We love how quickly orgs like Stand Up 2 Cancer can turn this around on Instagram. A consistent look helps establish your credibility as a content producer. Be sure to include your logo or website URL so it can be traced back to your organization.
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Get ready for another Canva template: pull facts and figures from your annual report, recent research, or static content on your site and create an image that can share the truth. Bonus points for adding visual elements like graphs to help drive the point home.
Create a Twitter list (hidden or unhidden) of influencers such as bloggers, journalists, news sites and partner organizations who share information useful to your audience. This makes it easy to retweet or find new ideas for content that works well and content that can be repurposed on other platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook.
Jump into existing trends like #MotivationMonday, #WisdomWednesday, or #FridayReads — or other hashtags you find trending on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Using these will give your posts more visibility. #ThrowbackThursday is the perfect opportunity for nonprofits to illustrate impact over time.
Create a custom series (like #ReadingRecWednesdays) and consistently publish content that users expect. The Lung Cancer Foundation of America does this with their #LivingWithLungCancer series, highlighting the human face of the disease they are working to cure.
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Are you working in the field working for the rights of a marginalized or underrepresented community? Amplify their voices on your platform. This is why we love nonprofit literary magazine Electric Literature’s #ReadMoreWomen series.
Post fill-in-the-blanks and ask users to respond with their answer in the comments. These work best when you present them visually, like a colorful image with text. If you’re too settled and worried no one is responding, ask volunteers or staff (and their friends/family) to get the ball rolling.
When in doubt, integrate cat videos. But seriously – does owning a pet help people recover from a certain illness? Have a recent news story related to dogs in your field? Again, points to LCFA for owning this idea with #CatsAgainstLungCancer.
Crowdsource your content: Have users post their own photos on Instagram using a hashtag you create and repost the best submissions. Or ask what your followers are reading/watching/listening to. This creates great user engagement and also adds to your arsenal of content that will expand over time. Another example from Electric Literature: They asked followers to share their literature-inspired tattoos and even turned it into a website article (see account strategist Whaler Olivia Giovetti’s Tolstoy and Milan Kundera-inspired ink).
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Set up Google Alerts on key phrases relevant to your organization so you’ll get consistent updates as your cause gets buzz. Respond in real time while people are actually having conversations.
But tailor for the medium. Social media platforms prioritize content that keeps users on their site and drives them to your site, so consider ways to capture stories as slideshows or Powtoon videos for Instagram and Facebook, create a condensed tweet-thread with takeaways and facts, or come up with an infographic for Pinterest.
Show your influence in action, but also consider your company culture. We love seeing Team Fox in action at the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Prepare your team to take photos and videos of on-the-ground events whenever possible. Set up a Google Drive folder or email address where your staff knows they can send footage. For presentations, have speakers add a slide to their deck asking users to tweet questions, photos, and videos from the presentation. Make it as easy as possible for your staff to gather useful content.
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Steal content from your other platforms and see what similar organizations are doing to engage their audience. If the post performed well on LinkedIn, be sure to tweet a shortened version. Host your Youtube videos on Facebook to get more views.
When establishing your company as a thought leader in the space, quick activity on your Twitter or other similar accounts can mean lots of new followers and engagement. Follow conference and event hashtags — and consider following ones you won’t attend — where you can still add to the conversation.
Ask quiz-style questions and let users comment on their guesses. Follow up the next day with an answer. (Boom! Two different post ideas in one!)
Don’t be afraid to keep it simple! Find funny gifs on giphy, memes, political cartoons, ecards on memes.com, or create your own funny content from jokes or funny celebrity quotes. Search for “animated .gif” + your topic or take a shot at creating your own.
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It is one of the top platforms for user-generated content and has constant discussions (from serious to very light) on a wide variety of topics.
Getting people to write content for you is a win-win because it (a) helps them gain exposure, (b) increases their commitment to your organization, and (c) gives you free content for your site, which benefits your SEO and your social media. Reach out to your extended network and build a list of volunteers who will write just for you.
Frame the content in such a way that people feel they are missing out on news or information that everyone should know.
Can you give illegal shock in your posts? Does it have to be seen to be believed? Browse UpWorthy.com’s headlines to see how they turn ordinary posts into must-reads.
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Create content that makes people better at what they do in their jobs or relationships. What are some tips you offer on a daily basis?
Is there a hot-button issue or debate where you represent the devil’s advocate position? “You don’t believe Trump’s opinion on X” unfortunately works for a large range of issues.
Not just visual memes! Internet culture has its own lexicon of joke frames (think of it as a knock-knock joke but with weird humor). The crisis text line is ideal for this.
Another great thing Crisis Text Line does is use its Crisis Trends data on social media. But instead of just throwing out dry numbers, they make it personal: “According to our Crisis Trends data, Mondays are the most stressful day of the week. What tips and tricks do you use to manage Monday anxiety?” Asking open-ended questions can also stimulate conversation, which will serve you well in social media algorithms.
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Chances are you’re getting your content in front of less than 10% of your total followers. If you have an article or resource that you want to get the most out of your social media, don’t be afraid to share it more than once. See publishers like
Not only do they re-share content on Twitter and Facebook, but they also test different titles with each share to make it interesting for first-timers.
Content is especially relevant and re-relevant around holidays and anniversaries. Check out some of the spring and summer holidays we’ve collected here, and consider birthdays/birth-anniversaries, historical dates, or even UN Awareness Days as opportunities to share something relevant.
Highlight the people in your organization, whether it’s your team or (even better) those who will benefit from your services. What do your employees do outside the office? How have people been affected by your services? Consider the Humans of New York approach.
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Competitions and prizes drive the action. Use a tool like Shortstock to enforce a content-locked download, or use a giveaway of merchandise or swag (this can also be a great way to collect email addresses from entrants).
Tell your story in real time — use #OTD (On Today) to share milestones from your organization like new hires, promotions, expansions, or that day your co-worker’s dog came into the office and made everyone.
Broadcast on Instagram or Facebook from a presentation, practice session, or performance (your work or protest – all happening in 2019).
An email address is more valuable than a
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