Nonprofits notoriously don’t have any money to put towards their social media marketing strategies. Recently I attended a Social Media for Nonprofits conference specifically talking about how to maximize your social media without breaking the bank. Everyone knows that to survive on Facebook you have to pay to play, now it’s increasingly more difficult to get your posts seen and business noticed. Facebook does let you do some pretty cool stuff though, for free even! For example, you can import all your contacts into their Invite Email Contacts page and they will invite your contacts to Like your business page. This is a really easy way to get existing people who support your cause to Like your page. If you already have a relationship with them, they are more likely to Like your page however, if you never ask they won’t do it.
One thing that has been difficult for me is ASKING. There is tons of research out there that show the power of asking, if you never ask someone to do something how will they know to do it? It can be hard at times to ask, you don’t want to come off too strong pushing someone to do what you want. We have all been in that position where you have a pushy salesperson who just won’t let you shop in peace! Don’t be that person!!
It’s easy to step over that line between someone who is posting about their products and services all the time and someone who genuinely takes the time to come up with interesting, educational information. We can only read so much about your sale for last minute Mary Kay items or what dodgy venue you’re band is playing at on Friday night. After about the third post in three hours you will soon be unsubscribed to or simply unfriended. Being unfriended is like the END of your Facebook reputation and all is lost after that. But, what if there was a way to promote your products or services without being overly annoying and bombarding people?
Fortunately, there is! Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? 80% of posts should be educational, informative, and engaging content that people can actually relate to. 20% of posts should be related to your products, services, and how you can solve a problem for them. This way you can tell people about what you’re doing while keeping them reading and engaged on your page. This is obviously not meant to be an exact science calculated down to the percentage of posts you should make one way or the other but, it is meant to be a rough guide to keep yourself in check and your readers still reading.
Just by making sure you are writing relevant content and posting about stuff your readers would be interested can go a long way. Maybe you only have $20 a month to spend on Facebook Ads, that’s totally fine. Keep your budget in mind and utilize some of the free advertising methods that Facebook offers (if you aren’t using hashtags it’s time to start.) Also, remember that everyone struggles to come up with interesting, unique content. You are not alone on that one!
What challenges does your nonprofit face in regards to social media?