How to use social media for non profits

Without a doubt social media has been one of the biggest revolutions in marketing in the last decade.

The latest social media statistics show that there are 3.78 billion social media users worldwide in 2021. That’s about 48% of the world’s population.

Whilst almost 50% of people use the medium for staying in touch with friends and family, a significant number use it to read the news, discover current trends and make purchasing decisions.

Which means if you are trying to reach people, and therefore your customers or stakeholders, social media is a powerful tool, as it can…

… help manage your charity/business reputation
… increase trust in your charity or brand
… allows your organisation to obtain real stakeholder insights and build engagement
… build stakeholder community
… help drive donations
… share news and events

But just because everyone is using the latest social media platform it doesn’t mean that your organisation should follow suit.

Socials? Who are they for?

We would always advocate a deep dive into your key target audiences and stakeholders before making the decision to launch a new social account.  If they are using social media, which is their preferred platform? What are they looking for – news, trends, connections? 

Facebook is still the most popular platform worldwide with 2.91 billion users, however, if your target audience is a younger demographic (below 35) it’s likely that Tik Tok or Instagram is going to be where you will find them. 

Once you’ve made the decision to go digital then, as with all marketing activities, we’d suggest a game plan…you should be writing a strategy specifically for your social media marketing, including… 

– Your key objectives for your social accounts, these could be different for each platform that you use
– An evaluation of your current activity; what works well, how you can improve
– An overview of the who/where/what including which platforms
– How you are going to use social media to achieve results, for example, you could aim to build your donor base or drive supporters to a specific campaign on your website, rather than simply racking up likes

Building a content calendar

What we often see is clients wanting to set up new social media accounts and just launch into posting, but as with any other marketing activity you still need to plan, create and consider content.  

Do you want your content to entertain, start conservations, inspire, educate, or raise awareness? How often will you be posting and when? 

We advocate a ‘thirds’ rule: one third of content is news – a new team member or event. One third ‘selling’ or promotion for a charity might be promoting a charity fundraiser or appeal. And then one third brand building, so content around impact or awareness raising.  As you plan each month’s content, adjust your posting based on feedback and engagement.

By planning, even with a basic calendar, you can also ensure that whole teams can post and remain consistent in their messaging and tone of voice.  Once you have a framework of what it is you want to say, and to whom, then consider the type of content you’ll be posting.

Getting Creative with content

“What should I be posting?” is one of the questions we are most often asked by clients struggling to find creative and fresh content to post on their social media.

Content creation is about knowing what type of content to post to get engagement from your target audience that you are looking for. Be useful and interesting, not pushing and salesy, and aim for ‘telling not selling’ with a good mix of content to include:

· Written posts: blogs, articles, guides
· Images & Infographics – posts with visual consistency get higher engagement. 
· Videos
· Reels
· Stories
· Links to external content
· Links to internal content

Visual content is key

To stop people scrolling past your posts you will want to have some bold, striking visuals. There are a number of free tools you can use to help you create visually exciting content. We particularly like Canva – which gives us the capacity to produce great graphics.

Posting your content

Unless you have plenty of time to spend on social media each day we suggest using a scheduling tool to post content, especially if you are managing multiple pages and platforms. This way it’s easy to do a whole week or month’s worth of posting in one go, as well as helping to keep messaging consistent and helping you manage your content. Tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite also give you plenty of information for you to gather really useful data and feedback.

Stuck with your social media? The team at Marketing with Purpose are always happy to help, so if you’d like to book in a free half hour consultation to kick start your socials, then why not drop us a line at

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