What is social media management?

Learn all about social media management from consultant, Linda Handley. She shares the best social media platforms and software to use, as well as top tips to maximize engagement.

$

Raised

Supporters

Teams/Members

Nonprofit Strategies

What is social media management?

Learn all about social media management from consultant, Linda Handley. She shares the best social media platforms and software to use, as well as top tips to maximize engagement.

$

Raised

Supporters

Teams

Learn all about social media management from consultant, Linda Handley. She shares the best social media platforms and software to use, as well as top tips to maximize engagement.

$

Raised

Supporters

Teams

At the heart of social media management is engaging with followers. For nonprofits, in particular, I have seen firsthand what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to social media engagement. That's why I'm sharing the importance of social media matters for nonprofits, the best platforms to use, and top tips to save time and improve results.

Why use social media for nonprofits? 🧐

There are many reasons why you’d want to use social media for your organization. Here are  the top 4 advantages:

  1. Build brand awareness: Being active on social media helps you stand out and keeps your name on peoples’ minds. After enough exposure, you’re bound to get more interested people  checking out your brand’s content.
  2. Connect with customers: It’s a rookie mistake to think that your organization just needs to “close the ask.” Instead, social media opens the lines of communications between you and your supporter base.
  3. Boost your SEO: By promoting your content on social media, you can get more likes, views,  shares, and engagement with your content. Then, you’ll drive more traffic to your site, which boosts page views. These are all positive signs to search engines like Google, and these factors  help improve your SEO.
  4. Grow your mailing list: Once people get to your website from your social media content, you’ll have more opportunities to turn traffic into leads. Over time, you can use this traffic to grow your email list and generate even more funds from your email campaigns.

The best social media platforms for nonprofit organizations ✨

Not sure which social media platforms to start with or keep prioritizing? Here are the top 8 most engaging social media platforms for nonprofits:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. LinkedIn
  5. YouTube
  6. Reddit
  7. Pinterest
  8. Quora

Top Social media management tools for nonprofits in 2021

Getting the right tools and software programs can make ALL the difference when you are trying to build your organization.

Different stages of growth require the addition (or deletion) of different resources. When you’re bootstrapping it, you can probably make do with leveraging a few core (free or low cost) resources. Below I will give you a look at what I use, have used, and what I suggest for nonprofits.

1. Eclincher:

Eclincher is a social media marketing management tool that provides full control over the information and helps in managing the online accounts associated with channels. Eclincher has great customer service and has a quick response every time. Eclincher might be the best-kept secret in social media due to their grassroots ‘word of mouth’ content marketing efforts in the past. ‘Ec’, as brand advocates tote, has been reviewed as “the Swiss-army knife of social media.”

Why Eclincher? This is a great platform for established nonprofits and organizations that have the budget to spend on social platforms. This tool allows you to manage social media channels (including TikTok), plan content of other platforms, use an amazing social listening tool, and build true automation for social media interactions.

2. Falcon.io:

Falcon.io is a cloud-based social media marketing and customer experience management solution that features tools for social media listening, engagement, publishing content,  measuring, and customer data management. They pride themselves on being versatile for any marketer, whether for a solopreneur or a digital agency.

Why Falcon.io? Falcon.io provides users with a content calendar that allows them to plan, create and schedule content in collaboration with marketing teams. What I like about Falcon.io is the ability to respond to messages across all platforms from one inbox. Messages are flagged based on engagement, allowing you to be more efficient when you manage your accounts.

3. Sprout Social:

Sprout Social has positioned its scalable platform to large organizations and teams known favorably for social media monitoring, scheduling posts, analytics, and team management with approval workflows.

Why Sprout? Sprout offers post approvals and administering permission settings, which caters to digital agencies in addition to medium-sized organizations. I like Sprout Social for a number of reasons; it is very user-friendly and you can easily work with teams. You will want to keep an eye on pricing if you have a large team. They have made many enhancements over the years and seem to have an eye towards the future. If you use Youtube for your nonprofit you will want to review their Youtube integration prior to purchasing.

4. Hootsuite:

Hootsuite was first on the social media marketing scene and has been around since 2008.  Hootsuite is the most blogged about social media platform out there, and you will find they exist on most listicles. They are well known for content curation, organization, and social media scheduling, monitoring, and RSS integration and have a notable reputation.

Why Hootsuite? Hootsuite’s social media management tool allows for bulk scheduling. This means you can upload several posts at once in addition to client management support. Hootsuite has many of the tools that other platforms do, including integrations and curation, but the differentiator is the pricing. This tool allows you to manage multiple accounts and not worry about spending too much when managing your social.

5. Agorapulse:

Agorapulse, similar to the above fully integrated social media management platforms, contains all of the main scheduling features, visual calendar, social inbox, analytics, and team collaboration. Like eclincher, Agorapulse also provides a competitor analysis and permits boosted Facebook posts to capture your audience.

Why Agorapulse? Agorapulse has a cult following of niche users that use this social media management software to meet their needs. It is a great tool, but you will want to review pricing first because it can be pricey for larger nonprofits.

6. Buffer:

Buffer is a well-rounded and easy-to-use social media tool offering publishing social media posts with one queue, engagement, analytics, and team features. Buffer is considered an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses,  agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media channels.

Why Buffer? I like Buffer and have recommended Buffer to nonprofits because it is a very simple way to create and schedule content. It allows you to simplify the content planning process. It also allows for user permissions and creating a user workflow. I also like the reasonable pricing plans and the fact that you can separate content planning from analytics.

7. Later:

Later’s social media management software is best used for a visual content calendar and scheduler. Later originally started as a social media posting tool focused on Instagram as the main social channel.

Why Later? Originally, Later offered content planning to optimize the visual aspect of the Instagram feed. Eventually, Later evolved into a visual calendar incorporating most social media channels. I use Later for Instagram scheduling (the free version). If you’re on a budget and can’t afford other higher-priced options yet, this could be a great option for your nonprofit!

8. Buffer:

Buffer is a well-rounded and easy-to-use social media tool offering publishing social media posts with one queue, engagement, analytics, and team features. Buffer is considered an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses,  agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media channels.

Why Buffer? I like Buffer and have recommended Buffer to nonprofits because it is a very simple way to create and schedule content. It allows you to simplify the content planning process. It also allows for user permissions and creating a user workflow. I also like the reasonable pricing plans and the fact that you can separate content planning from analytics.

9. Canva:

Canva is a wonderful tool designed to help you manage the visuals for social media. This tool gives you the freedom to create your own design without knowing anything about web designing.

Why Canva? Canva is great for nonprofits because it comes with a FREE version.  You can use Canva to help you create great graphics for social media posts.  Also, you can create beautiful Board presentations, funding decks, and training decks for volunteers or staff.

10. CoSchedule:

It is a marketing calendar to help you manage projects on a single dashboard social media management tool. You can simultaneously share and publish content to save time. CoSchedule helps you boost your productivity by making your workflow organized.

Why CoSchedule? Planning your work with CoSchedule keeps your entire team accountable to ensure that your work gets done in a timely manner. A strong plan, created and executed with CoSchedule, can be managed more easily than using multiple tools.

11. Edgar:

Edgar helps schedule content sharing in a unique way. It does not add up all the content in a single queue. Instead, it adds content in different categories, and then it adds a publishing time to each category. This helps you target a certain niche at a set time.

Why Edgar? Edgar automatically re-posts an update to make sure it reaches a wider range of audiences to make sure that no content goes unnoticed. Statistics show that followers are using some platforms less on a daily basis, and you want to be able to have your content show up at the right times and not disappear. I also like the fact that there are multiple ways to upload content into the platform (e.g., RSS feeds).

12. IFTTT:

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a creative social media management tool. You can use it to build a connection between different apps and devices (including social networks). It works on an action-reaction mechanism that helps you boost productivity effortlessly.

Why IFTTT? IFTTT has partnerships with different service providers that supply event notifications to IFTTT and execute commands that implement the responses. This is an amazing platform that allows you to create custom voice commands for your Google assistant, automate Google sheets,  automatically upload Instagram posts to other platforms like Facebook, set up email notifications when there is a trigger notification (like an email from a donor). This is a platform that can really help nonprofits automate.

Social media management tips to save time and improve results 📈

Focus on quality ✍️

It’s always good to have a constant flow of content and announcements, but I would much rather have nothing at all than sub-standard posts with incorrect information. We want to make sure that we are sharing content that is good enough to be re-shared or retweeted.

Be consistent 🔁

How consistently you post should be specific to each social media platform you’re utilizing. Some platforms like Twitter and Instagram Stories require you to be active multiple times per day to get the maximum views and engagement from your audience.

Focus your messaging 🎧

Each platform you use will have its own unique demographic. There will be an overlap of the people you’re targeting on each platform, but it’s still essential to understand your demographics so you can tailor your message to have the most impact. Having a focused message will help you create higher quality content that is on brand and resonates with your audience.

Plan budgets according to platform performance 💸

Timing is important; how well you manage this resource will determine how well you perform on social. Plan to invest your time and money based on the return that each platform gives you.

Keep an eye on what’s trending 👀

Once you have your key messaging determined, keep an eye on popular trends emerging on each platform. Live streaming is a trend that I am encouraging nonprofits to focus on.  If you have a creative team or someone who loves video, enlist their support.  Showcase your operations, your newest volunteer, your latest day of giving, ways to donate items to your organization - the sky is the limit!

Join communities 👋

Within large social networks, smaller communities are increasingly important. Whether it’s Facebook Groups, Tailwind communities, Tweet Chats, or LinkedIn Groups, there are plenty of opportunities for you to connect with like-minded supporters and organizations within your niche.

Know your audience 🧠

Your audience is the lifeblood of your organization. If you don’t know who they are, you may find it difficult to reach and connect with them on social media. Also, you don’t want to spend and advertise in all the wrong places.

Interact with your audience 👍

Social media users crave authentic interaction with the brands they follow. So, on top of posting high-quality and relevant content, make sure you’re keeping an eye on each platform you use and engaging with your audience. Try Facebook Lives or IG TV as new ways to authentically connect with your audience.

Involve your entire team 🤳

Your fundraising or marketing teams don’t have to be the only people contributing to your social media posts. Encourage employees from your company’s other departments to help your social media marketing efforts. Whether it’s contributing content to the blog, sharing their photos, or taking followers behind the scenes, the more involved your team is, the better.

Use an editorial calendar 📆

Social media marketing is all about engaging your audience with great content that they like and interact with. _Editorial Calendar_s were coined by the newspaper industry. Nowadays, it’s also being used in digital and social media marketing. An editorial calendar is an important part of social media management. It helps you drive your content marketing efforts on social media.

Be good at follower care 💛

The best way to engage with your audience on social media is to interact with them, listen to them, and help them solve their issues. Twitter & Facebook are great platforms where you can interact and engage with your supporters directly and in real-time.

Share stories 📚

As the old saying goes, “You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything.” Great stories are at the heart of every great marketing campaign. The very best marketers put stories at the heart of their work. Stories of supporters, employees, advocates, fans, friends, partners, community, and anything which is important and relevant for their audience.

Avoid over-posting and under-posting ⚖️

There’s no universal frequency that works for everybody. Paying close attention to metrics can give you great insights.

Take engagement to the next level 🚀

Looking to take supporter engagement to the next level? My friends and partners at Givebutter have created the most engaging online fundraising platform I’ve seen! Every campaign is beautifully designed so that your donors can connect with your organization’s story, teams, and other supporters including a LIVE supporter feed. You can offer an engaging, social-media-like fundraising experience with Givebutter - get started for free today.

Givebutter made a $100 donation to Linda's charity of choice, The Blessing Board, for her guest blog contribution

Linda Handley
Author

Linda Handley

Consultant

Linda Handley is a growth-minded business executive who has successfully managed operations for multi-billion dollar corporations to small startups. She's most recognized as an innovative professional with an art for developing creative corporate strategies and new business ideas to increase business performance, collaboration, staff productivity, and community awareness. 

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