How to Build a Community on Social Media
Social Media is key to any thriving nonprofit or ministry. The various platforms open the lines of communication between your organization and millions of people you would never have been able to reach before. The goal of Social Media for your organization should be to build relationships. So let’s talk about how you grow your audience and build your community.
Who Should be in Your Community?
Your community should be comprised of a diverse group of people who care about the work you are doing. These people are the ones who are invested in your mission and want to see you succeed. They may also have been directly affected by your work. Either way, it is important for them to be connected to you on Social Media.
Your community should also include donors, past, present, and future. You want to make sure that you are connecting with people who have donated in the past or who have the potential to become donors. Social Media is a great place to keep the community updated on the work you are doing. If donors are seeing all the wonderful things your organization or ministry is accomplishing in their newsfeed, they will be more likely to donate. They have a first-hand account of where the organization’s money is going.
It may seem like a no-brainer but it is important to connect with the people in the community you serve. These people are the ones your organization is directly affecting. Local business owners, politicians, church leaders, and other community members should be following you on Social Media. They are public influencers and you want them to see how your organization or ministry is helping the community.
Stakeholders should also be a part of your Social Media community. That means volunteers, board members, clients, and donors should all be involved online. They have a vested interest in your work and it is important for them to stay up to date on the amazing things you are doing.
If you Build it, They will Come
Now that you know who should be in your community, the next part is to build it. One of the ways to build your community is to have an active online presence. This means that you are posting regularly and keeping your online profile relevant with up-to-date information. You should also be creating high-quality content in order to keep your audience engaged. This means creating graphics, using photos, and videos. The content should also be relevant to your mission. Program updates, client success stories, and donation recognition are all types of content that you should be sharing with your online community.
Another aspect of Social Media is providing value to your audience. You need to set yourselves apart as an expert in your field. Share statistics and information on how your organization is making a difference. Share articles or research that are relevant to your work and support your mission. These are all ways to not only grow your audience but keep them engaged as well.
What NOT to Do
There are a lot of mistakes that some organizations make when utilizing Social Media. One of the first mistakes is only focusing on the needs of the organization. While it may be true that you need funding to pay the rent and to keep the lights on, that’s not what your audience wants to hear. What you should focus on instead is how your organization is helping the community. Focus on why your services are important and how they are making an impact. If the public sees you as vital to the welfare of the community, they will support you.
Another mistake is posting occasionally. You cannot expect to grow your audience and keep them engaged if you are only posting once or twice a month. You have to post high-quality content regularly.
Finally, if all you do on Social Media is ask for money constantly, you will never build your community. You have to get in the habit of sharing other kinds of content and ask for money only when necessary.
All in all, Social Media can be a big undertaking and doing it well can be a struggle. Hopefully, these tips will help you build your ideal Social Media community.
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