Social media is an ever changing environment. It is important to remember these basics:
– Consistency is key.
Post-high-quality content regularly. I would recommend using a social media management tool that allows you to keep your social media managers in one place. I really like later.com.
– Show the impact.
Show your users what their money is doing for your organization. They want to see your clients eating the food they are buying.
Always include a clear action when posting. What do you want people to do?
While it’s impossible to predict how the social media marketing landscape will change over the course of a year, here are a couple of trends to watch out for according to DonorBox.org, and I love them all!
Social Media Trend #1: Instagram Stories
The “ephemeral” video content (content that lasts a short period of time before disappearing) is continuing to grow for social platforms.
Although Instagram rolled out the Stories feature years after Snapchat has been using and developing the feature, Instagram Stories has already accrued more than 250 million daily users compared to the 173 million daily active Snapchat users.
- Instagram Stories can be seen for just 24 hours before they disappear.
- Photos and videos shared to your ‘Story’ don’t appear on your profile’s ‘grid’ or on your follower’s feed – the content exists only in the ‘Stories’ bar at the top of the app.
- Stories are a series of videos or photos, all capped at 15 seconds, but you can add as many as you want.
- Stories are generally less polished and posed than photos on the Instagram feed.
So, why and how should your nonprofit use Instagram Stories?
- Instagram allows you to build an audience due to features such as hashtags, recommended accounts, location tagging options, and ‘Search’ and ‘Explore’ sections.
- Since Stories are less polished than Instagram posts, use them to build authentic and personable voice and to interact with your followers.
- Showcase people. People prefer to connect with people on social media, much more than brands and logos.
- Sign up for the Instagram Business account. It’s free, and it provides you with several useful tools that you do not get with the personal account, including analytics and a Contact button.
- Create a strategy around your story and invest time and thought. Use this guide on how to craft an engaging Instagram story to help.
Here’s how CARE used Instagram stories to tell compelling stories of seven women. Their campaign was titled “Stories from the Other Side of the World,” and it follows seven women over seven days, their streams littered with the tropes of Stories narrative—”end of the day #exhausted,” #nevergiveup, “family breakfast,” “back to school.”
Don’t miss out on utilizing Instagram Stories to grow your nonprofit. Instagram Stories are an opportunity for you to post several times throughout a day without spamming your followers’ timelines, and Instagram users are avid users.
Social Media Trend #2: Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been big for the past couple of years. Many declare it dead’ since the market got oversaturated at one point, reducing the effectiveness of influencer marketing.
This is because the overwhelming amount of sponsored content started having an opposite effect on users. Millennials are less trusting of influencer these days, since the line between what’s genuine and what’s not became more blurry.
This is not to say that influencer marketing is dead. It still produces results and is evolving.
So, what are influencers?
Influencer marketing grew out of celebrity endorsement. Businesses and organizations have found for many years that their sales/engagement/donations usually rise when a celebrity promotes or endorses them. There are still many cases of businesses, particularly high-end brands, using celebrities as influencers.
However, during the past couple of years especially, influencer marketing has been about partnering with people with a substantial following online (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram etc.) who have built a reputation in a particular niche (e.g. fashion, beauty, finance, health etc).
By paying for a sponsored post, your organization can gain access to their following (although some influencers will do it for free for charities).
Influencer marketing in 2018 is all about micro influencers. Micro influencers have between 1k–100k followers on social media. People with 500k–1 million followers and 100k–500k followers fall into the macro influencer and middle influencer categories, respectively.
The engagement rate is usually better with micro influencers, probably since others can relate to them more easily than say Beyonce.
Make sure to choose influencers who speak out or are active in areas related to your nonprofit’s mission. For example, let’s say you run an animal shelter. Preventing animal cruelty is part of your brand’s mission statement.
You shouldn’t work with a micro influencer who bought a puppy from a puppy mill or promotes buying leather jackets. That just doesn’t fit with your mission and brand. You can even work with multiple influencers for each campaign. After that, you should take a look at the analytics for each influencer for valuable information such as:
- conversion rates to donation
For those influencers whose posts end up working well for your nonprofit, invest in building meaningful relationships with them.
Social Media Trend #3: Live Streaming
The power of social video is undeniable. Facebook has around 500 million people watching Facebook videos every day. 82% of Twitter users consistently watch video content on the platform. Snapchat generates 10 billion video views every day. Video consumption on Instagram increased by 150% last year. Even LinkedIn is rolling out a native video to all of their users.
One-third of online activity is spent watching video. Over half a billion people are watching video on Facebook every day.
Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
Video is becoming that social media trend you can’t afford to ignore anymore. That’ll only grow more apparent in 2018.
Live video, the younger brother of video, is especially prominent as a trend in 2018.
Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. (Livestream and New York Magazine Survey)
Furthermore, 95% of brand execs say live video is key to their 2018 strategies. (Brandlive and IBM Cloud Video).
Viewers respond positively to live video streaming because of the immediacy and engagement it creates, especially since so much of the online content is becoming more curated. Live streaming also allows you to respond to your viewers real time.
If you’d love to give live streaming a go, here are a couple of popular live streaming video “types”:
- live events
- streaming your programs
- Q&A sessions
There are multiple platforms for ‘going live’. Most social media platforms have added on that feature. Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope, Twitter, Snapchat, Twitch, and Instagram Live are all great platforms. Choose one to start with – ideally focusing on one where you have the largest audience on or where your target audience spends most of their time.
Notify your audience in advance that you will be going live (at least one day before, but ideally a week). This ensures more people show up to your live.
If you want to make live streaming an integral part of your marketing strategy, consider setting a schedule and staying consistent.
This will help you maximize your reach and generate new leads for your company. This trend is set to leap in the next few years as 5G becomes standard.
Take-away: Social Media is an important part of every good nonprofit strategy. Make sure you aren’t left in the dark.