Social branding might look like a term reserved for the for-profit business community. However, it is critical for your non-profit growth just as it is for businesses. In the digital age, your goals of getting funding and building a worldwide team for your non-profit lies largely in how you brand yourself on social media. So how do you build your non-profit social media branding? Here are the steps to get you started.
- Channel selection is your first step
- How to use your channels/platforms wisely
- Playing the consistency game
- Leveraging two-way communication methods like comments
- Taking the thought leadership route
Armed with the list above, let’s show you how each of them can help you build a long-lasting brand for your non-profit.
1. Carefully choose your channels
Your first step to winning at non-profit social media branding is to select your channels. With a lot of platforms out there, it’s always tempting to want to go for all. However, not all social platforms are the same. The ultimate advice here is that don’t try to be a jack of all “social media platforms” and a master of none.
Why go for a few social media platforms? Every platform has its main purpose. Therefore, the hassle of creating content to meet the needs of each medium becomes daunting. Furthermore, you may have to incur additional costs in order to create content, which you won’t love so much as a non-profit.
The best way to choose your channels is to start researching. Know more about the channels, narrow down your search based on the purpose of each platform. Additionally, don’t forget to match each platform selected with the purpose of your non-profit. Some worthy questions to ask when choosing a social media channel include.
- How will your selected channels help you achieve your non-profit social media branding goals?
- Is your target market using these channels in a way that aligns with your overall goals?
- How will the content you share align with the goals that users want to achieve?
In case you already have social media channels, it’s not too late – this is the time to audit your channels. This will help you eliminate those platforms that are not helping and focus on channels that align well with your goals.
2. Carefully plan and leverage your selected platforms intelligently
This is the time to put your selected social media channels to work. Here, you have to create different content forms for different channels. While you want to achieve your non-profit social media branding goals, you should also be mindful of your target audience when creating content.
In order to use your social media channels intelligently, you have to adhere to these golden tips.
- Content created for one channel doesn’t automatically become appropriate for all channels.
- Users on each channel have different sets of demographics. Content for each channel should, therefore, be different and should suit the channel’s users.
- Content should be in different forms – video, blog posts, infographics, and volunteer stories among others.
Here are useful questions to ask when creating content for your social media channels.
- How can I create content that gingers my target audience to share my messages?
- Will this content appeal to my target audience?
- Is the content I am creating against a particular lifestyle or culture practiced by my target audience?
Always remember that your non-profit social media branding strategy’s survival is linked to the type of content you create. Additionally, when it comes to what you share, the little details all count.
3. Create and build your brand consistency with design and voice
Images, they say, speak louder than words. But that saying alone had to be completed with six words. In essence, both imagery and words are critical when building your non-profit social media brand.
A great blend of these two should help you create your voice and build consistency over time. That way, users will quickly recognize your organization when they see your designs or content on social media. Furthermore, consistency creates trust between your organization and its partners.
This is what to do in order to build consistency.
- Make your colors visible on all your social platforms.
- Your logos and slogans should convey your organization’s goals and should be visible to users all the time.
- Maintain similar voice on all your social channels. This should touch on your advertisements or campaigns, social posts, captions, and hashtags among others.
And as former Chairman of the J. Crew Group Millard Drexler puts it,
People like consistency. Whether it’s a store or a restaurant, they want to come in and see what you are famous for.
4. Leverage commenting to build trust among your audience and industry
In the social media circle, a lot of brands forget the “social” aspect when building their following. If you’re a non-profit looking to up your branding game, you shouldn’t overlook this important strategy. A big part of embracing the “social” in your non-profit social media branding is to improve your communication. In order to do this, you need to graduate from posting to commenting on your social media posts.
Commenting, which in most cases, would be about responding to people and brands that comment on your social media posts, is an excellent communication tool that tells people that you care. Furthermore, a good rule of thumb is to comment on the social media posts of other organizations in your industry. This increases your following and trust on social media.
When you set out to build conversations on social media through commenting, always remember the following factors.
- Always align your comments to your branding goals by paying attention to your tone.
- Get someone to handle comments if you have a pretty large following. This helps you to increase your comment monitoring and find aggrieved partners or volunteers and address their concerns.
- Use comments from your audience to generate more useful content in the future
5. Become a thought leader
Thought leadership is crucial in building your organization’s social media branding. The best way to do it is to find your expertise. In order to do this, you have to observe your team, the projects you handle, and your target audience.
As a thought leader, you need to publish great and shareable content not only on your non-profit blogs and social media platforms but also on third-party non-profit blogs and news platforms.
Making great use of volunteers, seeking funding, designing donation systems, and managing projects are great topic areas where you could become a thought leader. You should also create whitepapers and research pieces to provide value to your partners and team of volunteers.
Thought leadership content is an excellent non-profit social media branding tool that you should never ignore.
What next for your non-profit social media branding
Use and follow these steps and you will be building a great non-profit social media branding strategy. Use these steps and tweak them based on your organization’s needs and you’ll be building the non-profit loved by many.