I’ve volunteered twice on a board of directors for a local non-profit.

The first time, I helped them set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account. When I stepped down from the board a year later, both accounts fell to the wayside. A year or so before I returned to the board, someone from the board started posting sporadically on Facebook, but Twitter remained untouched.

When I returned, I took over managing both accounts, and engagement skyrocketed. New page likes and follows went up; likes, comments, shares, and retweets went up. People even reached out to me to say how much they appreciated that the organization’s Twitter account was running again. Then I stepped down about 1.5 years later.

And both accounts are back to being hardly managed. No one manages Twitter, and Facebook is nothing more than a collection of past events they’ve hosted. There is no content curation, no organization updates, and no resharing of content from members.

Social media is one of the most important modes of communication in the 21st century. You can’t ignore it, especially if you don’t have an extensive marketing budget. People depend on it for news and updates, particularly locally. Even with nonprofits.

However, it has to be done right. You need to have someone (or a team) in place who can engage. They need to be able to curate content, interact with your members, and create content to keep your membership informed. And the excuse that hardly any of your members are on Facebook is no longer an excuse. If you’re not communicating with them on social media, how exactly are you communicating with them? Door to door? Once a year, at the AGM?

Seriously evaluate where your nonprofit sits with social media. Talk to your board and see how you can best engage with social media.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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