How to Find Your Nonprofit’s Voice On Social Media

by | Mar 11, 2020 | Campaigns, Community Engagement, Resources, Uses

We believe in the power of charms as a way to engage your community. Many organizations use their charm bracelets for campaigns and social media incentives. If you are looking for guidance on how best to use social media we wanted to share some great info here in this guest blog written by Brad Wayland of BlueCotton. We hope you will find some tips about nonprofit voice to incorporate into your social media strategy. 


It’s one of the most common social marketing mistakes I see from nonprofits. They go online with the assumption that their cause is all they need to succeed. As a result, there’s nothing particularly interesting or unique about their messaging.

They don’t have a voice. While they may still bring in a few volunteers and donors, they’re nowhere near as successful as they could be. Let’s talk about how your nonprofit can change that. 

Start With Your Mission

As a nonprofit, you have an advantage over most other organizations on social media. You already have a clear idea of your mission. You already know your values and ideals. 

You have a cause, and you know your personal connection to that cause. You know how you want to change the world, and why. And this, in turn, means you have an idea of why your cause matters to your audience.

Use this knowledge to craft your nonprofit’s narrative, and inject that narrative into your marketing efforts. Focus on the human element of your organization and its cause. Each post you make should, in some way, reflect who you are.

Look At Your Audience

Nonprofits tend to have a far broader audience than for-profit organizations. This makes figuring out how to target your messaging somewhat more challenging. Challenging, but not impossible.

“Determining audience or audiences comes down to setting priorities,” Julia Howell, Vice President of Community Engagement explained in a 2017 interview with nonprofit marketing publication NonProfit MarCommunity. “For most charities, the primary audience is going to be the donor but recognizing that your donor is unique to your cause will help you get the necessary focus to hone your message and your ideal channels. One way to do this is to write a profile of your ideal donor and keep this person in mind in all that you do.” 

In other words, ask yourself what kind of person would have the most poignant connection to your cause. Consider their age, profession, education level, likes and dislikes, and hobbies. Figure out who they are, how they speak, and what matters to them. 

If you’re stuck, look at your own board, or look in a mirror.  You likely have more in common with your audience than you know. 

Think About Your Language and Tone

As the old adage goes, how you speak is just as important as what you say. When it comes to communicating with your audience,  you need to think not just about your message, but how that message is conveyed. There are several elements to this.

  • Vocabulary. How complex is the language in your posts? Do you make frequent use of industry-specific jargon? Is your audience likely to understand it? 
  • Mood. How do you want people to feel when they see your posts? What is the overall emotional cadence of your messaging, including your imagery? 
  • Formality. Do you want to be seen as casual and easygoing, or formal and professional? 
  • Sentence structure. Shorter sentences are more urgent, while longer sentences are more relaxed. Generally, on social media, shorter is better. 

Talking Change

Core values. Mission. Audience. Language. These elements are the pillars of your nonprofit’s distinctive voice. Understand them, and you should have no trouble crafting a unique narrative that will help you change the world for the better. 


About the Author:

Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.

Charity Charms custom logo items make great social media giveaways and engagement tools for your whole community. Want to learn more?

 

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