Picking the Right Social Media Platform for your Nonprofit

When you think of social media channels or where you go to find information; what apps do you turn to? What about your mom? Where do people in your community go for information and to be kept in the know? Is your community on What’s App? (Most foreign communities use it daily!) What social media channels does your nonprofit use to connect with your community?

To reach your target audience, it’s important to recognize that not everyone uses every social media platform.

Focusing your efforts on where you can connect with your community will help to save time and energy. For instance, if you’re a local car club in Utah with a retired following, your audience likely spends the most time on Facebook. If your org only uses email, you’ll miss potential volunteers every time because your go-to communication channels are different. 

Picking the Right Social Media Platform

🤔 So what social media platforms are out there? 

  • Facebook
    • Go beyond your organization page and think about groups you can join and share your volunteer opportunities in.
    • Largest age group is 24-35 (31%); however, all ages are present!
    • 57% male, 43% female
    • Baby Boomers are 19x more likely than other age groups to share content
    • Women share content more frequently than men 
  • Instagram
    • Making aesthetic and shareable posts about the issues your community faces and your organization’s impact can help engage younger volunteers
    • Largest age group is 18-35 (62%) 
    • 52% male, 48% female 
    • Doubled user base in past 3 years 
    • Regular feed post engagement is down, but accounts that use Reels have seen engagement stay the same or, more likely, increase. 
  • TikTok
    • It may be intimidating if you haven’t used it before, but getting engagement is really easy! Don’t be afraid to try out the platform by jumping in on trending sounds or formats. Once you reach 1,000 followers you can add a link to your bio! Check out this guide from Nonprofit Tech for Good for more ways to really use this platform.
    • Largest age group: 10-19 (25%) – great for finding younger volunteers who may have volunteering requirements for school!
    • 61% female, 39% male 
    • 40% of Gen Z say they are directly influenced by products they see on Tiktok
    • Fastest growing social media platform 
    • Users spend an average of 90 minutes a day on the app 
  • LinkedIn
    • This is can be a great way to connect with corporations and businesses for group volunteer opportunities 
    • Largest age group: 25-34 (58%) 
    • 52% male, 48% female 
    • 63% use weekly, 22% use daily 
    • Historically has been used mainly by older generations, but now skews younger
  • Twitter
    • Note: Twitter may see substantial user shifts in the future due to changes made by new owner Elon Musk. It may not be the best platform to use for content as hate speech is rising, and several journalists have been banned. However, it still does have a loyal and active user base. 
    • Largest age group: 18-29 (41%)
    • 62% male, 38% female
    • Users generally have higher income and higher levels of education 
  • What’s App
    • WhatsApp is a free instant messaging app that allows you to send text messages to other users one-on-one or in groups and is the most used instant messaging app in the world.
    • Largest age group: 26-35 (27%)
    • 54% male, 46% female

Sources: Sprout Social, Digital Trends, Later, Forbes

We recommend looking at your own organization’s follower demographics to get a better idea of the kinds of people that engage with your content. Organization accounts generally have statistics pages across all platforms where you can see this.

And if you’re unsure how to access it, maybe reach out to a Millennial or Gen Z volunteer with lots of social media savvy. Or you can find out how to look up your follower demographics on different social media platforms by clicking these links: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, LinkedIn.

🧡 Don’t forget about your other outreach channels beyond social media!

  • Your website and blog content
  • Emails
  • Slack has lots of channels you can join to grow your network
  • Community groups – students, religious orgs, companies, tabling at events
    • If you have the time or capacity, doing outreach to student groups and religious organizations is a great way to get the word out. Sending your POINT event link, or asking if you can come to join a video call meeting to talk about your mission, or even sending the group a 2-sentence blurb to include in their newsletter (include the link to signup!).
    • Some opportunities, like sorting diapers and clothing or prepping meals to distribute to unhoused neighbors, would be a GREAT corporate group volunteering day event. You can reach out to companies in your area that post about giving back on their social media channels or those who host Day of Giving events every year. 
    • Religious organizations your community is a part of could be great volunteer partners. 
  • Presentations to organizations can be a great way to grow awareness and recruit volunteers.

Sources: Sprout Social, Digital Trends, Later, Forbes

📲 Now let’s break down content on the different social media platforms

Who wouldn’t love to go viral (for something good!)? Think of the things that make you click when you are scrolling. What do they have in common? Now think of the places you keep going back to for their content. What do they have in common?

Has anyone had this conversation at your nonprofit? “Yea, we post on Facebook but only get one or two likes. Why isn’t social media getting us more engagement?” It may come down to just a few things 😉

The name of the game with social media is to recycle content (aka create “evergreen” content). Evergreen content refers to articles, blog posts, videos, or any other type of content that remains relevant and valuable over a long period of time.

This type of content is not tied to a specific event or trend but rather focuses on timeless topics that are always in demand. Evergreen content is often educational and informative and provides actionable insights to readers. It is frequently searched for by people looking for answers or solutions to their problems and can drive traffic to a website or blog over an extended period of time.

Examples of evergreen content for nonprofits could be”

  • Information about your mission
  • Volunteer or client testimonials
  • Issue & impact statistics
  • Facts about your organization

🧡 Here are some quick tips to help level up your social media game!

Most social media channels require regular post frequency to grow a following. You can choose to focus on one channel first, or if you have time, create the same content but with slight variations to post across platforms (such as image size/layout, or how the same information is shared).

If you create all uniform content that might not catch people’s eyes, it might be time to have a community member give advice on the marketing assets.

Are you only posting about events or things to register for? Or maybe you only send out the year-end annual appeal via email? It might be time to take a step back and share more of your “Why.”

Why does your mission matter? Why do you (and your volunteers) love serving your community? Why should someone take time out of their day to help? One great idea is to sit down with your volunteers, staff, and stakeholders to hear what they want to see from you or share out on their own accounts about your organization and impact.

Do you serve a mostly non-English speaking community? Do you post content in a language that is understood by your desired audience? Do you have someone on staff who is fluent in that language? All of that is necessary to engage the right folks in ways that will generate a good response.

🧡 what you just read? Be sure to subscribe to the Good POINT Blog using the form below👇 and share our post with your colleagues on LinkedIn! Are you curious how POINT can level up your volunteer program? Book a free, live demo with our team!

Photo Brandy Strand
Brandy Strand
Nonprofit Partnerships Account Executive

No guilt trips, no sad stories. Just a chance to do something good.