Using social media correctly gives your charity the chance to promote your cause, to engage audiences, and therefore small business owners, to help support your mission.
Remember to follow us and tag @workforgooduk into all your social media posts, so we can support you and share your charities' content.
Before you plan a social media strategy, let’s cover the basics:
Ask yourself these questions to help create a social media strategy that is manageable for your charity:
- What sector are you targeting?: Think about the type of people who support your charity and that will help you have a clear idea of which business sector to target. What platforms does this audience use regularly? For example, the small businesses that support the charity Tommy’s are often female-led and in the children and parenting market. These businesses tend to use Instagram and Facebook.
- What platform is right for your charity? If you're limited on time and resource then it might be wise to focus on the platform most of your target audience is using. For example, are you a local charity and want to target local businesses? Facebook could be the best place to start your social media small business campaign, so check Facebook to see if there are local business groups in your area.
- What is manageable for you? Create a weekly (or monthly) sustainable social media schedule that allows you to post frequently and consistently. This is a rule that goes for anyone who wants to experience success on social media. Create a calendar and stick to it.
Maximise your engagement:
- Share stories about small business owners that already support you. People connect with people. It’s as simple as that. Support the small businesses that already support you - celebrate their donations, their campaigns and tell their stories to encourage more small businesses to donate. Build momentum by ‘championing' their victories, big and small. Let small businesses know you value their contributions and demonstrate how their help has made a difference.
- Use hashtags: We’ve all heard of them but do you know which ones to use? Hashtags are essential when it comes to social media for charities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn. Hashtags let other people find posts easily and help you reach a bigger audience. But choosing which hashtags to use will depend on what platform you are posting on, who you are trying to reach and when you are posting. Are you a children’s charity? Then use popular hashtags related to brands aimed at parents. Are you a local charity? Use hashtags related to your area. Use a tool likeRitetag to help you find the right hashtags for your campaign.
- Post at peak times. More people, including sole traders and small business owners, will be checking their social media feeds in the evenings, early mornings and lunchtimes. Using scheduling tools like HootSuite or Buffer to ensure your social media doesn’t switch off when people are most active will help to reach the right audience, at the right time.
- Images get attention: A social media post accompanied by a photo is ten times more likely to get engagement. Using image or video rather than just plain text, means your post is more likely to feature on a supporter's newsfeed (on Facebook) and to receive 'likes'. How about using photos and videos to show the people behind your charity, to celebrate a small business star already donating to your charity, or show case studies of the work you do?
- Partnerships: Joining forces and working with partners allows charities to connect with a new audience and is an excellent way to reach more people on social media. Is there a local business group or magazine on LinkedIn or Facebook you could partner with? Will they share your campaign on their channels? Could you join their networking event?
- Host an online event: Events are an important way for nonprofits to share knowledge and affect change, and thanks to social media it is now easy to do this. Use a live event to reach small businesses and tell them how they can help your charity, and why giving is good for their business. Partner with other charities to reach a larger audience and ask small business supporters to speak. Just about every platform supports live events, from Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter.
Tools to Help Your Social Media Fly:
- Use a scheduling management platform: If you are struggling for time, you could benefit from using a social media content scheduling tool to post content automatically, in advance. Tools such as HootSuite allow you to manage Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram all in one place. Hootsuite also offers nonprofit resources:
- Be creative and engaging with free, easy to use design tools such as Canva. Without needing to invest in Photoshop, make images for social media quickly and easily. Register for free.