3 tips for using social media as a not-for-profit

Not for profit social media

It’s no secret that many organisations operating in the not-for-profit and community sectors face significant resourcing challenges.

Given the range of competing demands, it’s really no surprise that marketing and social media can sometimes fall toward the bottom of a very long list of priorities for many in the sector.

However, given the fact that, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 86% of Australian households are online, it’s a fairly safe bet that not-for-profit and community operations could reach at least a portion of their audience via digital channels.

The most effective way to do that? Content marketing, of course. A key tactic of which is social media.

Here are 3 tips for not-for-profit organisations using social media that will increase engagement with your audience.

  1. Consider where your audience are. Often with social media there can be a tendency to over-commit to a strategy which will see you posting on every single social channel under the sun; from Pinterest to Instagram to Facebook to Twitter to Google to LinkedIn, if you’re doing it on one you may as well be doing it on all, right? Wrong. Narrow down your target audience. Does your organisation serve teenagers, new parents, trauma survivors or the elderly? Find out what platforms they use. Are they tweeting, facebooking or blogging? When do they have their online discussions? What’s important to them and how are they sharing their messages? The more you learn about your audience, the better you can tailor your messaging and ensure you are spending your time somewhere where your message will be heard.
  1. Tell stories. Human beings relate to other human beings. If someone is unsure about accessing your service offering, seeing the story of someone else who has experienced what they have and benefited from what you do will be hugely motivational. As you use social media as a tool to engage your audience in the services you provide, don’t forget to put a human face on it.
  1. Be conversational. As a new or relatively inexperienced kid on the social media block, there can be an inclination to set and forget; decide what you’re going to say, say it and sit back. Unfortunately (or really, very fortunately) the real value in social media is in the two-way conversation that it facilitates with your audience. The value in broadcasting your messaging via social media is amplified when it is supplemented with sincere engagement; asking questions, responding to comments and inviting your audience to share their personal stories are all ways that social media can move from a one-way forum into a really powerful dialogue.

Social media is a valuable tool that can help not-for-profit and community organisations reach members of their audience and grow their community in a different and refreshing way.

Convinced? Check out some of contentgroup’s tips for getting your publishing moving.


Lydia holds a Bachelor of History from the University of Sussex as well as a Masters in History (Genocide Studies) from the University of Amsterdam. Her communications experience includes working in the not-for-profit, public and now private sectors. Fortunately, given her chosen career path, writing is her absolute favourite activity (especially when flanked by a coffee and a dog).

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