When it comes to marketing, social media should be your organization’s go-to tool. It helps you reach a wider audience, engage with distant supporters, draw people to your website and legitimize your brand. Although managing multiple accounts for your organization may seem confusing and overwhelming at first, good social media content actually follows a pretty simple formula.
You should be tweaking your content from site to site, but most of your social media posts for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram should follow the same basic steps:
Clear picture → Concise Caption → Call to Action → Link
On Twitter, most of your photos will show up as thumbnails from the website you’re linking to. If you’re worried about what that thumbnail will look like, schedule your posts out ahead of time on a website like Sprout and preview them before they send. Twitter is also a great place to post graphics and infographics, along with the occasional live-action shot of events and people.
You have quite a bit of flexibility with photos on this site, too. Facebook also provides thumbnails from your link and is a good environment for posting graphics, but the majority of your Facebook photos should capture real people doing real things. Create new albums when you have events and show the community what you’re up to while providing plenty of promotional and informational material.
Since this social media platform is intended for sharing photos, you want to make sure each one you post is sharp, clear and visually pleasing. Pictures will perform best when they capture real people and events, so have that make up about 80 percent of your page. Leave the other 20 percent for graphics and other content. Pay attention to your grid layout on Instagram, too, to make sure your page as a whole looks as professional as each individual post.
Use your captions as a way to tell your organization’s story, provide context and make connections with your audience. Asking for money outright over social media is ineffective, so use words as a way to butter your readers up and establish trust with them before asking for donations. That way, by the time you arrive at your call to action, your followers will practically already have their wallets out.
On Twitter, you’re only given 240 characters, so use them carefully. You probably won’t be able to tell a full-blown story, but that’s okay. Twitter is meant to be concise and straight to the point. On Instagram and Facebook, you’d essentially have to write a novel to reach the character limit, but that doesn’t mean you should. Keep your captions under 500 characters if you want people to actually read them.
Now that you’ve pulled on your donors’ heartstrings, it’s time to call them to action. This usually means getting them to click on a donation button or a link to your website. After you’ve shared why it’s important that they take whatever action you want them to take, add the call to action to the end of your caption. Say something like “Click here to donate!” or “Check out this link!” A quick, exclamatory statement in your caption should lead to more page views.
At the end of your posts, you should almost always include a link—just copy and paste it to the end of your text. On Instagram, you can’t embed links within captions, so you’ll have to put it in your profile’s bio and tweak your call to action a bit (i.e. “Click on the link in my bio!”). (Tip: If your link is too long, go to bitly.com to shorten it).
And that’s all it takes! Once you get the hang of this formula and understand what story you want to tell on social media, you’ll improve your organization’s marketing strategy and lure more people to your website.