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Non-profits | April 15, 2024 | By Monika Halsan

Simplifying online efforts

I would argue one of the main frustrations for non-profits is a lack of time. So when they hear people suggest they “up their social media efforts” the idea is shut down immediately.

And I’m not surprised! You’ll see influencers and top creators suggesting you post every single day – and not only that; you also “have” to engage with other people’s content, seemingly spending all your time on these platforms.

But there is hope for those of us who are not ready, willing or simply capable of such a commitment: In this article, I share some advice on how to simplify your social media efforts.

A laptop with a 2024 social media calendar.

Social media stats

First off, let’s have a look at social media trends in 2024 – with global data reported by Global WebIndex:

  • Out of just over 8 billion people on this planet, there are more than 5 billion social media user identities – that’s 62.3%.
  • On average, a typical user spends 2hr 23min daily on social media – with the UK at 1hr 49min, the US at 2hr 18min, and Kenya at the top with 3hr 43min.
  • Worldwide, we spend about 6hr 40min on the internet every day.
  • Social networks are the 2nd most used digital property at 94.3%, after chat and messaging at 94.7%.

With these stats in mind, it is clear that you shouldn’t give up on your social media efforts. You just need to make them work for you, rather than giving yourself more work to do. Right?

Get clear on your goals

You first need to clarify YOUR social media expectations.

While a high follower count might look good on paper, it might not be what’s the most important to you. And here’s the thing: you can even buy followers if you want. That means, you can get that follower count up with minimal effort – BUT it won’t build your support network.

Your follower count means nothing if it’s not the right, or an engaged, audience.

So just because you see people talk about high follower counts etc., remember the big picture. Your big goals.

Such as attracting 2 new monthly/recurring donors every month, or getting a higher event attendance on your webinars.

Your social media efforts should account for something meaningful to you, not just a number visible on your profile.

Optimising your efforts

While there are numerous ways to simplify your efforts, I’ll share 3 that are fairly easy to start with:

01. AI

Whether you’ve jumped on the AI trend or not, you might wish to look into it if you’re struggling with time.

You can, for example, use ChatGPT to generate post ideas, brainstorm concepts, or review your captions. Similarly, you have more and more visual AI tools that design your visuals for you. These options often come with limitations but are a good place to start if you have limited design skills.

Important

AI is far from perfect, and I highly advise against copy-paste-publish content from for example ChatGPT. As a non-profit, you have to build trust through authenticity, and many users are now able to spot AI-written content within seconds.

While it might sound cool and fancy, it feels generic and over-the-top.

Another useful tool is Grammarly – install this on your computer to have it review your content as you’re typing. This is a tool that saves me tons of time, as it suggests rewrites, highlights typos and more.

Some AI tools also recommend what time you should be posting on different platforms for your audience, ensuring your post goes live when people are most likely to see it.

Bottom line is – AI is here to stay, and in many ways, it is here to make our lives easier.

02. Content calendar

I’m a former product manager, so yes, I love calendars and organising content and strategies in this format. The main benefit of a content calendar is that it allows you to plan ahead: your adhoc efforts will no longer be as reactive, and you can easily see overall trends within your content.

If you build your calendar ahead of time, you can dedicate X hours on a specific day to produce all of this content, and then schedule it. This is almost guaranteed to save you time.

A dedicated time slot will ‘get you in the zone’ only once, allowing you to produce more within that time, than if you spread it out across several time slots.

Besides, scheduling your posts means you don’t need to remember what days you’ll be posting what – it’ll just happen for you in the background.

03. Engagement pods

Possibly the easiest way to engage with others, and have people engage with you, is an engagement pod:

A group of people who agree to engage with each other’s posts.

The structure of this group, of course, is completely up to you. One example is a dedicated WhatsApp group where you share a link to your post once it’s gone live, and other members engage as soon as possible.

To make this work long term, you should agree on a few ground rules, such as:

  • frequency of posts—some might only wish to commit to commenting on others’ posts 3 times a week, others could be okay with daily interactions
  • average engagement needed to stay in the group—if you are commenting on people’s posts in such a group, you’d expect comments back, right? But by everyone, or just a selection?
  • type of interactions—are reactions enough, or do you only “accept” comments? What about reposts/sharing?
  • number of people in the group—can anyone invite new members, or is there a process so that you don’t need to be commenting on accounts you’re not interested in?

All of this, of course, is completely up to you and your group. Perhaps start with a close group of 5 within your network, with a maximum of 3 weekly posts each, to see how it goes.

It might not be for everyone, but at least with a small group, you won’t feel too overwhelmed and you can leave your regular feed to the side.

Avoid this one mistake

One big trend today seems to be for people to jump on the social media bandwagon:

They’ve read some influencer’s post, full of tips and tricks to boost their engagement rate and go viral. And with a touch of motivation, they go all in. Suddenly posting every single day. For one week. And then they give up.

 

Don’t do that. When starting out, test the waters:

Find out what content you enjoy producing, and that your audience enjoys engaging with. The thing is – if you find out what your audience likes, but you hate producing it, you WILL stop.

You need to find the balance between value to your audience, and meaning to you.

 

To begin with, post once weekly, then up it to 3 times weekly once/if you feel confident.

If you’re still comfortable with this rhythm and feel you can add more, test 5 a week, then every day. If that’s too much, stick with your 3 times per week, and add an extra post for special occasions.

But find a rhythm that works for you and seems to get you closer to your goals.

Conclusion

Social media can feel daunting. Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to hook people, how often you should post, what type of content to post, and how many hours you need to spend on every platform every day.

And the algorithms do favour a lot of this behaviour.

In Win Momentum, I take the guesswork out of your efforts. I help you find a schedule that works for you, and – most importantly – that is sustainable for you in the long run, and give you all the tools you need to make your efforts as efficient and effective as possible.

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