With roughly 69% of people on social media, there’s powerful competition to contend with in order to stand out in your donors’ newsfeed. Social media sites employ algorithms to try and show users the content that’s most relevant to them. As a result, your nonprofit’s organic reach is no longer enough to ensure you’re being seen by as many donors and prospects as possible.
Strategic social advertising—or paid social— can maximize your organic social media reach. Whether your goal is to advertise events, sell merchandise, share special publications, or simply build organization and brand awareness; promoting engaging content on social media ensures your nonprofit stays at the forefront of people’s minds.
Unlike print ads or content marketing, which need time to yield results, social media advertising offers an immediate return on your investment. Which social media channel is your nonprofit most actively using to interact with your supporters? Whether you focus on Facebook for the largest amount of users, or distribute your advertising across your social media platforms, there is really no limit to how far your reach can go.
Facebook and Instagram are the most popular sites to advertise on; while LinkedIn is good for identifying and targeting people by job title, company, industry, seniority, and more. You can promote an individual tweet, boost a specific Facebook post, or run a general awareness campaign to increase followers or website traffic.
Pricing varies across channels, and typically revolves around cost-per-click or cost-per-impression. A perk of social advertising is that sites allow you to set your budget for each campaign. For as little (or as much) as you want to spend, you can promote your organization, and reach a greater audience.
Each platform offers the ability to choose your audience based on demographics, interests, or other filters. Select from a variety of photo and video ad formats, link your ad to a dedicated page on your website, and use the platform’s ad reporting tools to track your results. Eye-catching images and videos see the best results. Linking to a specific, relevant page of your website simplifies the advertising process for your audience.
Social Advertising Tips
Instagram is all about photos and video. Organizations that use eye-catching imagery in their ads have a higher engagement level. Make use of your event or community photos in your next ad. Instagram’s largest user group is 18–29 year-olds, making the site the perfect place to reach young professionals, students, and recent college graduates.
Twitter fans love to engage with breaking news, social movements, political activism, business announcements, and of course, celebrities and influencers. Target your ad to capture those interests for best results.
LinkedIn offers a choice between Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads; depending on if you want to be featured in a newsfeed or as a direct message.
Facebook also lets you “boost” special posts and reach targeted audiences. Select from your followers; or target by location, demographics, or interests.
Your social media strategy is key to your engagement. Download this guide to coordinate your message across social media channels.