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The Do’s and Don’ts of Advertising on Social Media

In this day and age, the majority of Americans are no stranger to the internet and social media. Expanding your advertising on social media will increase your reach, build awareness for your mission, and bring new donors. But in order to be the most effective, a plan is needed. Advertising on social media must have a purpose. Do you want more followers? Do you want to increase engagement on your page? Do you want to increase clicks to your website? Approach social advertising with a measurable goal you want to accomplish and build your strategy around that goal.

Use the top Do’s and Don’ts below to draft your perfect social media advertising plan.

DO Use a Clear Call-to-Action

Your call-to-action is a prompt that tells the user to take some specified action. Make sure your call to action is clear and well defined. By creating a clear call to action, it encourages the user to take the next step because they know exactly what will happen next. Will they learn more? Will they be redirected to your fundraising page? Will they sign up for your newsletter? Informing your audience what to expect when they click on your call-to-action button will lead to more clicks from qualified users. Social media users are inundated with information so it is imperative that your message is clear and concise to get the best results.

DO Use Video

Video is a highly preferred form of media among all social media channels. Why? It is an instant way to tell your story. Video is effective because your audience is able to consume content in a digestible way. On average, you have about three seconds to capture the attention of users. That’s roughly enough time it takes to blink your eyes. Make the most of this time. Start your video off with an eye-catching opener that will hook your audience as they are scrolling through their feed. When it comes to advertising, video is 60% more effective in generating clicks on your advertisements. Share behind-the-scene footage of your typical day or dedicate a specific day of the week to share an update on your mission. The use of video doesn’t have to be complex and nonprofits, both large and small, will benefits from video.

DO Keep it Consistent

Establish a consistent message and aesthetic appeal in your advertising on social media. When you think of the brand Nike, what is the first thought that comes to mind? I’m sure you’re thinking of the big check mark (swoosh) or perhaps the words, ‘Just Do It.’ This is ingrained in our minds because Nike has consistently used the same message in all of their advertising throughout the years. Nonprofits must do the same to establish a presence and amplify your mission. One of the most important ways to maintain consistency is to make sure your profile picture and account name are consistent across all social channels that you are active on. This reduces confusion whether your donors are on the right page. Create a brand guide for your nonprofit and stick to it as you develop your strategy across all of your channels.

Build your brand identity, find your voice, and set consistent assets with the free Nonprofit Style Guide. 

DON’T Add Text

In an ideal world, we would like to add as many words as we possibly can to best explain a graphic that we post. In the social world, this is a huge mistake and your audience will not receive the message if there is too much text. The old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words” could not be more accurate. Let the picture or the creative graphic  you post do the talking! Don’t cloud your picture with text that social media users will speed over. Refine the amount of copy included in graphics and highlight the headlines to capture the attention to continue to engage with your page and learn more.

DON’T Write Long Copy

The truth of the matter is a long, drawn out post will not capture the attention of social media users. Facebook discourages long copy by only showing a preview of the first couple of lines in your post. Writing long copy creates a barrier for users to engage with your post. By keeping your copy short and sweet, your message will reach more users that you may not have otherwise captured the attention of.

DON’T Be Afraid to Have Fun

The beauty of social media, compared to other channels, is the flexibility to have fun! Speak with your donors and audience in a causal way and humanize your nonprofit on social media. if users believe they are engaging with an actual person on the other end, they will be more inclined to engage. Don’t shy away from using exclamation points and emojis in your advertisements. A study shows that using an emoji actually leads to more clicks. Experiment and test the use and frequency of emoticons on your audience until you find your sweet spot. 😃

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