Social Media for Nonprofits
Program Support, Community Learning Network
I was recently tasked with posting on the Community Learning Network’s (CLN) social media platforms. Although I post regularly on a personal level, I felt I needed to do some research before I started posting for CLN.
My initial thought was to go through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, to see how many CALPs are using these specific platforms. I was impressed to find that 79% of our CALPs are on Facebook, 27% on Instagram, 16% on LinkedIn and 14% on Twitter.
Seeing as how the majority of our organizations use Facebook, it was definitely a platform I planned to start posting on, but the use of Instagram was a little tricky. Even though it is the second most frequented site by CALPs, it is a picture based site, which may not have been as effective for CLN to post on a regular basis.
We decided to also post on Twitter, as a lot of our partnering agencies, collaborators and known community members around the province are engaged on Twitter and we thought it would be the best way to reach them. LinkedIn is a great platform for job seekers and though we are on there, we also didn’t think it was an effective tool for us on a regular basis.
Therefore you will see us regularly posting on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We find in today’s technological world social media is a fast, economical and effective way to engage and inform our members, stakeholders, community partners and anyone else who may be interested in what we do and are doing.
The next step in my research stemmed from my inquiries “how often should I post?” and “are there better days and times to post?” I found the following information in terms of when is the best time to post:
“For nonprofits, Facebook works as a great gathering point to get users to attend events, follow your organization and be up-to-date on happenings without going to your website. When we pulled data from all of our customers considered a nonprofit, we found some unique engagement times for this specific sector.
The best times to post on Facebook for nonprofits is Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m. Other notably high engagement times include Monday at 9 a.m., Tuesday at 6 p.m., Thursday at 10 a.m. and noon and Friday at 9 and 11 a.m.
The safest times to post are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
Sunday has the least amount of engagement for nonprofits on Facebook. Weekends and Mondays see less engagement in the week for nonprofits on Facebook.”
And the last step in my research was to attend a webinar to help me determine content. I found a free webinar, “Social Media 101 for Nonprofits”, presented by a US company, Firespring. One of the points made in this presentation really stuck with me: “The most meaningful posts engage a user enough to want to comment or share the content.” Which made me think that posting questions or articles that will resonate with your audience is also a great idea. Not just posting events, trainings and upcoming meetings. There were also some great points on what to tweet to engage your audience. You can look through the presentation HERE.
Earlier this week I posted pictures of the West-central (Stony Plain) and East-central (St. Paul) Regional Meetings both on Facebook and Twitter and received a lot of likes. Facebook even sent me a message saying this post received more likes than any other in the past little while. That definitely made me realize that the personal posts will be appreciated more. Here are a few of the pictures I posted:
West-Central Regional Meeting held in Stony Plain on March 20.
East-Central Regional Meeting held in St. Paul on April 4.
I am interested to hear your experiences on social media, the good, the bad, the ugly. Also, do you find it successful to post pictures and comments on Facebook or Twitter during an event or after? Please post any comments below.
Shaba Qureshi, Program Support
Community Learning Network
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