Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits: It’s All About Emotions ?

How can social media marketing for nonprofits be improved? A nationwide survey by the Nonprofit Marketing Guide found that nonprofits use marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness, engage community, acquire/retain donors and provide thought leadership. Today, the website and email newsletter are still two of the best and most widely used communication channels by nonprofits. But, there may be one player on your marketing team that you’re overlooking.

Nonprofits Prioritize Image & Video-based Social Platforms

Among nonprofits that used social media marketing to meet their organizational goals, networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were the most popular. But, based on the numbers reported in the Nonprofit Marketing Guide, a presence on image and video-based social sites like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube was seen, for the first time ever, as more important than blogging or phone banking.

social media for nonprofits

Infographic courtesy of Leverage New Age Media

Social media empowered campaigns that have succeeded, like the ALS Icebucket Challenge, have shown what’s possible for nonprofits with this new media. Other nonprofits have looked to social media to fundraise, engage community and make a difference on a greater scale.

There are no verified set of criteria to create a viral campaign like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. But, evoking emotion is what’s most essential to the social media marketing content you create.

Prime Your Content for Emotional Responses Worth Sharing

Being emotionally impacted by content is one reason why people share online. In a study by Jonah Berger, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania, awe was the greatest emotion that inspired sharing, he writes:

“Awe gets our hearts racing and our blood pumping, this increases our desire for emotional connection and drives us to share.”

Awe

Meanwhile, researchers at Beihang University, found that rage and anger are the emotions that evoked the spread of content the most quickly on the microblogging site they studied. Still, others say that inspiring a sense of social good along with a strong emotion helps your content get shared.

Some winning elements of the ALS Icebucket Challenge campaign are that its content is humorous, it lets people participate in doing good and it is designed to be shared with others. For every person who completes it, multiple others can be nominated. These factors helped the campaign to increase exponentially quickly.

Post Memorable Images & Videos Regularly

You’re probably most limited by your lack of staff, budget and time. Given those constraints, it could feel daunting to even get started making content for social media, or adapting what you’ve been doing on your channels.

One thing to know, the more often your nonprofit shares memorable content in the news feed, the more likely those who see it will interact with or donate to your cause. Take a look at this video from Water Is Life that went viral in 2012.

Water Is Life used this video with the hashtag #firstworldproblems.

Your nonprofit could be empowering its social media marketing campaigns with similarly emotive and impactful images and videos. It’s likely that you are tight on time and resources, so why not partner with an agency that cares and can help you along in the process? You can see some of Studio 73’s work with nonprofits like yours – here.

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