Seven for 2017

Brittany LaPointe \
January 19, 2017

Consider these seven tools to help elevate your communications and social media strategies in the new year.

1. Revive your e-newsletter: The rise of social media in recent years has made it hard not to shift resources to focus on social donor campaigns. However, social media sites like Facebook and even Instagram have made it increasingly difficult over the last year to reach donors and fans without upgrading to premium services like ads and boosting posts. Investing in these tools could be worth your while (see point number 2), but 2017 might be the time to revisit your e-newsletter and revise your strategy for the new year.

2. Invest in premium social media tools: Just because you’re dusting off the old e-news, doesn’t mean you need to abandon all the work you’ve done to build a donor following on social media. To better reach these folks, consider investing in premium social media tools, especially around giving season. Try things like boosting Facebook posts, switching to a business Instagram profile, and sponsoring posts on Twitter. You can boost posts for as little as $5 on Facebook.

3. Invest time to learn something new: There’s a sea of information out there but busy schedules make it difficult to set aside the time to make these things a priority. That app you’ve been meaning to learn? Learn it! That report you’ve wanted to read? Read it! This year, make it a priority to cross at least one of these things off your list, learn it, and think of ways you can infuse this new found wisdom into your nonprofit’s communications plan.

4. Cashtags: Speaking of learning something new! Cashtags are fun and simple ways to raise funds in this fast-paced world. Create and share your own “cashtag” and the donation process is as simple as ever. This is a great tool if you’re trying to reach millennials. Check out their website for the simple set up process.

5. Facebook Live & Instagram Stories: One of Facebook’s newest tools allows you to broadcast live to share your message with the world. This tool is great for live events such as fundraisers or community events. Also consider using Facebook Live to discuss issues that are important to your mission through live interviews with clients, staff and more. Everyone loves a little “behind the scenes” action! Additionally, the new Instagram algorithm has made it harder than ever before to reach followers. Many brands and organizations are shifting to live, short-lived videos through Instagram’s newest feature, Stories.

6. Twitter Chats: Engagement on Twitter is key. Consider hosting a Twitter Chat where you engage your followers in an online, live chat around a topic that’s relevant to your work and brand. You could even have a special guest host the chat. We recommend reading up on how to host a Twitter Chat beforehand. Here’s a great resource.

7. Invest in photography and create an organizational stock photography library: high-quality photos are a critical component to your communications and messaging. Instead of browsing through hundreds of stock photography images online, build a library of high-quality images of your work in the community. If you don’t have the capacity or resources to take on this project internally, consider hiring or seeking pro-bono work from one of the many talented photographers in the Summit County area to help you build this library over the course of six months or a year.