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Increased Engagement on Social Media: First, The First Circle Please!

Image source: Pixabay

Get your checklist sorted to achieve increased engagement. 

  1. Fundraising events
  2. Campaign promotions
  3. Branding or awareness 

Whatever your nonprofit’s social media goals, the answer is right at your arm’s length. Your first circle audience on social channels can help you reach a wider donor pool if you leverage them properly using apt content marketing tactics. Hopeful’s this week’s blog is about understanding your inner circle and why they even matter to make social media for nonprofits more meaningful. 

Let’s start with a simple scenario. Say, for instance, you posted an amazing photo on your nonprofit’s Instagram page. And you continue to do so for x number of days. Eventually, you will expect your audience to engage with your photos and share them in their feeds. You would want their connections to see your posts to drive more engagement and get more people interested in your activities. Scott Stratten, president of Unmarketing, mentions them as the second audience group. The first circle is the list of followers you currently have. The second circle are their followers, and the third is the people who follow the secondary followers.

Your goal should be to get past the first circle followers to connect with your second and third circle audience. So, through information or engagement, get your first circle to make your content viral in their network. 

Because likes attract likes!

How does this work? 

Social media algorithms sift through content and show you only “relevant” content rather than any random post. They prioritize which content you will see in your feed by the likelihood of your audience, what they are sharing and what got you interested in the recent past. In a nutshell, the algorithms will determine which content to bring to your feed based on your behaviour on a particular network. For instance, Facebook or Twitter might show you posts from your close friends and family members because you interact with those accounts more frequently. 

Since there is a ton of free-floating content on social channels (sigh: thousands of posts, photos, and videos published per nanosecond), our intelligent algorithms do the groundwork of delivering you the content that’s meaningful to you. 

Simple ideas on winning your first circle audience 

Very often the most practical tips seem overwhelming for a small team. We feel you, and that is why here are some of the most basic ideas that you can easily implement as soon as you finish reading them. 

1. Look for a shared purpose: It’s likely that out of 100 people following you on social channels, you may have reciprocated to 20 of them and followed them back. You may be liking their posts, commenting on their videos and engaging with their content regularly. As a next step, nail down key accounts that align with your cause. These could be partner organizations, NPOs with similar missions and values such as yours, and influential people in your space. Once you follow their accounts and request them to follow yours, you get a gateway to reaching their second and third circle audience. Even 2 to 4 key accounts can help you connect with high-capacity donors you have been looking for. 

Pro-tip: Treat social media for nonprofits and the interactions as genuine conversations. Get interested in your priority accounts, and their activities and you will soon see them reverting. 

2. Take time to skim: Once you have invested your valuable time following and tracking your key accounts, it’s time to sift through your list of remaining followers. This feat is as simple as observing someone from a distance. Imagine yourself doing observational research in a mall and looking at someone picking up a product from an aisle. You would want to know why they got interested in putting that item in their cart, are they regular shoppers or onetime buyers of the product, do they have kids or pets they are purchasing for. Likewise, you need to observe your followers’ accounts. 

Learn what other pages, charities or brands they follow, what gets them to like a particular post, are they pet lovers, eco-conscious or instinct buyers. Learning about them through the content they post and engage with and through the accounts they follow will help you uncover where their interests lie. 

3. Curate content for increased engagement: Social media for nonprofits can be tricky. But staying organized by creating content blocks goes a long way. Pillar content refers to the category of content under your content calendar. As you get systematic with your posting schedules, categorize your content into various categories, such as awareness, fundraising, advocacy, behind-the-scenes, and so on. There is no fixed rule on how you spread out this content on social channels. It is best to identify which content pillar works best for you and to include more of it in your content strategy. 

Roll these strategies and let us know at @HopefulCompany how it turned out for you. See you next week with another fresh thought to elevate social media for nonprofits.

Written by – Tasneem Jariwala for Hopeful Inc.

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